Sunday, September 30, 2007
The grooms father is a major customer of GJ's company.
We had been invited to a family dinner party on the same night and were lucky enough to be able to attend both.
This was a very lavish reception held at the Grand ball room at the Hotel Mulia. This is supposedly the largest ballroom in Asia. The actual wedding ceremony was held earlier in the day and most guest only go the reception. I would take a guess at between 2-3 THOUSAND people attended the reception; the bride and groom shook every single persons hand.
The above group is the wedding party entering the ball room and making their way to the stage.
The entire party were absolutely stunning, the dresses, hair everything was a visual feast.
Once the newlyweds got to the front, a champagne waterfall was created and the cake was cut.
Oh my goodness what a cake!
GJ was in charge of the photos, I couldn't balance my cane, stand up and shoot....
As soon as the family arrived on the dais it was time for the receiving line, I shamelessly used my disability to cut in at the front of the line (GJ was most impressed) as you can imagine it was a huge queue. Once the receiving line was started food was served. Dinner was a buffet; lobster thermidore, sushi, Asian dishes, western dishes...everything you could possibly imagine. The dessert stations were incredible!!!! As we were heading off to a dinner party we only nibbled on a few snacks. The tree in the below photo is made from luscious strawberries, and look at the size of that chocolate fountain. There was no tables and chairs to sit at, it was a stand and mingle affair.
We left early because of our prior engagement. I was sitting in the foyer waiting for the car and
was amazed at the stream of people still arriving for the wedding.
I was most impressed by being able to wear my new ball gown again, twice in one month!
My walking stick wasn't as colour co-ordinated to my dress as my wheel chair was at the ANZA ball!
We went on to our party and continued on till way past the kids and my bedtime....
We had a great night, the Indonesian society wedding was fabulous as was the dinner party with our friends.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I had at least 4 SLR's at home in Australia which I never used as they were film styles.
My Nikon f301 in particular was magnificent and I had some great lenses. But the lens were manual focus and besides who wants to shoot in film any more.
It is very funny that I should say this as digital is the reason that GJ and I don't work for Kodak any more......The Film Superstar company is now a washed up has been........You can read my post about it here
I also had 4 digital cameras before we left...we are down to three now.
My latest is not bad, a Casio Exilim EXZ60. The size is EXCELLENT as it fits in my handbag and I take it everywhere, but the quality is not as good as my Kodak DC 6490 (older version of this). The Kodak camera has a Schneider quality glass lens.....and 19yrs @ Kodak taught me that it is all about the lens. The lens gives you the clarity and colour. Cheap glass is like looking through grimy windows, you just can't see clearly.
Now that we are living in one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world I think I need a bit of an upgrade.
I have only got two in mine, unless someone else can suggest an alternative.
Nikon Dx40 probably upgrading to the 18-200mm lens....from experience I don't change lens.
Canon Eos 400/Rebel XTi
I started this post yesterday, and have spent lots of time researching and looking for links and am pretty sure that I have decided on the Nikon D40X with the standard kit of 18-55mm + 55-200mm, with an option to upgrade to the 18-200 at a later date.
The Nikon used a SD card, which I prefer over a compact flash card. My laptop only has a sd port, and this is an advantage when traveling.
I used Canon cameras many years ago when I shot studio portraits (before digital and even auto focus lenses had been invented) and used Nikon for outside work; I like the feel of Canons but the results of Nikon's. I have been outside the industry for too long and have not kept up with the technology; so I need some help.....I also don't take photos like a photographer any more, I take photos like a mom with a good eye...LOL
Please fell free to leave a comment or drop me an email with your opinions.
Edit: I got it...Its GREAT, FANTASTIC. I went with the Nikon twin lens kit. First photos here. When the first shoot is done I will link here as well
He has high fevers and a wet chesty cough.
Yesterday I needed to go to the supermarket and had to take Ben. He refused to stay at home with Sarinah.
This is an universal truth.
So off to Carrefours we went, a hobbling Mom and a coughing boy....
