Saturday, October 8, 2016

Our Holiday to Jakarta - 1 year ago this month - The First Day

I started blogging about our holiday to Jakarta, in October last year, before we left with We're Off to Jakarta.  And when we got back, one post on us At the Airport.  And then...
problems with my computer, Christmas, more holidays, school, morning sickness...

So finally, 1 year later, here are the pictures of our holiday to Jakarta :)

I have a mixture of feelings about Jakarta.  When I look back at the photo's I feel sad.  I miss the family so much!  We have missed so much!  I know the children really enjoyed being with their family.  They loved their holiday!  When I look at the photo's I can't help wondering if we couldn't possibly live there.

But it's so very different from Australia.  Australia has some the best living standards in the world, you can have a great lifestyle here.  If things get tough for you in Indonesia they can get very tough.

Things that I find difficult about living in Indonesia?

  • That I stick out, I can't just blend in.  
  • I can't go for a walk like I might in Australia.  Partly because of the 'not blending in' and partly because there just isn't anywhere to walk to.  There are just rows of houses.  Jakarta is a concrete jungle.
  • The heat.  I find hot and sticky 24/7, 365 days a year tough.  I like seasonal change.  (Those living in Jakarta will go up to the mountains for holidays for some respite from the heat)
  • Getting sick.  We took an expensive probiotic this last time and vitamin c with hesperidian and managed to stay well for all but the last two days of our holidays but if we were to stay longer we'd probably start getting sick all the time.  And when you get sick in Jakarta you get really sick.  
  • Going back to the concrete jungle.  I'm not really a mall lover.  I can enjoy it for a time but not as part of a lifestyle.  
  • Indonesia is a place where you can be persecuted as a Christian.  Indonesia is a mostly Muslim nation.  The law says that five religions are 'allowed' in Indonesia: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.   The reality is that 4 out of those 5 are, at this point, tolerated.  A good amount of Indonesians are indifferent to what religion you have.  But the small majority who don't and believe Indonesia should be an Islamic nation are in reality a large group.  Consider that the population of Indonesia is somewhere in the area of 255 million.  The population of greater Jakarta alone is around 28.5 million!  Small can be very big.  

What I like about living in Indonesia?

  • Family!!!  Family is a big thing in Indonesia.  It is strong, and while some are affected by the trends we see in the West, for the most part, they hold on to traditional family values.           You don't just see your family from time to time, you live with them.  If you live as most do, in a close cluster, you will likely see your family several times a week, if not daily.  Life here is truly to live with family.  And my family, that I have been blessed with, are just like my own blood.  And pretty much the whole lot of them.  And that's one big family.                                                                        Dh's side of the family are Toba Batak's.  They came from North Sumatra originally.  They converted to Protestantism (Lutheran) a little over 100 years ago.  For them the family structure is arranged in layers, to make one big family.  So cousins call themselves brother and sister.  All the mothers and fathers of those children are aunts and uncles, and all their mothers and fathers, grandpas and grandmas.  When Dh and I lived in Jakarta before we had children, I was surprised to find out that I was already a grandma!  At only 23 too!                                                                            Dh's mum's side of the family are Muslim, but his mother and one of her sisters (2 out of 17 children) converted to Christianity.  Dh's mum to Protestantism and her sister to Catholicism.  This side of the family are also close and have the same calling of cousins, brother or sister etc.  Their origin is West Java which has a very different culture to that of the Batak's.  The Batak's to me seem to be the Irish of Indonesia.  I think they could understand each other well.    
  • That you can buy the days food supplies as they pass by in the street from vegetable, fruit or meat sellers.  You don't need a fridge as much in Jakarta.  Meals are always so fresh.  
  • I like the tropics about as much as I don't.  I like the tropical plants, their greenness, their fruit! The pretty flowers, jasmine, orchids, tuberoses and their smell.  Lush gardens with all kinds of wildlife to be found on them (keep a look out for them in the pictures to follow).  
  • I like the maids lol.  They do everything.  Make your dinner, wash your clothing, clean your house, make your bed, do the ironing etc.  If we ever did live in Jakarta I'd be torn on this one.  Work is so essential to our spiritual and physical health and development, I couldn't hand it all over to someone else, but it is so nice to end the day, with everything done right down to sparkly tile floors.  
Well, I don't think we'll be moving to Jakarta.  But you will see what a great time we had last year from  these photo's :)  (looks like he's been in the wars too.  Can't remember why he's all scratched)

