Monday, July 30, 2007

We are still alive and kicking.....

All is well, we have so much to talk about but no time to chat!
The first week back at school after a long break was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO tiring.
I have all these blog posts planned in my head.
I just need some sort of "Harry Potter" device to get them out of my head and onto the blog with a click of my fingers................

Monday, July 23, 2007

Size is not everything!

Australian Bliss...our front yard at home.
Jakarta Bliss... our Jakarta backyard

6000 square metres of gently rolling hillside in Australia, 15km from the CBD is wonderful........but with little kids it is not that easy to supervise.

Here in Jakarta we have an average 850square metres fully fenced block in which the kids can run wild.
At this age the kids prefer here!
This is Ben on the weekend helping Samino mow (they don't use power lawn mowers here, it is all rotary types). All the staff were watching Ben mow, but all thought I was a bit strange when I ran out shouting " shoes, put boots on him, SHOES".
This is Chelsea in her school uniform playing in the mud.......
Poor old Georgia was inside doing her homework...she did get to join in when it was time to wash off the mud in the pool.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


The wait is over and it was worth it...

I have just finished the book and it was wonderful!!!!!

I am so sad it is over and hope that JK might do more!
Thank goodness a spoiler was wrong.

Friday, July 20, 2007

GJ's dastardly plan

GJ has been on the surface extremely good. He has lost nearly nine kilos and is looking trim, taut and terrific.
But I have uncovered his dastardly night under the cover of sleep, he has been secretly transferring those kilos to me, or at least 4 of them.
It has got to stop!!!!!! And he has to take this fat back from me NOW!
I can not use the excuse of the water here making my clothes shrink, the excuse is now GJ did it!
I miss my gym in Australia.
This weekend we are going to start looking around for a treadmill. Oh and GJ is going to take back some of his fat

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Oh my, we had a great time!!!

The girls and I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie, it was LOUD and action packed.

The girls were a little confused in parts as they haven't read the books but soon caught up.

A friend has sent over the audio version of the books. I am going to get Georgie set up with the books as well as the audio. Her reading level is high enough to attempt the book, it is just the size of it looks a bit scary to her.

The first movie came out when Chelsea was a toddler and she loved it, she would ask for "Hawee" at least 2 times a day. Most toddlers want Hi 5, Wiggles etc, not Chels or Georgie.

I don't know what it was that sparked the girls interest, but they both just love everything about Harry Potter, unusual as it is not a typical little girls things. Ben is not overly fussed with it either.

The new book comes out this weekend, I have had my copy preordered for the last two months, I won't be blogging much this weekend.

As we do for every movie we take along Hedwig with us, he enjoys seeing his family and friends as well!

Drive from Semarang to Bandung, Indonesia

This is just a few of the interesting things we saw on our big drive from Semarang to Bandung. Although it is only approx 370 km (200miles) between these two cities it took us almost 10 hours to drive there. This was the last weekend before Indonesian school holidays finished and I think every truck that was in the vicinity decided to travel this route as well.
We followed the coast west of Semarang until Cirebon and then we headed inland (south) towards Bandung. We had to climb up a mountain range, a very busy mountain range, a mountain range with an endless supply of kamikaze truck and bus drivers.
The scenery was breath taking, which is just as well as if you watched what was happening on the road you would turn into a blubbery mess.......

GJ had his first go of driving in nearly seven months. I think our driver, Yadi was very shocked when GJ told him to move over. I love the photo of Yadi in the front holding a map....Yadi doesn't read maps- ever, his way is to stop and ask for directions.
Ben was having a great nap, but his poor little head was being jolted around so we kept propping/wedging his head up with soft toys.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Regency Club, Hyatt Regency Jogjakarta

We are home, safe and sound!

It was nice to get home.

Sarinah and Samino had organised fresh bread, milk and flowers for us. I organised a HUGE pile of washing, not a very fair trade!
The kids are tired, VERY tired. They are having fun playing with all their toys today while I organise all our photos.
This photo compilation is from one of our nights at Jogjakarta . For some reason a pulling face contest started........too many horderves?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mount Merapi, an active Volcano

Mt Merapi was smoking all while we were in Jogja.... GJ was fascinated by it and spent ages on the roof top terrace of the Hyatt with the kids watching this Volcano. I took these photos from here, photos from other vantage spots were so hazy that the volcano was obscured.