Of course Carrefours was crowded, it is Ramadan month (think of what shops are like in December at home!!!) He was having a good time, he even decided to speak to all the sales assistants, he walked around saying my name is Benjamin######### to any one that asked. When he disappeared (he normally stays VERY close) I wandered to the top of the isle to the gaggle of ladies doing promo work. They hadn't seen him.
After checking the closest isles I started to get worried, especially when he wasn't in the toy isle. I was up to the fast hobble with trolley dumped stage.
By the time I got to the front 5-6 minutes had past, I had forgotten most of my VERY small amount of Bahasa Indonesian.
I couldn't remember the word for boy, all I knew was child and white........
I was nearing the info counter when a lady saw me and brought him over, she had found him crying at the back. He gave me the biggest, squeezee cuddle.
This was a scary moment made even more scary with the language limitations.
I need to learn Bahasa Indonesian at a much faster pace..........
Always over 32C degrees during the day
Yesterday it peaked at about 37C for about an hour....(nearly 100F)
Once it rained so heavily the temp dropped to 27 C for about 5 min..then it was back to stinking hot with the added bonus of high humidity.
Sometimes if you are lucky the temp will drop to about 24C at 3-4 am.
So weather in Jakarta is:-
- Wet season- hot and humid.
- Dry season- hot and dry.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Rats have moved in, BIG RATS.
Poor Sarinah had a rat brush against her while she slept last week and the rats have got into all her food.
The rats are living in the roof by day, making a huge racket scratching around and then sneaking downstairs when it is all quiet.
We have learnt over the years that you never have one rat, you always have a family of rats.
Samino has found some amazing heavy duty traps....hope they work soon.
I am not going to even mention what is below in case in it jinx's me!!!!
This is 3 of the 5 snakes we had in or next to our house in Queensland last year......
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The cast came off on Monday night and Wednesday was the day of first steps.
I ventured out of the house on Thursday for Bahasa Indonesian lessons....and then spent Friday with an ice pack recovering.
Today (Sunday) I ventured afar....I made it to Pondok Indah Mall,
I didn't shop, just had a lovely facial with my friend T.
It was divine to get out, the facial wasn't bad either.
Shadow Beauty Treatments by Janssen
Mall 2 Level 2 # 238 021 7592 0536
Tomorrow was to be my first day back at work...unfortunately Chelsea and Ben have come down with high fevers accompanied by copious amounts of vomit and ....well lets just say their whole body are releasing toxins........
So as we have no one to look after them
(Sari/nanny gone, long story..................................)
I will be looking after the poor little darlings AT HOME!!!!!!
Another exciting improvement has been my ability to transverse the stairs ON MY FEET!!!!!
I was extremely difficult/tedious to go up and down the stairs using my arms.........Marble tiled stairs are hard and leave bruises....LOL
I am really trying to get my ankle into shape as we have a 10 day holiday coming up in Singapore......GJ has refused to push/carry me around the Zoo and shopping malls.....
Saturday, September 22, 2007
This is an experiment that they made....gloop!
Gloop went runny and then hard and then back to runny. The base was corn flour so it had a really interesting texture as well as a high gloss.
Of course gloop is through the whole house...
On a side note, this is half of the stairs I need to transverse on my bottom......and my super collage print of our Java road trip is now hanging....and looking magnificent.
They were very please to have steak and sausages on the BBQ.
It is Ramadan at the moment, the Muslim holy month. After the fasting during the day it is time for family and friends. The after dark atmosphere reminds me of December and the lead up to Christmas in Australia where every one makes a special effort to get together with friends and family.
GJ came home the other day with some super long sparklers for the kids..they didn't last very long so we quickly got some more. The kids were entranced....Fireworks have been illegal in Australia since I was a small child (unless you had a professional permit). In Indonesia you can buy all manner of fireworks in the local supermarket.
We had Sarinah's grandkids as well as the neighbors kids plus all of ours running around screaming in joy all night. They are all absolutely exhausted today, but very happy.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Now Jakarta is drying up too.
I don't know the full story but I can guess....
Fresh supplies of alcohol apparently will not arrive in Indonesia until November, and most of the wine will be off as it is boiling in a container in the tropics somewhere.
As it is also Ramadan (fasting month) it is getting hard to get supplies. What the shops do have is EXTRA exorbitant in price and there is a bottle limit in place.
