Monday, October 09, 2006

Jakarta housing and Bogar

On our “look and see” trip to Jakarta we had a few things to check out…

Shopping-

All ok, we will be able to get everything (except, I haven’t found vegemite yet!)

Housing-

BIG, Huge homes here…although a housing budget of over $2800 US a month is necessity. The few homes we toured were all big. Most had an ensuite for all bedrooms and a pool, as well as maid quarters for 2-3. Most had marble floors and big windows. We face the choice of a freestanding home with a yard (and having to employ a security guard), or a compound home with a much smaller yard. I felt at ease in a compound; they have homes or duplexes in a compound with manned gates which check all incomers. The compounds usually have playgrounds and mini gyms on site. The homes on the compounds we saw all had their own pools and 4+1 bedrooms. As we have never lived over seas before, most people are recommending a compound estate. Of course these styles of homes are much more expensive.
We will worry about this all later as GJ hasn’t negotiated his contract yet, until then we don’t even know how much we have to spend; or know when we will require a home.
We met a family at the restaurant tonight who have been living in the hotel for 10 months!

Schools-

We are touring the Australian school tomorrow and the New Zealand school on Tuesday.

Office-

GJ is going to the office on Monday afternoon to meet people and have a look around.

Weekend get aways-

Today we went to Bogor. It is about 45min to 1 hour due South of Jakarta, it is in the Parahyangan Highlands. Bogor is 800m above sea level and is slightly cooler than Jakarta. We went to the famous Botanical gardens and saw from a distance the elegant white presidential Palace called Istana Bogor. It was constructed by the Dutch in 1856 as the official residence of the Governor General. We spent nearly 4 hours wandering around these beautiful gardens. We saw a Mexican cactus garden, a fantastic orchard house and lots of lush tropical gardens. We were sitting in the café having a cool drink when we looked out when a small patch of the smoke haze had cleared and we saw a VOLCANO!!!!! (I can’t find its name in any of my books yet)
The park was so quiet, peaceful and lush; it really is a lovely escape from the city.
The drive through Bogor was surreal… the traffic was indescribable and chaotic. I have seen MANY motor bikes with 4-5 family members on it. On a few occasions’ I have seen little babies in slings on their mothers with other siblings and Dad driving the bike. When we pulled into the car park the hawkers spotted us. We were able to ignore them until we got through the gates into the park. Once we left it was a different matter. It was the first time in my life that I was mobbed. Mexico was nothing like this and at the time I thought that it was a huge mob!
GJ and I both had 4-6 men shoving things in our face and every one was shouting and pushing. Georgia was swamped so she grabbed the pram and pushed Ben away with Chelsea following. I didn’t realize at first but hawkers followed them, I turned around and found 4 men shoving things in the kid’s faces, for goodness sake who would think that an eight yr old with a 5 and 2yr old would buy anything! Even me shouting at them to leave the kids alone didn’t stop them! We made a run for it. Luckily are driver saw us and helped get into the car, by this time we were totally surrounded, with beggars as well. The kids and I couldn’t cope so we got in the car and hid. Poor old GJ had to dismantle the pram while having 100’s of things shoved at him.

We did make one little mistake; we bought 15 postcards off one man for what we thought was $1.00. It turns out that we paid $10 for 15 cards and everyone saw what we paid and thought that they could join in the party!

Our driver knew that I needed fake Handbags for my sister Tan Tan (I am the shoe queen and don’t have an interest in bags and purses) and took us to a huge shop in Bogor. GJ choose 2 bags for me as well as a purse and I found a nice bag for Tan Tan. I have been given the address of a shop in Jakarta for more, as Tan Tan wants a LV attaché case and diary. Ben charmed all the shop assistants, he now realizes that everyone wants to wave at him so he sits like a little prince and waves at everyone as we push him around. People want to have their photo taken with Ben, one really nice young married couple played with him for about 30 min and took photos of each other with him. It took me this long to gather necessary supplies (wipes, tissues and sanitizer) and take Chelsea to the toilet.
Everywhere we go people reach out and stroke his arms, one lady picked him up. Luckily I was in a shop and didn’t see as I don’t think I would have been as polite as GJ. Chelsea is also getting her cheeks stoked, but Georgia must be old enough not to warrant as much attention.
The kids absolutely crashed in the car, so we called it a day at about 3.30pm. They are so tired; but as we only have 5 full days to see everything and make such a big decision we are pushing them. We met with the CEO and his wife, of GJ’s company for lunch on Sat. Ben fell asleep in his pram, Chelsea put her head on my lap and slept under the table while Georgia sat like a spaced out zombie. At least they were on their best behavior!

We have experienced a few little frustrations and realize that life in Jakarta would be a mix of minor annoyances and major excitement. If GJ can negotiate a good package, we have decided that it would be a great experience for our family to live here.

4 comments:

lrlwreath said...

Oh my I think that would have caused me to freak out. I have been to Mexico and have been 'approached' even that was too much for me. I think I would have hypervenilate.

Is this why you would need a security guard at the house? The houses sound beautiful.

Be safe have a great time. I hope things work out like you want.

Kaci said...

You are such a great storyteller - I felt like I was RIGHT THERE with you when you were surrounded by the crowd pushing things on you. My tummy is actually sour now from panic & worry.

I'm also a bit confused about the need for security guards at your home. Can you elaborate?

javajive said...

If you have any interest in North Jakarta International School (www.njis.org) I'm happy to help.

Anonymous said...

Just for your info if you're still looking. Kemchicks are selling vegemite. They are located in the ground floor of pasific place mall(under the SCBD Ritz-Carlton).

P.S. Love your blog so much hun!!