If the sky was clear the open air foyer of the Hyatt perfectly framed a view of Mt Merapi.

Hyatt Regency Jogjakarta, five days of family bliss....

We arrived in Jogjakarta on Sunday in the late afternoon and started to search for a hotel…..after an hour and a half we were still searching…..
We went at first to the hotel GJ usually stays at here in Jogja, the corporate rate for an up market room is around 600 000RP ($90). There were two adjoining rooms available but they would not budge from 1 300 000 per room (about a total of $390 /night). It was their loss, the extras we pay (ie food, massage a wine or two etc) usually are VERY profitable to hotels.
The panic was setting in when we had the fifth No Vacancy news and we decided to try the Hyatt in desperation….oh my goodness we found Nirvana. In Australia we could not afford a family stay in a Hyatt resort but here with the residents rate we could!
We stayed in the Regency Club section which gave us entry to the Regency Club for continental breakfast and evening cocktails and hordervers. At 5pm we would arrive for two hours of lounging next to the bookcase and games cupboard. White wine was delivered regularly and the kids kept bringing over a selection of hot and cold, savory and sweet canapés…..Only one night was it not enough for the kids so we had a room service pizza delivered.
I could not fault the staff and service at the Hyatt Jogjakarta, everything was perfect.
On our last night we had the “Romantic Dinner” package in the out door temple, we unromantically took all the kids with us. GJ had spotted this previously, oh it was a “blow your knickers off” moment LOL.
The temple was Borobudur inspired and was lit with candles and discrete garden lighting. We were in the middle of a large garden with a tranquil pond next to us. We had our own waiter who waited in the shadows down the path to ensure perfection. The food was delicious, the setting magnificent and the night was still, balmy and star filled. GeorGeor was an excellent photographer on the night and also made a small movie ( I will have to work out how to blog it ).
The whole building was themed around Borobudur, the golf course looked good and next time GJ will bring his new clubs.
The kids have crowned the pool the best EVER. It had a huge twisting water slide which landed in one of the many pools.
We originally only booked in for 3 nights but soon extended for 5 nights. The Hyatt Jogjakarta is probably one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. It is much better than the Hyatt at Bandung but that is a whole other story and they are working really hard to redeem themselves at the moment.

This is the five of us having our romantic family dinner. You can see the temple in one of the daylight shots. I think that it was the first time they had ever served childrens meals in the temple LOL.

These are just a few shots of around the hotel and pool

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The end is near.....

Only 24 hours left of our holiday......

Then I will have a whole week at home to write blog posts and sort through nearly 1000 photos. We have seen SOOOOO MAAAANNNNNY wonderful things and I want to get it all down on the blog for the kiddies future.
I was down loading the photos into groups and had the idea to put all the groups together....instead of getting lots of enlargements I am going to get this printed poster size- doesn't it look awesome (Benny's new word!)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Solo (Surakarta), Indonesia

Wednesday was touring around Solo. I think we were having a overwhelmed, daggy day after the splendor of Borobudur. We didn’t find anything really exciting in Solo besides a playground, supermarket and a really nice café (can’t remember it’s name but they have one at Cilandak and Kemang and throughout Java) for lunch. Most of the different hotels we are staying at offer only Indonesian style food which is great for GJ and I but not so interesting for the kids,
The kids were ecstatic to spend 30 minutes in a playground while we went to the supermarket! The local kids were having fun practicing their very good English skills.

We found our way to the road side shop that sells these bamboo animals. GJ had found these on his first trip to Solo and had spent so much time telling us about them that we had to go back and purchase a family….
We now have two adults and three kid ducks as well as a friendly pig…….
We went through two security check points on our way back to the hotel and startled the guards every time to the kids glee! When they opened up the back there was a cute pig and a big duck! The same happened at our hotel when we went to get our shopping out.

