Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Suits, Tailors and Margaritas

Happy Chinese New Year

In a few weeks GJ is off to Singapore for the last session of his management program. It looks like he will leave before our shipment arrives; which is a problem as he has a few formal sessions where he will need his suits. Unfortunately all his suits and dinner suit are on a boat somewhere between Brisbane, Singapore or Jakarta.

We have been indulging in the favorite pastime of Jakarta residents (or so it seems)- Shopping.
All the shops that we have tried have had a few jackets that fit GJ but never any matching pants or visa versa. 6'2" is tall in Jakarta.
We found an add for the “biggest shopping mall” in Jakarta and decided to give it a shot. We headed off to Mal Taman Anggrek on Sunday with hoards and HOARDS of other people. We stood out as there wasn’t many other westerners shopping. The mall was decorated for Chinese New year and had a special offer where you could have the kids dressed up in traditional costumes and have a portrait taken. The cost was 50 000 RP per person ( about $7) and you got a photo with it. People were almost pushing the photographer out of the way to take photos of our kids. Our usually shy little boy was loving it and playing up to the crowd like a seasoned movie star.
I don’t have a scanner here yet so I have taken a photo of the photos; the original photos are excellent quality you just can’t tell here. You can tell that Georgia is about to have a growth spurt as she looks a little more rounded. She has been ravenous for the last week and is complaining of leg pains at night time and is extra tired. This has always meant that she will grow about 4 cm in the next week.

The malls have a lot more restaurants inside than what we are use to. I suppose it is because the mall, shopping and eating are the things to do on your day off.
At Mal Taman Anggrek more than half of the families had a nanny in toe. The nanny’s all carried the huge diaper bag, pushed the stroller and carried the children. A few restaurants had banks of chairs set up outside where the nanny’s sat with the babies and kids while the parents had a peaceful lunch.

Now on one hand this sounds divine, BUT what about the poor nanny. There is no way they could afford to eat, even in the food court the food would of been way beyond their means.
A nanny working for an expat family would earn from 700 000 to 1 300 000RP per month for a six day week, 12 hours per day ( AU$100 to $190). For reference we had lunch at a pizza parlor and spent $50 for the five of us. At another table a couple with a baby ate their lunch while the nanny sat at the table with the baby and had NO FOOD. At the end of their meal they wrapped half a left over piece of pizza in a serviette and sent her out side to eat it.

The kids want a nanny because all the malls have huge playgrounds where they think the nanny will take them while GJ and I cruise around the shops at leisure.
I would also like a nanny so I can eat at a restaurant that DOES NOT serve pizza or nuggets and fries. Another option kids want us to consider is to leave them in the car with Mr Yardi and have a DVD playing…..LOL don‘t worry we aren’t.

I have changed my school roster to three days a week, but to noon instead of 11am. Today Chelsea’s teacher was off sick so I was the teacher…Chelsea loved it. The class had scheduled activities from 11am to end of day (music, sport, computer etc) so the teachers aides and I were only needed from 8 am to 11am. The teachers aides are two Indonesian girls who are extremely quiet and unobtrusive (this is the nice tactful way of describing it). I am exhausted….The range of ages in the class is from nearly six to 9.5 years old with a huge scope of English levels. I definitely won’t be upgrading my diploma in adult training to a degree in teaching.

We have solved GJ’s suit dilemma buy going to the schools tailor and having a suit made. We celebrated our relief at solving the suit dilemma with a quick dinner at Amigos with just a little jug of Margaritas ( I am making up for the last 20 years of Margarita deprivation LOL)


treespotter said...

i went to taman anggrek exactly twice. both occasions i forgot where i parked my car. I stopped going there ever since.

the kids look cute! hope they're having fun in the new home!

IndCoup said...

great stuff! keep it coming!

Devi said...

nice pictures!