Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rantings of an Internet deprived mother

Hi Everyone,
Back safely from Central Java, a great trip which turned up some excellent opportunities. Especially as some were almost completely by accident, it makes me wonder what else lies out there untapped?????????
Anyway here is Jen's remote update, as we are still waiting Internet connection.

Saturday 17th March

I survived my first night at the house with GJ away on a business trip.
Which is good as GJ is away most of the next 10 days.
Although it is not as if we are really alone; Ibu S and Pak S stayed over and we have 24 hr security guards so it was a full house. S& S both have families and have decided not to live here full time. They both have a bedroom and stay if they don’t want to make the trip home.

I had a rare “Me- Me” morning yesterday. When we were at the hotel commuting to school we would drive down JL Cipete Raya and see quite a few salons with big signs advertising specials. All the salons have a service called a “cream bath”; yesterday I discovered what it is. You sit in a chair after a shampoo wearing a strapless gown, and spend the next 30 minutes having an intensive conditioning treatment massaged into your head. Next a hot towel is wrapped around your head while your neck, shoulders and arms are massaged. It was divine. To make it even better I had a manicure and a pedicure and a blow dry. It cost 88 500 RP which is about $11.
I don’t know if I will go back to this salon as I think the hygiene standards are not quite up to my standards. I don’t need beautiful aesthetics and nice soothing music, but I do think that manicure and pedicure equipment should be cleaned between patrons. I only discovered this at the end of my treatment when the manicurist just picked up her kit and started on the feet of the women next to me. Luckily I was blissfully unaware of this at the time. As a service to the community I think that I will have to visit all the salons and check out their services. I will get back to you with my findings……LOL

I was fortunate to have such a good morning as I made a huge tactical error on Friday afternoon. I took the three kids and Ibu S to Carrefours straight after school (Ben hadn’t had a sleep). S and I are sharing 2 of the only saucepans that have been unpacked. S also needs a fan as her dog box sized bedroom (1.7 x 2.4m) gets no breeze. Georgie and Chelsea were needling each other and Ben was putting everything in the trolley and running into other people. Luckily it was so busy and extremely noisy that you didn’t notice the three little banshees.
Carrofours is a huge shop, like a combined Big W and a Woolworths. Cheap clothing, homewear, TV’s, appliances as well as a large supermarket.
No wall mounted fans or decent/reasonably priced pans though. Off to Toko hong kong later on JL Fatmawati.

I have received my phone bill. It is all in Indonesian, but I have a feeling that I paid nearly $70 for a 25 minute chat to Mum and Tan in Australia. As soon as I get the internet connected I will be investigating “skipe” etc for internet calls. I will get the IT guy at GJ’s work to look into it for me.

GJ keeps trying to tell me that the HR manager, IT manager and financial department are not employed for my benefit. MY reasoning is that if I am happy, he is allowed to be happy and if he’s happy he will be more productive at work and every one will be happy.
GJ thinks that this is unintelligible female logic, I think it is perfectly reasonable…LOL

I had the most amazing experience this morning. I need to get some things for the girls at Pondak Indah mall. I got there at about 9.30am, a bit early for most shops. I walked past the Metro department store just after 10am and wandered in. All the sales staff were standing at their sections along the main thoroughfare. It was deathly quiet and all eyes were on me, as I walked past each person I got a “Salamat Pagi” or “Good morning”. After about 4 minutes a recorded message came on, first in Indonesian then in English, welcoming all the customers. At the end of this there were a few gongs and then everyone relaxed and went to their sections. I felt like a very special guest!
I was trying so hard to stifle my chuckles that I nearly snorted into the silence a few times.

Tuesday 20th March

While the kids and I were on our weekly visit to the DVD shop I wandered over to the CD section and chose this great CD, “Big Rock Ballads” 17 of the biggest rock ballads from various artists. Now if it was real it would be great…….I did not expect to hear strong Asian accents, I figured it would be all original artists. We got a huge laugh out of this CD; I will be pulling it out at BBQ’s for years to come. The music was as good as GJ and I would be at a karaoke, which is why we never go to karaoke!

We still haven’t found a nanny for the kids. I have interviewed 2 so far. The first wouldn’t live in, the second would but both wanted around 1500 000RP per month. I know I am new to Indonesia and are an expat, but really……….Some of the engineers at GJ’s work start on less than that.

Monday 26th March

I can’t believe how quick the time has flown by!
I still have no internet, I am going slowly mad. I didn’t realize how much I relied on it.

Mum and Tan arrive on Wednesday…..We are all so excited.

GJ is back from his second trip away. He has some great photos from Yogjakarta and Solo. I am sure that he will hijack my blog and do a post.

We have got a wardrobe…at last. It is wonderful. I have taken some before and after photos, but will have to wait for internet connection to post.

I have found another salon for cream baths…it was in Kemang (the expensive expat suburb) and was DIVINE.
This salon was in the AWA shopping guide as well as being on the list recommended by Mrs A. Both mentioned that the prices were very reasonable. They must of meant reasonable for Kemang as there was a huge variance in price between this salon and the one I went to in Cipete. Although the service was exceptional, I can’t afford to spend
350 000rp ($45) regularly.

I am still getting use to living in a little mini community. Our house and the house next door live at the end of a short street and face each other. There is no through traffic at all.
Our staff and the staff next door all get on well together and spend a lot of time chatting.
I am still getting use to the community sharing of knowledge….The security guard told me to go to a different place as they were cheaper. I did not tell any one where I went and what for and I don’t think that they noticed that my toenails went from pink to red LOL.
It is a bit like big brother, they all know where I go, what we eat and how much we pay for things.
I will have to write more about this later when my words are flowing a bit better.
It is early morning and I am rushing to get started on school day madness.

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