BTW I have told Yadi (driver) that next time we go to Pondok Indah he is coming with me as he is a SUPER SHOPPER. The back of the car is filled with bags of souvenirs he has bought for his family.

Most public places in built up areas of cities have check points as you enter the property and check cars. The driver talks to the one guard and takes a ticket, another guard often uses a mirror on a stick to check under the car and another guard opens the doors and waves a detector/wand inside and checks the boot. After you are cleared you can proceed. It sounds very alarming as I type this, but its not, its just standard.

It is nice to be able to get the internet these last few days and stay in touch. We have received all the alert warnings as well as advised emailed out from the Australian Consulate. There is not much in the papers here about the revised travel warnings and alerts. We are out of Jakarta BUT Mt Merapi is smoking, the tectonic plates are moving and there is many things that could get us. We are having a wonderful holiday, Life is for living!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Borobudur, Buddhist Monument, Java, Indonesia

Today was the day to see one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Buddhist temple of Borobudur.
This stupa was built over 1200 years ago and has the most amazing ambiance.
We showed out kitas (residency paperwork) and got in for the local price and were clever enough to hire an English speaking guide. Danny took us through and explained all the steps to enlightenment as well as explaining the meaning behind some of the friezes. Danny also did a great job of avoiding the crowds. We are in Indonesian holiday season, on the weekend apparently 20 000 people went through each day!
(Tip: Friday is Muslim prayer day and is the quietest day to visit)
There is so much meaning and symbolism in every nook and cranny which I could not begin to repeat. All I can say is it is one of those places that you must visit in your life time.
I can add it to the list of wonderful places of worship that I have visited
Westminster Abbey
Notre Dame
Istiqlal mosque
Stone hedge
I will think of more later……

I will not even begin to mash the English language with my flowery descriptions, just look at the photos and plan to visit one day…….

The kids were, as usual a star attraction at the top of the temple, there was a queue to take photos of the girls. By the time we climbed to the top (quite steep) Ben was hot, tired and hungry and would only still for occasional photos. The girls were troopers and set up camp at the top and just smiled for everyone. The surprising thing today was that allot of people wanted to photograph me (a fort*******wash your mouth out/ 30 something well padded bottle blonde Aussie mum) LOL. I was a Hollywood starlet!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Look at me, look at me, LOOK AT ME!!!!!

What do you think?

Isn't it just perfect?

I am so happy with my new look.

Jules at Everydaymommy is a talented designer with years of experience and has created this new look just for me.

If you are using a feed reader to view this you have to come and see the new look.

You can see other examples of Jules great work here.

Thank you Jules, it is Wonderful!!!!!!

Drive towards Jogja

We tried to be very prepared for our road trip. We bought the latest Java atlas as well as detailed maps and looked up numerous web sites and planned the correct route.
We found out something very important about maps in Indonesia:- they are not correct!!!!! Neither are street signs. We take these things for granted in western countries, now we know what to expect in Indonesia LOL.
At one stage we saw a sign telling us our destination was 170km away, 40 minutes later we were 190km away and then 5 minutes down the highway we were only 126km away…..

You get there when you get there.

On Sunday we had the option of backtracking and joining the main highway or cutting across using smaller roads….which way do you think we went…
GJ wants to see the real Indonesia, not the highway so off we went on the smaller roads; it all turned out ok.
We were having hysterics in the car when five minutes after bragging about how much time we were saving and how good the roads were GJ had to eat his words when the perfect road ended. We went from a newly laid bitumen road turned into a DEEPLY rutted dirt track. If we were four wheel driving I would have gotten out and walked up the hill instead of experiencing the ruggedness. Our Nissan Serena made it up fine, albeit slowly yet the bus following us powered/bounced up the hill with out a care in the world.

We saw some very interesting sites.

There was a lot of parties set up; usually a material covered marquee in the front yard. We read in the paper that a lot of people were getting married on the auspicious date of 7.7.07.