A very average wine used to cost about $15US now it is about $20-25US. Spirits are cheaper, it is just down to what is available
I know it is wrong to be fixated on alcohol supplies, but it does make living in Jakarta a bit easier when you know you can have a nice cool drink at the end of the day and download...LOL
We are hyper vigilant about using our cards in Jakarta.
I only use them at Sogo, Metro, Hero, Kemchicks, Ace and Duty Free.
I think that will now stop as well.
This time we are pretty sure where the cards were swiped. GJ went out on the weekend and picked up a web cam microphone set and didn't have 700 000RP, so carded it........
= $5 500 worth of jewelry
Once again our credit card bank has been excellent.
The bank stopped the card and was on to us within an hour of the transaction being made.
Now we have to have new cards issued and work out a collection point that the bank is happy with (hard in Jakarta).
We need to fill out all the paper work etc etc.
And then we will be reimbursed.
Luckily I use another bank for our cash.....and NEVER use its card in Indonesia.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
In Jakarta it is standard to have your home sprayed for pests every month........
My neighbor has had Dengue fever and now has her house sprayed once a fortnight.
Over a thousand people have died so far this year of this disease in Indonesia
This is our back garden being fogged. The smell is toxic, as is the product...nothing like the safe controlled substances used in Australia. I have just realized that Samino mops the floor after the spraying is done...I will have to explain that that is not the correct way to get your moneys worth and to remain bug free.
Now for this photo I really did feel like a spy......I could here this thumping noise and when I investigated here was Samino outside giving the carpet a huge beating.....I don't think that it was this clean even when we bought it!
We now have something living in our roof........some critter/s who are VERY noisy. The kids are using it as an excuse to all sleep together in Ben's room!
I will have to get the workman to investigate when they come in a few weeks. The owner is sending over some trades men to work on the huge cracks in the wall. The engineer came yesterday and told me not to worry....the house is not going to fall down, just the wood frame is not touching the masonry of the house...now that does sound a bit worrying to me.....
I am now sleeping in luxury...my new bed has arrived.......
This is how I broke my ankle searching for a new mattress....BTW no discount from the shop where I broke my ankle.............
GJ went out last week and came back with a beauty. It is huge!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have upgraded from a standard queen size to a super/extra king.....2m x2.04m and it is wonderful. Of course I will never be able to buy linen for it in Australia......I will probably even have to get a duvet cover custom made..I worked out that because of the depth I need a duvet that is about 2.9 mts wide. You never think of these things before you buy....
When I was growing up a friend of my fathers always referred to his bed as the passion pit, well mine is now known as the loft! It is so high off the ground! We have even had Ben crawl in with out us knowing........Although he does need a step to climb up as it at his forehead height
This is the lovely teak bed we had made here in Jakarta
from Roberts furniture JL Taman Wijaya Kusuma I No. D4 ph 021 751 2223
We and some friends have bought a few things from him, very good quality and reasonably priced.
A lot of shops that target expats are super expensive, this shop is not.
Mr Eman speaks reasonable English and is very helpful.
This bed was created from a rough sketch that GJ drew and I described, it turned out EXACTLY like what I had envisaged.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I don't even have anything interesting to talk about, my brain is going to mush with all this inactivity.
I hope that the specialist will tell me that there is no need for surgery and it is time to start to learn how to hobble. That is if he keeps this (ever changing) appointment, currently scheduled for 6.15 pm.
So hopefully the next week will have have some great stories on life in Jakarta.
I want to go back to work.
I want to go shopping...even a supermarket would be great.
I want to use the stairs on my feet, not bottom.
Things I have watched to relieve the boredom
The Note book, why did I wait so long. A wonderful movie.
Georgia Rules, I picked this up for Georgia last month. She gave it back to me saying it wasn't suitable after five minutes.
All the movies we purchase here have a R rating, even Thomas the Tank Engine, so I tend to go by the words etc on the cover. I am going to have to be a bit more careful.
Waiting to be watched:- it would take far to long to list, so some highlights
Half of latest season of
- Grey's anatomy
- Brothers and sisters
- Ugly Betty
- All of Micheal Moore's movies
I just can't sit/lie still enough to watch them.
