Texas to Sumatra

David Rencher

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Next month, I start my new job with Pertamina. They are being helpful with relocation paperwork and all, but I still have many questions? What is the best way to get around (taxi)? Do I need cash only for groceries? What is day-to-day life like (besides hot and humid)? What surprises/unknowns should I expect? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

waarmstrong

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Sumatra might not be as big as Texas, but its a diverse place. Helpful advice would be more helpful (and forthcoming) if you were a bit more specific about where Pertamina is placing you.
 

Mark2017

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In Sumatra I use Go-Jek instead of taxis when I’m there, similar to UBER, don’t think they have changed their name or have been bought out. Taxis don’t really use their meters in Sumatra, maybe that’s only my experience. A standard fare to the shops would be about 10,000 Rp, that’s a couple of kilometers usually. I never have to wait more than 5 or 10 minutes for one.

These guys are handy, you know exactly what you pay when booked. No surprises.
You can give them cash to update the credit to your account if you like, or have direct debit if you prefer.

But yes, provide the city and you will get more information. These guys have a wealth of information.
Maybe type your city in the search bar and it may have some information, however Indonesia is quickly developing and many cool new businesses are popping up all the time.

Best of luck with your new job.
 

Puspawarna

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Waarmstrong is right - I suspect that if you are in Medan or Palembang, it's pretty much like any big Indonesian city and even those of us who are not Sumatera residents can offer reasonably accurate advice. If you are out in the boonies, though, it's different.
 

vocalneal

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Yep the main question is where in Sumatra. Plaju refinery ?

FYI. Do not ship a Harley in your personal household effects. You will not have a motorcycle export license to return it home!
 

Bad_azz

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If you are coming in with a big company such as Pertamina then you need a full package- they really should provide you with transport , usually in the form of a car and driver for you.
Other things usually provided in the expat package- insurance, housing , flights.
I am sure someone else here in the forum can detail that list a bit better than me.
 

vocalneal

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If you are coming in with a big company such as Pertamina then you need a full package- they really should provide you with transport , usually in the form of a car and driver for you.
Other things usually provided in the expat package- insurance, housing , flights.
I'm coming with a big company they provide housing, insurance, flights, pool transport (worthless except to get to the office).

No car , no driver although at certain levels of management one can negotiate a vehicle allowance (taxable). If one factors in all the expat stuff which companies do, then the remuneration sometimes suffers. Sometimes better and simpler to just take the money and sort it out oneself.

I kept asking for photos of typical housing supplied. Eventually they just gave me more money and I will sort it out myself. Hotels sometimes have good long-term rates!

They will however give me a smart phone, on their network and open a bank account for me with their bank!
 

snpark

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They will however give me a smart phone, on their network and open a bank account for me with their bank!

Nothing to be alarmed about with that, means will make things easier in future, probably the bank staff will come to your office anyway and you shouldn't have problems applying and getting a credit card quickly too if your company is big client for the bank,

As for the phone, easier for all staff to use same network, I assume they pay those bills?
 

Puspawarna

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As another data point on the transport front, we haven't gotten transportation benefits in years. USAID-funded and DFAT-funded projects do not provide that benefit. But, the pay is sufficient that you can buy a car and hire a driver on your own, if you want to.
 

Davita

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They will however give me a smart phone, on their network
Friend of mine was a salesman who was issued a phone by his distant Company headquarters but he'd leave it at the office. He said they would often try to locate his whereabouts using their phone.....so he bought one for himself and used that to do his business......while fishing from his boat....:fish2:
 

Puspawarna

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Friend of mine was a salesman who was issued a phone by his distant Company headquarters but he'd leave it at the office. He said they would often try to locate his whereabouts using their phone.....so he bought one for himself and used that to do his business......while fishing from his boat....:fish2:
Smart guy!
 

snpark

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If you can, take the allowance and get your own place
I know of several expats on good packages who were being housed in ridiculously overpriced apartments until I told them that they could take the money and get a bigger better place for half the money
 

vocalneal

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and you shouldn't have problems applying and getting a credit card quickly too if your company is big client for the bank,
Sorry when I said their network and their bank I meant that the company I will work for is part of a large conglomerate. Other business groups in the conglomerate are the bank and the phone company.

So yes it might be easier to get a credit card. I'll find out when I get there. Might also be able to get a car loan from the same bank?

I have thought about getting my own phone and leaving the company phone in my bedside drawer on the weekends. Same as the fishing boat story.

probably the bank staff will come to your office anyway
Their is a branch of the bank on the ground floor of most large company office buildings.
 
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