As were drove from area to area the crops grown as well as local industry changed. We saw rice, corn, sweet potato, sugar cane, tomato, chili, bananas and coconuts being grown. One town was focused on brick production. Right next to an excavated hillside you would see the kilm as well as stacks of drying bricks. Two hours away we got to the town that manufactured roof tiles. These had fascinating vented roofed kilms and mega stacks of firewood.
We drove through one village that was having a market day. Families must have traveled for the monthly shop as there was trucks laden with produced with many people perched precariously on the back of the trucks.

We also had our first brush with the law……We wanted to go up a street but found that it was one way, Yadi (our driver) knew we wanted to go that way and just started to go. We were saying no, NO, NO!, horns were blaring and then the lights turned red. Yadi stopped and started to reverse through streaming traffic.
By this time the police officer had got to our side and a “sorry pak” didn’t stop us being pulled over.
Yadi was asked to get out and show his license and was taken round the corner to the mini police office, he quickly came back and said the GJ was needed. The kids didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I was laughing- what else could we do (at least now I have my drivers license so I could get us out of there LOL).
Yadi came back to get the “fine” I was pleasantly surprised that it only cost me 20 000RP ($2.80).
The officers just wanted to chat to GJ and see where we were going and say hello etc.

The vomiting was thankfully absent from this days journey. I managed to find some travel sickness tablets which were suitable for children in Pangandaran which worked wonderfully on Ben. They also had a pleasant side affect- Ben had a three hour nap in the car. This was a blissful respite for all of us from the constant “Why….”. This gorgeous boy is filled with curiosity for the world (like most 3.5 year olds). We made a rule up yesterday that he could only ask “why…..” if he said “why…..” in Bahasa Indonesian- “Kenarpa….”
Chelsea and Georgia also had a decent rest -fun is tiring LOL. Georgia woke up earlier than the others and found a new diversion. GeorGeor worked out how to record sound on our mobile phones and kept herself amused recording Chelsea and Ben snoring

These are the vented buildings housing the kilms.
This is some of the crops we saw being grown as we drove by.

This was market day in the village. We also turned the corner and found this huge group of motor bikes on some sort of rally- maybe political?

Our first brush with the law....

Sleeping angels.....................

Monday, July 09, 2007

Afternoon at Pangandaran Beach, Indonesia

Sunset over western side, Pangandaran Beach, Indonesia
Pangandaran beach, Java, Indonesia

White sand beach, Pangandaran, Indonesia

Bamboo cafe, Pangandaran Indonesia (note GJ drinking beer!)

Becak ride through Pangandaran

Main beach@ Pangandaran.

White Sand Beach at Pangandaran.

Monkeys and Deers on the beach

Afternoon at Pangandaran Beach

We woke the kids at about 4pm and set off to the Western beach. We caught a Becak over, its like a rickshaw bike and we had the usual girls against boys race-the girls won! The main beach has soft black sand which felt good between your toes but looked like mud. The sun was starting to go down and the life guards were clearing the water so we haggled furiously and caught a boat around the point to the white sand beach. The boat trip ended up costing us 20 000rp return (3 min journey) but the first price was 50 000RP, but as I didn’t have the right change I only had to pay 16 000RP ($2.20).
We only had about 30 minutes on the beach, but it was worth it. This beach had rough white sand and was very pebbly and filled with rock pools and coral. The sun was setting across the water and the colours were amazing. While we were walking along the beach we saw a monkey and then a deer! GJ and I laughed at how quickly kids become blasé; the kids were pleased to see the animals but weren’t shocked- they have seen so many amazing things and are just used to it. I am sure (hope!!!!) when they are adults they will look back and think WOW what a childhood!
The main beach at Pangandaran was filled with colour- flags and boats and people. There was rows and rows of market stalls behind the sand and families screaming up and down the road on hired small bikes and trikes as well as the usual motor bikes, cars and becaks.
We had dinner at the same café as lunch: Bamboo Café, very good and reasonable priced.
GJ had by now realized why he doesn’t drink beer….one glass at lunch gave him a throbbing head ache and the grumps- how unusual LOL, LOL
We were looking at a stall selling Batik caftans when the sales person came over and told me the “good” price-350 000RP; she didn’t look at all bashful when I pointed out the price tag of 40 000rp and said ”kenarpa, empat puluh ribu? $4.80 verses $50.…..
This discrepancy in price was also evident in the Becak rides, we paid 20 000RP for 2 bikes for a 6 minute journey, locals pay 5000rp per hour……..
As usual, I was on first name basis with the son in law of the owner plus the hotels manager, I am turning into my mother……..and we were invited to the central area for special drinks at 8.30pm.
We had our first glass of Bajigur, a hot coconut style drink, very delicious- it tasted like a hot tropical beach. It was accompanied by roast sweet potatoes and hot peanuts in its shell. This was another instance of being in paradise, chatting on the beach front with a wonderful surf breeze with visible stars (no stars in Jakarta too much pollution).
We have organized special rates for our next visit…..Yes we will definitely be coming back!

