The Jakarta Integration Program

Continued from previous post


Tuesday 9th: Zoomed through security (the whole passport check took all of 30 seconds) and customs, but the bags took forever to arrive. I mostly played my ukulele, which is and has been an absolute saviour on this trip, and many others before it. When the bags did FINALLY arrive, we went out and got some money changed to go with the other rupiah we had (massive thanks to Julie and Jennifer!). We exited the airport and met with Egi (Embassy employee) and Suhardhi (Embassy driver) who drove us back to our apartment, at the super fancy Oakwood Premier Cozmo!!! WOW!!! Now we know what it’s like to be the Prime Minister! But I didn’t get a chance to appreciate it, because as soon as Egi left, I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep.

When I woke up the TV was on, and it was 5:00 pm. Rosie had woke me up by sitting on my face (cheers a bunch). I could have gone right back to sleep, but Mama said that I couldn’t. We were just about to leave to go and get some food when the doorbell rang and a man from upstairs called Simon came and chatted with us. Simon also works for the British Embassy, and so came in to see how we were doing and to tell us a bit about living in Jakarta. When Simon left, we walked over to a nearby mall and went to a shop where everything was ridiculously overpriced. We bought some bread and bananas and then left. We walked back, and when we got to the apartment, I had a shower, brushed teeth, and then went straight to bed at 8:00 pm.

Wednesday 10th: Woke up at 8:00 am and had myself some toast, complimentary of the house. Rosie and I unpacked. Rosie used up the whole wardrobe, meant for 2 people with a whole lot of clothes, not 1 person with half a suitcase full of clothes. I had a couple of drawers in which to sort my drawers and other assorted items of clothing. We then went and checked out the pool (large and swanky, with an outdoor jacuzzi) and the fitness room (large and swanky, with state-of-the-art equipment). At around 11:30 am, we went down to the lobby for the arrival of Papa. And there he was, looking super suave with business clothes and a cool new beard. There were much hugs and a few tears. This was the first time for us to see Papa in just over 5 weeks. We went up to our apartment and had more hugs and chatted for a while. Papa was really tired, so he and Mama went off and had a big sleep while Rosie and I chillaxed in the living area. We then went and had a swim in the pool. Rosie and I had childish fun, Mama and Papa chatted with Simon and Greg, another one of Papa’s colleagues. Then we went back upstairs for a supper of pasta and pesto and an early bed.

Thursday 11th: Got up at 7:00 am. Papa was in a bit of a rush; he was due to walk in with Simon and meet his new boss. For breakfast, I had what I thought was like a pain au lait, but was actually like a hot dog bun with lumps of cheese in it. Not so nice with peanut butter. Papa left, and Mama, Rosie and I went down to the lobby to meet with Misku, our driver for the day. Misku drove us down to the Jakarta Intercultural School, or JIS for a visit as a prospective school. We met with Ms. Catherine of the Admissions Department, who took us on a tour of the campus. WOW!!! JIS is a fancy school. Several theatres, tennis courts, several in-school shops… quite overwhelming. Papa joined us halfway through and was equally wowed. We all agreed that this was one of the fanciest places we had ever seen.

We then hopped back into the car with Misku, and went off house-hunting. It turned out halfway into the ride that Misku didn’t have a clue where he was going, and we had to stop and ask people for directions several times. When we arrived at the first house we met up with Army and Eva, two Indonesians that would help us in our search for the right house. The first place we saw was rather grand, and had sort of a holiday camp feel to it. We decided no, straight off. The second house we like a lot. It was smaller, with a communal pool and a nicer feel to it. The third house was in a compound named “Executive Paradise”, probably because it would only be paradise to the executives who sat and worked on computers for the whole day. It felt very wrong there, and we didn’t like it very much at all. The we had some more time to kill, so we went to a fourth place, where some of Papa’s colleagues lived. It had an interesting feel to it. The whole compound looked as if someone had transported a small urban English road to the tropics. We decided no. On the way back, we stopped and got some food. We had these pancake-type-thingys that were half-nutella, half cheese! There were also these crispy shells filled with a sort of spring onion and beef filling. I kind of had to put my vegetarianism on hold. It was either the spring onion things, or the cheese pancakes. We had just finished when it started to rain. And it was really heavy rain. We started the drive back through heavy traffic. I feel asleep a couple of time. We got home at around 7:30 pm. I had a shower and went to bed.

Friday 12th: Woke up at about 6:30 am, had some breakfast (my beloved weetbix) and then jumped into the car with Suhardhi. We went south past a whole railway line to go to Ichthus School. We met with Ms. Neena, and the head of primary school and had a tour. Ichthus was a smaller, Christian school that I thought had a nice feel to it. I go to meet my prospective class and have a chat with Mr. Andy, my prospective English teacher. From Ichthus, we went to the Hero supermarket for a look around, and then went to see a house in Kemang where we met up with Army and Eva. We saw 2 houses on the Kemang compound. The first (House Delta) was super large and fancy, with a koi carp pond out front and a pool out the back. House India was the same, but everything was a bit smaller. We liked it, because it was smaller and more tucked away than the other houses. We then walked to the local Hero to check it out. It was a convenient 10 minute walk away, and was nicely stocked with everything we would need. We got some snacks from a roadside vendor while Eva returned to the car by tuk-tuk, and drove back to pick us up. From there we went back to the house we liked the most from yesterday, Saraswati. We listened to the call to prayer to decide if it was too loud, and then went to the Indomart to check that out. It was more of a convenience store, so not so good, but we bought some more snacks and then drove home. At home, Rosie and I went for a long swim, Rosie swam for the whole time, I spent a good while figuring out “Eye of the Tiger” on my ukulele. We went back upstairs at around 5:00 pm, and spent a while discussing our options, then we went out for supper at the Ambassador Mall food court. We decided on going to Rice Bowl (excellent choice!!!). There was a special on: a bowl of rice with a choice of 4 different, um, toppings? No vegetarian options, so I had the Kung Pao Chicken. Very nice! Rosie had the Thai Chicken; we shared. Papa commented that us sharing meant that Rosie got a bite of mine, and I finished what Rosie couldn’t eat. We both disagreed. By the end of the meal, Rosie had eaten one bite of mine, and I was eating half of hers because she was full. Oh well! What are brothers for?

Friday 12th and onwards: A new life in Jakarta…


Watch out for more Jakarta posts from thephilosophicalcyclist



5 thoughts on “The Jakarta Integration Program

  1. LOVE your details!! Thanks Oliver! We’ve been wondering what your first impressions are about Jakarta, and now we know. You are living the high life!!! xoxo


  2. “What are brothers for…..?” Great ending. If they are all like you, then brothers are for being smart, funny, and the best friends ever. Thanks for the glimpse into your world, Oliver! xoxo


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