Travel

Indonesia

Our friend, Naomi used to live in Denver.  She moved to Jakarta, Indonesia three years ago to work at one of the International schools there.  You might remember that she spent a couple weeks in Europe back in 2015.  She met up with us in St. Tropez and then she and I spent over a week touring around Italy.  It was definitely my turn to visit her and explore Indonesia.  I had originally planed to go last October over her fall break.  Things on my end didn’t work out, so then I promised her I would come for her spring break at the end of March.  I booked my flight and flew to Jakarta.  Naomi met me at the airport and we took a car back to her expat complex.  She lives in a gated community that has townhomes and apartments for many of the expats either working at her school, other schools or employees and families of people working at the embassies.  It is well-maintained and there are pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and a community center with a fitness center, coffee/drink area and spa.  I arrived a few days before Naomi’s break started, so I had some time to explore on my own.  I worked out, visited her school, which is located in a huge mall, visited the grocery store (one of my favorite things to do in every country I visit) and just relaxed.  Naomi treated me to a massage at the spa in her complex, which was a perfect way to spend my first full day in Jakarta and work out the tiredness from jetlag. 

Onboard the airplane, flying to Jakarta.  The flight was about twelve hours to my stopover in Singapore.  Then another two hours to Jakarta.  I slept most of the trip and didn’t get sick, which can always happen when I fly!

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I sadly took no photos of Naomi’s complex or apartment, which she made so homey and exactly to her personality!  She has a beautiful hibiscus plant on her outdoor patio, so I have one photo of a bloom!

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Naomi is very artistic and was having every week a few friends over to work on craft projects.  I was there for one of the craft nights, so she helped me make a little leather pouch.

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There is every type of Oreo filling available at the grocery store: original, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, strawberry and something called ice cream!  I definitely bought a package or two of the peanut butter Oreos.

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The huge mall where Naomi’s school is located.

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A scene of walking through town.

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I have to admit that traveling to Indonesia was a bit of shock.  The traffic in Jakarta is really crazy and congested!  There are cars and motorbikes everywhere.  Naomi gets around by motorbike or taxi/Uber.  Taxis are incredibly cheap.  For example, even though the ride to the airport is over an hour away, the taxi costs a little over $20!  Many of the expat families and wealthier Indonesians have drivers.  There is a quite a disparity between the socio-economical levels in Jakarta.  Near Naomi’s community are large houses with tall fences around them, usually a gate keeper/security guard sitting at every entrance.  Right outside those fences, things are not as well-tended.  One evening, we walked through some neighborhoods to get dinner.  Sidewalks are crumbling or non-existent and the country as a whole it isn’t as clean or as efficiently run as what I am used to.  I don’t want to say everything is not so great in Indonesia.  I think it requires a certain mindset and acceptance to that is just the way things are.  Not everything can be run with military precision, like in Germany!  I did love the warm weather and lots of sunshine.  You have to visit Indonesia knowing that it is slower paced island life!

I am sorry that I took so few photos in Jakarta but I did take a ton more photos on the rest of the trip!  Naomi and I flew from Jakarta on the island of Java to the neighboring island, Bali, which everyone is familiar with.  We spent a week in Bali.  I will share where we visited and what we did later this week. 

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