Green Canyon (cukang taneuh) Java, Indonesia

After a great Indonesian buffet breakfast (bubur ayam/chicken porridge- yummy!) we decided to head off to Green Canyon.

Oh my goodness it was amazing!!!!

Green canyon is about a 30 minute drive from Pangandaran Beach. The river is a brilliant emerald green colour with lush jungle hanging over the banks. For 70 000rp you hire a small boat and drivers to take you up to the waterfall and canyon. The boat journey took about 30 minutes and ended up under a natural arch way filled with limestone formations. There was large boulders forming a rock wall which you could climb up onto.

Now as I am Australian I can easily change in to my swimmers under the privacy of a beach towel; BUT on a slippery boulder surrounded by people staring intently at me they was NO WAY I was going to risk it. So the number one tip for people going to visit Green Canyon is wear your swimmers onto the boat and then get changed back at the car.

I became bag watcher, blondish tourist magnet (people were honestly stunned to find me sitting up on a rock here), photographer for strangers and chief photographer for GJ and the kids.
Georgia was very hesitant to get in as usual. We have a new saying for her “conquer your fear, you will love it”. She is starting to believe us as the last few times we have had to push her to do something she has loved it- snorkeling, dancing at Amigos etc. Once she was swimming up around the bend she even was game enough to float through the rapids.
We have decided that we need an underwater camera…GJ can have this mini digital for his briefcase and traveling and I can have a new one for all this amazing water activities in Indonesia.
GJ and the kids must of swum for at least an hour before we headed back. By this time the girls were so relaxed they were standing on the bow of the boat catching leaves off the overhanging trees and scooping water up with their arms. Ben was too tired to do anything but sip chocolate milk on my lap. We ended back at Pangandaran Beach for a late lunch on the beach front.
GJ and I shared a Bintan beer….we took a photo of it as GJ NEVER drinks beer. Since neither of us is a beer experts we can’t be too sure but it seemed good (especially after I tipped a bit of the kids sprite into mine!).
I am now sitting facing the beach again watching waves break and hearing the ice-cream mans hooter sounding softly in the background. The kids are all asleep and we are having a wine…..this is the life.

PS GJ has just suggested that I should thank him for giving me this life……………………………..

All the photos are here: flickr,

Day one of Java Road Trip: Volcanoes and vomit

We set out on our epic journey and had a traffic laden trip to Bandung. Bandung is to the south east of Jakarta and is about 700m above sea level. It was noticeably cooler (still hot though) than Jakarta. The city was very lush and green and was surrounded by huge mountains and volcanoes that you could see through the smog.
We just made it in time for Yadi to get to a mosque for Friday prayers and then lunch at a “warung”. A warung is a road side café Indonesian style. This was my first time at a local café style eatery; the kids and I needed a few months for our stomachs to harden up to different foods and hygiene standards. Well it was good, chicken satays and steamed rice with no side effects.

Then we started the trip to the southern side of the Island of Java to Pangandaran. We went up and over mountain ranges and then up and over some more and more and then more…….At first the scenery reminded me of Northern NSW-Byron bay and of Far North Queensland but then it became distinctly Asian. The towering mountains terraced with rice paddies were spectacular. The greens were indescribable, so brilliant. I only took my little point and shoot camera which is not doing the views justice.

