It’s hard to believe it’s only been 1 week since I left the US. I’m struggling to find a sleep pattern and three days in, I got something from the water. So far that’s the most difficult part—that and switching to Android. It’s going great with Christina and we have an apartment and found a car.

This is a very different environment. The first thing I noticed is the humidity—very much like Miami. Except for the baking hot sun, nothing would ever dry. Generally speaking, Jakarta is a dirty city and poor by US standards. There are exceptions of course and there is a big effort underway to clean up the city.

The traffic is the most unpleasant part about being here. It’s common to spend 90 minutes to get from one side of the city to the other. They have buses, trikes, scooter and regular taxis. Uber or Grab scooters are the fastest way to get from point A to B, but I’ve yet to take one. All in all, I can’t wait to get to Bali. That could take six weeks.

Everything is packed in in Jakarta. The population is 12,000,000. It’s diversity is kind of like the U.S. All religions seem to get along for the most part. There are diverse ethnicities here and to say you are Indonesian, could mean your from Borneo, China, Sumatra, Bali or one of 100’s of tribes. I have only seen a couple of caucasians since I’ve been here. I like the people here. They are warm hearted, respectful and spiritual. I have not felt out of place at all. It is vastly Muslim but you wouldn’t know it except for head scarfs. Merchants will take advantage of you if they can so you need to be on guard.

The apartment is very small. There is no reliable hot water but I don’t miss it. The complex itself is made up of about six 20 story buildings that surround courtyards and the largest swimming pool I’ve ever seen. There’s a gym and a 1km walking path that snakes around the courtyard. Our apartment is on the 10th floor. it may qualify for a two star hotel room rating. It’s not that hard getting used to the drop in standards—the necessities are all here.

So far, I’m only worried about the bacteria in the water. Somehow, I drank some and now I have severe digestive issues. It’s debilitating and feels like it will last forever. BTW, there’s a Dominoes Pizza here but I don’t recommend the Fire Breather.

The best part of this apertment in Kalibata City Complex is the courtyard. We love it. The brick walk snakes around for about 1/2 mile and the pool is HUGE.

Jakaerta is A big city—10 million people

Lunch like this is healthy and inexpensive. This meal for two was about 40,000 IDR ($3.00)

Christina’s brother Tomi and family. Not shown are Tomi’s three other daughters.

Meet Gabriel. our mini SUV. Lots of room in the back and 33 mpg. It’s a Toyota Rush. The thingy on the left side of the hood is a mirror that let’s you see exactly how close your tires are from going over the edge of the road. Drive here once and you’ll know why it’s important.


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