Life in Indonesia

Daniel50

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Messages
1,182
We have been in Jakarta and it is too busy crowded. Bsd City seems better but still no place to go outside but more city/traffic. Bali is nice for a visit/vacation but too touristy for me and it seems hotter in Bali. We thought Bandung but changed our mind, population a bit too dense. Also, went to Jogja a couple of years ago but decided against it. Went to Malang a couple of times and it may be just what the Dr. ordered. I realise people have different preferences, including family needs/connections. This has probably been gone over different times but any thoughts on why people like their locations?
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,305
Well, Malang is not that bad. Nicer climate, that's why the Dutch liked it too.

There were some things I wrote down once to consider for retirement etc.:


  • climate (humidity)
  • integration locals and safety (religious fanaticism)
  • reachable (friends, family)
  • healthcare (very important when you get older)
  • to have something to do (hobby)
  • ....

Now of course this list and the priorities given per item is different for everyone. But it is good to brain storm a bit in a more structured way together with your spouse. (What is most important, how is our health, what about family, ...) Just visiting places will give you a good vibe but that is not the same as living somewhere!

I can say though, that the chances are that RI will not be my 'final destination'. There are many countries that I would prefer. And being close to family in law which is for many Indonesian spouses the crux, is something that can be solved.
 

Daniel50

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Messages
1,182
Thanks jstar. There are a number of posts, prior, which I didn't read ( ha ha ha). I guess I need to find something to do. People choose there places based on a number of factors and of course they are different for different people. I believe I can have quite a good life here in Indonesia. I also believe a lot of it has to do with my own attitudes and how I feel inside. I realise these won't alter something like the availability of good or affordable health care.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,305
.
Often it is good to set aside your 'gut feeling' or "I did not really like this or that" arguments. And if you ask people here, many live in a certain city because of marital or work situations without an in-depth knowledge of the other possibilities.

Sometimes if I can't decide, I look at it from the opposite side. So the negative approach.
As example, what I do NOT want: A mosque blaring at 4 AM. (Not being able to buy anything alcoholic falls in the same class btw.)
Well, then only certain pockets of the country remain: West and North Jakarta, Bali, North Sulawesi, NTT (Flores/Sumba), Molucca, Papua, North Sumatra, Batam.

If you combine that with the other important wish list items, it will already be somewhat easier.

Another possibility is, how weird it might sound, a score system. And that has an added advantage; it makes sure both of you are on board. I will describe a method which is also used by companies to determine locations of production plants or major projects for the years to come, supplier selection, etc.

It is quite easy to apply some decision making structure; both of you give a number of priority per category (1-5, the higher the more important). And then take the average score per category. (E.g. healthcare 4.5, proximity family 3.5 climate 3, ...) So then there should be an agreement from both that this is the priority for 'us as couple'! Now determine the score per area for that item (1-10). No peeking, no discussion. These are individual assesments (your spouse might give a 8 to climate of Bali, you might give only a 4). Then add the two scores and multiply them with the category score (so in my example Bali would get 36 points for climate) and the area with the highest total score wins.
 
Last edited:

Davita

RIP
Charter Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
3,057
Jstar has given a very erudite, methodological and scientific approach to problem solving between spouses on where to live.

Then there is the other method.....

HE: "I want to live south of Banyuwangi in Java, in the nature park bear the beach. Surf all day and play the harmonica at night!"
SHE: "I'm going to live on the 23rd floor of the Senayan Residences in Jakarta. Shop all day and party all night!...call me when you're in town!":lol:
 

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,923
We did the score system when we were looking at different places to live. We made a list of things that we felt important to us for a city to live in. We visited the areas for a few days each and talked to people and looked around. Our list in the end included Bali, Batam, Bandar Lampung, Palembang, Cirabon, and Jogjakarta. All had some positives and negatives. Batam was running in the lead slightly over Bandar lampung until the smoke from even two years ago from Sumatra hit it. Environment and air quality being on our list made that smoke move Batam down and made Bandar Lampung our first choice and that's where we are and don't regret it.
 

Daniel50

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Messages
1,182
Jstar has given a very erudite, methodological and scientific approach to problem solving between spouses on where to live.

Then there is the other method.....

HE: "I want to live south of Banyuwangi in Java, in the nature park bear the beach. Surf all day and play the harmonica at night!"
SHE: "I'm going to live on the 23rd floor of the Senayan Residences in Jakarta. Shop all day and party all night!...call me when you're in town!":lol:
Ya, that is funny. Things don't always follow our exact plans.
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,303
Jstar has given a very erudite, methodological and scientific approach to problem solving between spouses on where to live.

Then there is the other method.....

HE: "I want to live south of Banyuwangi in Java, in the nature park bear the beach. Surf all day and play the harmonica at night!"
SHE: "I'm going to live on the 23rd floor of the Senayan Residences in Jakarta. Shop all day and party all night!...call me when you're in town!":lol:

Ya, that is funny. Things don't always follow our exact plans.
I agree and can add from my own experience that life almost never follows our exact plan. Still, my wife and I find that making detailed plans helps immensely to order our life and dealing with the unexpected. Having expectations makes life more purposeful, more enjoyable... for us, anyway.
 