Now we get to the vomit section- Ben gets car sick-violently!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After the third stop Yadi bought a container of shopping bags off a stall owner which proved invaluable. I spent the next few hours catching bag loads of vomit. Poor little thing was so upset but there was nothing we could do but keep on going. We were in the Indonesian country side with dark approaching and unbelievably treacherous roads and no hotels around.
In Australia we work on a 100km taking an hour to drive, 500km equal a five hour drive etc. This takes into account traffic as well as freeway driving. Here 60km took well over 2 hours…The descent down the mountains was scary, I was so pleased I didn’t have to drive. I am going to see if I can buy Phenergan here as it is good for kids travel sickness, I don’t think Benny is going to want to have a large cup of ginger tea to settle his tummy. I will have to find something as the next ten days are full of driving up and down mountain ranges.

We had a bit of a car scare at Banjar; we had stopped for a vomit and toilet break and as we were walking around the car noticed a trail of oil behind our car and then a pool of oil under our car---GJ started
hyperventilating. GJ and Yadi and 4 garage attendants were all rolling around under our car and soon realized that we had parked exactly over another cars oil trail….Just as well as it was getting dark and we still had 2.5 hours to go.

We arrived after dark in the coastal town of Pangandaran to find a kite festival starting the next day and lots of full hotels. We ended up at our second choice at the Pantai Indah resort hotel. We are right on the west coast beach. As I sit here I can see and hear waves crashing on the beach. Beautiful.
Pangandaran is a 530ha teardrop shaped peninsular tethered to Java’s south coast by a slender isthmus. We are staying on the eastern side which is the base for the fishing industry. The resort strip is only 300m wide so it is a quick walk to the western beach which is supposed to be very safe to swim at.
As we drove in we saw lots of night markets, little stalls selling all the touristy knick knacks that make my girls very happy……

This was my first experience in driving on the "third" lane on the freeway............Yes we are following a bus up the shoulder of the road.........
This were some of the pickels and ????that was available at the warung.
This photo doesn't show how thick and black the exhaust of this bus was.
We found this gorgeous Bonsai forest on a vomit stop for Ben.

This is the oil spill we thought was from our car and the time we found it.

The Panti Indah resort Hotel

Friday, July 06, 2007

A road trip around Java

Today is the big day; we are setting out on our holiday around central Java.

We have 10 days and no bookings and unfortunately it is Indonesian school holidays at the same time.......

We will have the best time with lots of other people as well!

We are going to visit the south coast, Jogjakarta,
Borobudur, Bandung, Semarang, Solo and any where else strikes our fancy.

On our "too see" things are:-
  • Coffee plantations
  • Volcanoes (although Ben wants to see Lava, we don't so we will pick a safe one)
  • Rice paddies
  • Spectacular temples
  • North coast (no swimming BAD tides)
  • South coast (a little swimming)
  • Fresh air
  • Wonderful Indonesian people
  • Shadow puppet show
I am taking my lap top to do research on the way (maybe a little blogging LOL) and will take thousands of photos.
I hope our driver survives 10 days on the road with us........I hope he is still excited about the tour by day 4!

If you have any suggestions on "must see places" please let me know, we are open to all suggestions. We also have a DVD player in the car so the kids will be happy with long drives.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ice Skating at Taman Anggrek

I took the girls for their first ever try at Ice Skating, they loved it. The friend we went with knew that you could get a half hour lesson first then free time on the rink, so we booked the kids in and settled in to watch.

There was a Honda Jazz car expo on in the mall, these cars were so different! Ben loved the orange padded version, but the girls favorite was the pink mirror finish Jazz with a butterfly motif!

Taman Anggrek is a large mega Mall in west Jakarta. It is filled with lovely shops but on the two occasions that I have been there it has been very, very crowded.
Tan Tan saw these photos and has put it on her places to go list for her next visit to Jakarta.

Pavlovas in Jakarta

We had an Aussie BBQ on the weekend for some of GJ's colleagues. GJ has had many questions over the last few months on what Australian food is like. It is a hard one to answer as Australian cooking is so multicultural. We have everyday food staples from all over the world.