None of these have captured the real Georgie..........I will keep on trying until I get the ONE.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It was like they had never seen rain before......
They were screaming for joy, except for when HUGEMUNGOUS thunder claps sounded, then they were really screaming.
Friday, September 14, 2007
He has been getting into mischief reading things on my Google reader. This is very bad, because as you read something it is removed, so I miss out!!!!!!!!!
He is now......officially known as
I have set up a gmail account for him so he can have online chats AND he now has his own Google reader which I have filled with sports updates, news etc. I need to find rss feed for Queensland dam levels as he likes to check these every morning.
He might even be ready for his own blog in a little while.....
Isn't she gorgeous....
Ballet in Jakarta is so different to what I remember from my years of study.
I studied under a wonderful lady in Sydney of Russian descent.
Madame was lovely, but a perfectionist.
Chelsea's ballet class is nothing like mine.
Chelsea's class is about having fun and dancing around in a pretty tutu.
She is slowly learning all the correct positions and she is having a wonderful time doing so.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver, concerning a fictional school massacre. It is written from the perspective of the killer's mother, Eva Khatchadourian, and documents her attempt to come to terms with her son Kevin and the murders he committed. Although told in the first person as a series of letters from Eva to her husband, the novel's structure also strongly resembles that of a thriller. The novel, Shriver's seventh, won the 2005 Orange Prize, a UK-based prize for female authors of any nationality writing in English.
It has twists and turns and is SO powerful.....
I really recommend it BUT, think hard whether or not you want to put yourself through it because it will stay with you for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONNG time
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
My upstairs water dispenser, with a mini fridge.......perfect for milk (for my coffee) and soda water.
My mode of transport.........I zoom around upstairs really fast now. A Croc on one foot helps me get up great speed,LOL
I still have to go and or down up two flights of stairs on my bum, but at least upstairs I can get around!
I have put a bag on the back of my chair for my hand phone (not called mobiles here?), as it only ever rings when I am too far away.
Indonesian pumpkin just doesn't do it for me.
Imported pumpkins are Very, VERY expensive. A small piece of butternut pumpkin can cost around around $5.00
We were in Ranch Market a few weeks ago and we found butternut pumpkin seeds.........for about 11 700 RP ($1.60).
Look at how these are going!!!!!!!!!!!!
We will have wonderful, tasty, homegrown pumpkins soon.
After seeing how well the pumpkins are growing the girls and I have gone back and bought some more seeds. We have now got onions, basil, rosemary, carrots, cauliflower, watermelon and a few other things I have forgotten.....
This is the small plot of land next door that was an overgrown rubbish tip.
The owner said I could use it if I cleared it....so I did. (well I paid someone to do it LOL)
We now have a veggie patch that the kids, our staff and next doors staff can use.
Samino is going to build a bamboo cubby house for the kids once I organize a fence.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
When my Indonesian friends heard about my ankle they all asked about whether or not I went for a massage before going to the doctors.......I must admit that I thought that they were all out of their minds.......When I was at SOS, silently SCREAMING for drugs an aides identity tags fell and touched my ankle.....I stopped being silent at that stage.....how could any one bare
having a massage???????
Through a friend we have come in contact with a lovely Indonesian Lady who comes and does massages in your home. When she has a break in her schedule she rings to fit GJ and I in. We usually manage to get 1-2 massages in per month.
I am in big trouble for not calling her last week and I will be suffering for far to long because of this!
No massage for my body, I had one whole hour JUST ON MY FOOT!!!!!!!!!!!
Ibu A is an expert, 220 million Indonesians can't be wrong about the benefits of massage, right???????
Do you like the photo of my face trying to smile.......
Now before I start to describe every iota of pain let me tell you about how I feel now.
It has been 30 min since my massage has finished, I have consumed 2 painkillers and half a glass of wine and my ankle feels REALLY GOOD, or as good as a broken one could feel LOL
Now if I can forget the pain part, it was fascinating to see Ibu A massage the swelling away.
But, it was excruciating....I knew it was doing me good, but I kept leaning forward telling her to stop. The last five minutes were unbelievable...she kept saying lima, sakit and something else....5, sick and ?????