This photo is the very first we took at Opung's (grandma's) house.  Poor Ds7 (almost 2 years old at the time) is a bit dazed.  He's not really sure what just happened and who all these people are.  Must be really strange when you are so young to travel somewhere so different.  

A lot of these photo's have gotten jumbled somehow and I'm not sure what order they go in anymore but we arrived at night and went to Opung's house where we were to stay.  These next photo's were the next morning at Dh's sisters place which is just a road away.

DD1 and her Opung

All the girls with Opung

Taller than his Opung already.

The boys with Opung

Smiles, he's getting used to the new situation.

The wonders of finding a rock.

A whole load of them!

Talk about food being the way to a man's heart.  I'm not sure I have ever cooked anything that made him look so happy lol.  

Trying out an electric bike.

 I'm not sure why these next two pics are so dark, I don't remember them being that way but my computer is giving me trouble again so I'm just going to leave it.

Playing with a cousin.

How wonderful, the attentions of a grandma.

Checking out the drain.  Sewerage goes in a tank for collection but everything else goes into these street drains.  You can find rats and cats and all sorts in here.

Dh with his mum.  Stuffing himself.  Is that one content face or what ;)

L-R two of my sister's in law, my niece whose mother is on the far left, and the father-in-law of the shorter SIL in the pic ;)

A traditional Indonesian meal.
A family photo as everyone escapes to an air-conditioned bedroom for a rest.

Fun with a water pistol

Not really so certain that he wants to be with aunty.

Ds2 with two of his cousins.
 The next few photo's are all out of order.  They are on the first few days.  To give some idea of why I will probably never sort them out, I took about 2500 pictures all up!

On Opung's street, I think.

More food.  That is a bbq'd fish on a stick on the right.  Or is it...

Back at Aunties house again.  First day I think.  Ds7 with his cousin on the right and his cousin's friend.  Ds7 for some reason warmed to this cousin straight away and would ask to be held by him or play with him, all the time.
 Back to Opung's house for these next few shots.  I took as many as I could because they plan to demolish and rebuild before we are likely to go back.  This was the house where Dh spent most of his older childhood.  The place his dad built.  (His dad passed away when Dh was 17)
A water dragon.

Opung's garden

And a shot from the garage.

Front of the house.

Lots of similar pictures follow.  They were all taken to remember every detail.

The lounge

The framed photo on the wall was taken at a previous visit of ours.  It is of Opung, and all her children and grandchildren.

Watching Indonesian tv.

Dining room.

Kitchen with laundry in the background.

Opung Doli (Grandpa)  Wish I'd thought to take these pictures off the wall to photograph each properly.  Oh well, next time.

looking out the other way from the garage.

Mr. Water Dragon again.
Opung's house from the street.  All three sections of green fencing up to the open gate are part of the front.

 This looks like a wedding day shot.  It as snuck in here.  What a cute face :)

To be continued... (really ;)


  1. It looks like you had a marvellous time. God bless.

  2. Wonderful, Sharyn, how you captured so many details. Having a maid is what I miss most from our time in Egypt. I was able to focus more on what only I could do. And it helps local employment as well. But tropical diseases would be very difficult to deal with constantly.

  3. DH must find it so hard living here in this culture. I had no idea what Jakarta was REALLY like! Thanks for the education. I'd be very torn too. P.S. It's Di