At home all our entertaining was done on the deck, summer or winter. The food was always something on the BBQ, an outdoors roast in the Weber and/or big platters of fresh seafood. This is what we put on for our guests here in Jakarta.
GJ cooked up rissoles, steaks, sausages and kebabs and we had three different styles of salads. I think the highlight of the party was the desserts. GJ had been telling everyone at work about Pavlovas.......yes he told them all I would whip one up........
Pavlovas can be easy to make or difficult, failures or successes; it all depends on the way the wind is blowing. At home I could always cheat and go to the local Cheese Cake shop and pick up a dressed Pavlova.
In Jakarta I had to conquer a lot of obstacles; An unfamiliar gas oven with no fan, Indonesian eggs, humidity etc.
I can not believe how well this Pavlova came was the best ever.....The outside retained its height and crispness, the inside was packed full of the lightest fluffiest meringue, it was divine if I do say so myself. It was a big hit!
But the hugest hit of the night was the chocolate fountain.....yes, it came with us to Jakarta, how could we leave it behind!
We had a great time and I think we managed to show case a little of Aussie dining.

This is the playroom. All the kids had a great time- the mixture of languages was Indonesian, Mandarin, Danish and English but all the kids had no trouble communicating.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Drivers licence in Jakarta

I have never seen a worse photo of me..........
I scared our driver this morning when I offered to drive (I didn't LOL)

We got our drivers licences yesterday.......

We will receive them on Monday, so then I can officially drive.....if I am game.

The company organised it for GJ and booked me in as well as they thought that I should have one for emergencies . I think it will cost me about $100.

Thankfully they have an agent to expedite the process as I reckon it would be an all day process here even if you were fluent in the language.

On a side note, it was my first experience of being an ignored female!(this is not an Indonesian thing- women are generally well respected here, I think it was just this particular police man) When we got there an officer was most insistent on helping and pulled GJ through to a back office to check all his paperwork, I was absolutely, totally ignored; not even looked at!

At the huge complex where all licences are done in Jakarta there was crowds of people, but almost no other Westerners. We gathered a small group of observers when we had our photos and fingerprints done.

So where would I drive to....
  • I could drive to Pondok Indah Mall with no trouble, but I could get lost on the way home (you exit the car park on a different side and can't do a u-turn) stop laughing at me!!!!!
  • JL Benda for a quick trip to the salon
  • Kemang Hero supermarket and/or Amigos
  • SOS doctor surgery.
There is not many other places I would be game to drive to. This is so different for me, I drove all over Brisbane with out even thinking of it.

GJ is game to drive; it will take nerves of steel !!!!!



I have never been overly fond of donuts, but the kids sure are.
In Queensland the main brand of donut shops, Donut king, was always extremely clever to build their shops right next to the supermarket entrance.
I could get through at least half the isles with quiet kids for one bag of hot Cinnamon donuts, I would then pull out a drink or a bag of lollies for the last half.
Supermarket shopping with three kids negates any "fresh food, no junk food for my kids" way of thinking.

Krispy Kreme donuts came to Australia about two years ago. They first opened in Sydney and soon opened a kiosk at Sydney airport.
Tan Tan (gorgeous sister) would buy us a box of assorted donuts and bring them up on the plane.
The donut's were nice, but that's it........

Now in hindsight I can see that the donuts were made some where, shipped to the airport, displayed for hours and then carried onto a plane and then shoved in our fridge for the next morning, not the best way to maintain freshness.

Now we live in Jakarta, oh my goodness the donuts.....

At one of my favourite malls, Ponkok Indah Mall there is a huge Krispy Kreme shop complete with a viewing window to observe the behind the scenes process.

WoW, we all now know what a good donut tastes like.....

But we have found donut nirvana, J CO coffee and donuts

I read a write up a few months ago on an Indonesian entrepreneur called Jonny Andrean. This guy started out as a hairdresser, then branched into bread shops and now into coffee and donuts.
We found an outlet one day at Cilandak Town Square and have fallen head first into obsession.
The only way I can describe the taste is a cross between fairy floss and sweet pastry.

I have to constantly chant an old mantra
A moment on the lips a month on the hips
or in my case at least 12-18 months on my hips and thigh!!!!!