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,923
I agree and can add from my own experience that life almost never follows our exact plan. Still, my wife and I find that making detailed plans helps immensely to order our life and dealing with the unexpected. Having expectations makes life more purposeful, more enjoyable... for us, anyway.
And never rely on what family and friends tell you of an area. We were told all kinds of negative things about Bandar Lampung from family before we visited. With our visit we couldn't find any evidense of their claims. Once we moved here all their negative claims were reversed.
 

Scooterindo

Active Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
609
We moved from Jakarta after 13 years to Bali to enhance the quality of life for the kids (who were 3 years old at the time) been here nine years now and in retrospect it was the best decision we ever made. Jakarta is a toilet and on each occasion I return to Jakarta I am amazed how I tolerated it for so long. These days I can manage about 3 days before I have to get out.
 

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,923
We moved from Jakarta after 13 years to Bali to enhance the quality of life for the kids (who were 3 years old at the time) been here nine years now and in retrospect it was the best decision we ever made. Jakarta is a toilet and on each occasion I return to Jakarta I am amazed how I tolerated it for so long. These days I can manage about 3 days before I have to get out.
Yeah, three days is about it and that sometimes seems an eternity. I hate it when I need to go to Jakarta. I'm at the point where any trips there will be for needed supplies of what we can't get locally or from on-line providers. I hit Jakarta and right away the eyes start burning. Out in the air the lungs normally follow. The stench from most areas is enough to chase the rats away itself. The construction of something that seems right in the way of any forward progress is mind boggling. Traffic, well, the famous Jakarta traffic jams with a half dozen streets bottle necked into two from every direction.

I get in Jakarta and people say go to Bandung. Last time I visited there the water was flooding from the mountains blocking traffic and I didn't see much difference from Jakarta except it's at a higher elevation.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,305
And never rely on what family and friends tell you of an area. We were told all kinds of negative things....
The problem is of course people only forward negative stories (the same as bad experiences in hotels or car workshops). And those stories get a life of their own.

And it is almost impossible to compare personal situations, I don't think David -as pensioner- and Scoot -with relatively young kids- have a lot in common concerning their wishlist.

And Bali -even if it only has the size of a Delaware or a bigger Dutch province- is not Bali of course. South and north are very different and tourism has made the differences rather extreme. In a decade the same will happen with Flores etc.

And quality of life was very different for me when I was 23. (Jakarta was kind of cool back then.)
 

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,923
And quality of life was very different for me when I was 23. (Jakarta was kind of cool back then.)
Was that when the Dutch just left?:smile:

I'm sure that when you were twenty three, Jakarta was a different city then.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,305
Let's say it was around one of the three trips of Muhammed Ali. (Fight Rudie Lubbers? Invitation Suharto? Brotherhood of Islam?)

And that's why I say; all cities here will become Jakarta sooner or later. From an over-population, pollution and transportation point of view. At least in Sodom & Gomorra....eh Jakarta, there is quite some liberty.
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,303
And never rely on what family and friends tell you of an area. We were told all kinds of negative things about Bandar Lampung from family before we visited. With our visit we couldn't find any evidense of their claims. Once we moved here all their negative claims were reversed.
Maybe they just did not want you close by.
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,303
We moved from Jakarta after 13 years to Bali to enhance the quality of life for the kids (who were 3 years old at the time) been here nine years now and in retrospect it was the best decision we ever made. Jakarta is a toilet and on each occasion I return to Jakarta I am amazed how I tolerated it for so long. These days I can manage about 3 days before I have to get out.

Yeah, three days is about it and that sometimes seems an eternity. I hate it when I need to go to Jakarta. I'm at the point where any trips there will be for needed supplies of what we can't get locally or from on-line providers. I hit Jakarta and right away the eyes start burning. Out in the air the lungs normally follow. The stench from most areas is enough to chase the rats away itself. The construction of something that seems right in the way of any forward progress is mind boggling. Traffic, well, the famous Jakarta traffic jams with a half dozen streets bottle necked into two from every direction.

I get in Jakarta and people say go to Bandung. Last time I visited there the water was flooding from the mountains blocking traffic and I didn't see much difference from Jakarta except it's at a higher elevation.
Our home is on the southeast edge of Jakarta. Now I suppose I am supposed to say something like, "Oh, it's not really that bad." But I'm not going to dispute your comments; if I say something redeeming about Jakarta it will only encourage more people to hop off the turnip truck when passing through. I tell new Jakarta arrivals, "Hey, I have heard that Bali streets are paved with gold and Bandar Lampung is a great place to make your fortune. Maybe you would be happier elsewhere."

So keep up the good work, gentlemen. I am trying to do my part.
 