Oh My Goodness, Ibu A grabbed my ankle and did a deep tissue massage....five times....I was counting in Indonesian adding a loud "TIDAK"-no!
But I got all five.......I feel like I am describing some horrible, torturous, corporal punishment regime....
Ibu A is canceling some of her regulars to come back and visit me this week.......She is hoping to get two treatments in this week.....Oh my goodness will the cure be too much!
I also have to get Sarinah to make me a special rice and ginger poultice.......
The dress turned out wonderfully....I hadn't posted about how worried I was about my dress. I had sent out a desperate plea to all my special friends via email when after the first fitting I looked 59yrs old and extremely portly! But all the suggestions and subsequent alterations fixed all the problems.
This is our friend T as she won the major raffle prize of 2 return flights to Europe !!!!!!
- Managing to colour co-ordinate my ball gown to my wheel chair
- Friends taking turns to push me around in Champagne fueled speed derby's in my wheel chair, at one point I was driven around the stage and offered for auction.....
- Being at such a fun table with all my friends.
- Seeing all the beautiful outfits that people had spent so much time on
- Once again the Ritz Carlton Jakarta proved to be a wonderful Host, The Grand Ballroom was spectacular.
- Being seated next to one of the few tables filled with ignorant pigs who smoked inside the ball room all over our table (despite being asked not to), who put out their buts on plates and proceeded to puff on cigars.
- No dancing.......
- My poor foot was not impressed by the lack of horizontal activity...I will post a photo tomorrow of how bad "it" looks.....
GJ was most impressed by being able to put me in the car safe in the knowledge that I would be ok (except for the bit about dragging my self up two flights of stairs on my bottom in a ball gown...LOL). He was then able to go back upstairs for the midnight supper and dance with all the single women (ones that he knew...not strangers lol).
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I had an appointment at the SOS clinic and was then referred to Pondok Indah hospital for a MRI.
Besides being poked and prodded far to vigorously it was an alright day.
The MRI was very relaxing.....I have never had one before. You are strapped to a very comfortable gurney and fed into a HUGE machine for 25 minutes. As the machine is very noisy I had huge ear muffs on as well as a soft blanket...I fell asleep almost instantly.....I hope I didn't snore! LOL.
I only was inserted in about half way, I don't know if I would of been so relaxed if my head was inside as well. I will get the results later today......or GJ will, I am off for a Cremebathe, pedicure (one foot only..) and manicure for the ball tonight......
Gj hired me a wheel chair for the night......all my friends have nominated my chair as the handbag haven.....
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Welcome to Expats Interviews!
We interview people who are living abroad. Here you will find the thoughts and observations of expats living in countries like Thailand, Philippines, Holland, India, Australia and a lot more. We find that it's always exciting to know about what motivated people to live in another part of the world, how they generate their income, how they manage to live there, and what they’ve learned from their experiences in a land that's become their new home.
Georgia was off to an adventure park in Bogor, she has had her bag packed for days.
Unfortunately she has also had a very bad cough for nearly two weeks. When she could not finish her breakfast due to repeated coughing fits the really tough decision was made.
resulting in this face...
It would not be fair to Georgia to show the other photos or videos of the ensuring one hour.
I am sure most could guess the depths of despair that a 8yr old girl (to be a GROUP LEADER @ camp) would endure and how loud and physical the tantrum would be......
Georgia will be sharing my 2nd story prison for the next two days.........
I hope we both come out alive.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The day was going to finish with on a high note at Lia and Edo's Indonesian wedding.
Well I got as far as The American Mattress shop on JL Fatmawati......I did find a super, dopper, divine King Koil mattress, but it is WAY out of our price range.......
There is no OHS standards or standards of any type in regards to buildings and/or safety. There is also no liability here, so I bear all the costs associated with my injury (I hope I get a discount on a mattress though!LOL)
Out the back of the shop the floor level drops down about 1.5", I missed seeing it and tripped rolling over on to my left ankle before crashing to the floor in a very undignified heap. I knew instantly that I had done some major damage......
It took me a few minutes to regain the ability to breath, stay conscious and not vomit (I am a big woosy girl...)