Davita

RIP
Charter Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
3,057
Jstar is correct to observe that some places can be someone's paradise while simultaneously someone else's hell...each to his/her own. Excluding Jakarta which is everyone's hell....excepting my wife.

I subscribe to 'International Living' magazine which abounds with locations for retirees...catering mainly to English-speaking N. America or N. Europeans.
Bali is mentioned as desirable but Indonesia is mentioned infrequently. I can understand as many that do retire to Indonesia, and have found their particular little haven are, perhaps, loathe to share as it may change if suddenly their readers decide to visit....and stay!

After retirement and Immigrating to Vancouver, BC we visited many of those retiree places...Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico (Peurto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Ajijic and cruised on a private yacht up and down the Sea of Cortez), California, Florida (Fort Lauderdale and cruised the intercoastal Miami to Boston) and visited Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. We also lived in Scottsdale, AZ for 8 years.

We weren't looking for a cheap place to retire as I considered myself reasonably well-off. However, as the years went by, and the Vancouver winters seemed too wet, we looked beyond the expensive 'Americas' to my wife's birthplace Indonesia, for a winter vacation home. I'd last been to Jakarta in the 80's and was shocked when I saw it in 2001...it was all glitter and glitz...at least at first glance...so we bought an apartment off-plans for my much younger wife to retire.....come my demise. This gave us the opportunity to travel all over Java by train...also visit family in Jambi, Sumatra and Molucca's...where my wife's family originated....all very interesting.

Bali was beckoning and I felt the aura in the air that others speak off...not just of spiritualism but something that is missing everywhere else...so we bought a villa. That was 5 years ago and although I still love the place there are reservations and frustrations. The primary one is the seeming inability for Indonesia to get it's Gov't to work effectively. There is a disconnect between all dept's which contradict any achievable objectives in a reasonable time-frame.
However, a couple of Bintangs and the heady aroma of flowers, or from the satay vendors, or the impending storm clouds usually has me drifting into nirvana and all those frustrations disappear.
I cannot imagine anything better than sitting in the breeze in Sanur/Legian/Seminyak/Echo Beach watching the surfers and the kids playing foosball in bare feet and a cold Bintang, or cozy wine to sip, whilst watching the sunsets or dark clouds. Then dining in one of the beach-side warungs. Alternately...a weekend consisting of finer dining then music till the wee hours.....or stay at home and slip into the pool when feeling the heat....or have friends for a dinner party and good conversations....equally have me feeling blessed.

So, for Davita..... Bali ticks the boxes but I still study the IL magazine and keep abreast of any opportunity on where is a better lifestyle....especially as, imo, Indonesia is not 100% stable.
 

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,923
Our home is on the southeast edge of Jakarta. Now I suppose I am supposed to say something like, "Oh, it's not really that bad." But I'm not going to dispute your comments; if I say something redeeming about Jakarta it will only encourage more people to hop off the turnip truck when passing through. I tell new Jakarta arrivals, "Hey, I have heard that Bali streets are paved with gold and Bandar Lampung is a great place to make your fortune. Maybe you would be happier elsewhere."

So keep up the good work, gentlemen. I am trying to do my part.
Like I said, don't listen to others. make your own determinations but you really can't do that unless you live someplace and have a feel if it meets your needs.

Want to send some Expats this way, go for it. Maybe I won't be so lonely then. This city doesn't have the foreign businesses so it is really only draws tourist surfers and retired Expats.
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,303
.... We weren't looking for a cheap place to retire as I considered myself reasonably well-off. However, as the years went by, and the Vancouver winters seemed too wet, we looked beyond the expensive 'Americas' to my wife's birthplace Indonesia, for a winter vacation home. I'd last been to Jakarta in the 80's and was shocked when I saw it in 2001...it was all glitter and glitz...at least at first glance...so we bought an apartment off-plans for my much younger wife to retire.....come my demise. This gave us the opportunity to travel all over Java by train...also visit family in Jambi, Sumatra and Molucca's...where my wife's family originated....all very interesting....

... So, for Davita..... Bali ticks the boxes but I still study the IL magazine and keep abreast of any opportunity on where is a better lifestyle....especially as, imo, Indonesia is not 100% stable.
Interesting and insightful summary, Davita. When I get your age, I may take a page or two from your search for the good life. One thing, though; my Kerata Api experience suggest something more like Jakarta on steel wheels.
 

Davita

RIP
Charter Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
3,057
Interesting and insightful summary, Davita. When I get your age, I may take a page or two from your search for the good life. One thing, though; my Kerata Api experience suggest something more like Jakarta on steel wheels.
Thank you...if interested...www.InternationalLiving.com is free.
I've enjoyed the trains in Java and recently did Banyuwangi to Surabaya then back to Malang. I'd only go executive class as the rest is pretty yucky and we carry a cooler with sandwiches/salads and beer and have a picnic on the train.... although there is a coffee shop and dining service on those executive class trains.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Online Now

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
4,442
Messages
67,587
Members
1,804
Latest member
svAshika
Top Bottom