I could not move my leg at all, it looked like something was sticking out my ankle under the skin and my foot was crooked. I was alone with people that spoke very limited English....... And GJ's phone network was down.....
I thought I made some good decisions...I got the driver in, calmed him down over his shock at my ankle and sent him for GJ. I got the shop assistants to call SOS (medical clinic) and arrange a pick up for me. I though that this was the best as I could not move let alone drag my self to our car and get in it to go to Emergency...GJ would be waiting for me and all would be fine in the world......
After 40 minutes one guy in a jeep arrives from SOS (only located 7-10 mins away) hands me a pair of crutches and asks the two sales girls to help me up and out to the car. The two sweet sales girls were both the size of a 10 yr old Aussie girls. I asked him to politely get over his sensibilities towards touching women and get me off the floor.... which to his credit he did, but I still had to crutch it out of the shops dodging steps and beds.
Luckily GJ turned up before I was half way there after a VERY exciting dash in the car with Yadi. This is where I lost it, falling to pieces about it all.....GJ was very nice and held off on the jokes for a good hour or two!
The emergency section of the clinic was great but very different to Australia. I was put into a wheel chair and they all wanted to push it but kept banging my foot or the chair into walls and doors..........I lost it again when I was pushed into another corner for another wait.....
The Xray was bearable, as was the exam but what really got me a bit hot and bothered was that there was NO BLOODY PAIN RELIEF.........not even a tiny panadol....... I wanted Morphine, general anesthetic, happy gas, what ever just something ( I am a VERY big woose).
The wheel chair would not fit into the consultation room so GJ got all the details from the team of DR's (my fat ankle was very popular). We finally made it home to discover that our medicine cabinet had panadol in it and nothing stronger......
So here I am confined to the upstairs of our house.....The stairs are too hard unless I go up and down on my bum which jars the ankle....
My saviour is my office chair, its on wheels, so I slide around upstairs with ease. My other knee is still too sore to use the crutches.
It was not too bad today, a mixture of reading, catching up on some blog reading and TV when the power went out for nearly two hours......
Tomorrow I am going to go through the girls jewels and hair accessories to find something to jazz up my cast for the Ball on Saturday night. I had found the cutest high heels for a ridiculously cheap price that would of looked great......., one will look nice on a foot.LOL
Unrecognizable as my foot....
Monday, September 03, 2007
I would even rather do playground duty @school than this (and I hate playground duty....)
GJ is at work, the kids are at school and I am stuck upstairs.
I can't get up and down the stairs by myself.
I have a little bell beside my bed to tinkle if I need anything......
I am by nature a chatter, I like to talk.......upstairs is very quiet.
I had better get used to it as broken ankles and ruptured ligaments take a LOOOOOOOONG time to heal.
Some friends have sent over some pain meds , Nurophen PLUS so at least I can get some sleep.
I will compose my funny mis-adventure at the emergency clinic tomorrow. In hind-sight it is a bit of a hoot.........
Sunday, September 02, 2007
All I got to see was these lovely photos and hear Ben and GJ describe it to me. I stayed at home with my foot elevated and the girls stayed with me to help.
GJ told me how spectacular Lia and Edo looked and how much fun he and Ben had. At the reception the bride and groom sat on the dais and guests walked down the red carpet to greet them. Ben thought that this was great fun and did many "laps". Ben and GJ both wore matching Batik shirts (this is equivalent to a suit and tie) and Ben was once again very popular.
Below here I had a photo of my foot, but I have removed it. It is too disgusting to put on the same page as beautiful wedding photos.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Lets start with the good, for some reason today my wireless net work decided to work, for the first time ever in Jakarta.
Which is especially good as I now have something to do in bed while my broken ankle heals......
Yes I was out shopping and missed a hidden step and cracked my left ankle. Not a major bone broken just a floating fragment or two and some major ligament damage. Too much swelling at the moment to see much, I will have a MRI next week.
The strongest pain meds we have here is panadol.....I would kill for a panadine forte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I am coherent again I will tell you the very funny story of Indonesian emergency ward and patient collection..........
Oh my ball gown for next weeks ball is going to look wonderful with my plaster cast.....GJ said he will get me some diamonties for it...