As a short update, I thought that I would answer a few of the most common questions I get asked about what my life in Indonesia looks like.
Are you living in a city? How big is Jakarta?
Yes, I do live in a city! That city is Jakarta, and it is the capital of Indonesia.
The city is massive! It is one of the largest cities in the world, containing over 28 million people in its 255 square miles. I live in South Jakarta, in an area that is very “expat friendly,” which means that it is 1) more expensive than most other places in Indonesia, 2) more people speak English, and 3) there are a lot of places to get more common western goods. [If you know Teresa, she lives south of Jakarta, but the city is so large that her area is sometimes referred to as being in the south, and my area as south central. Really, it means that I am in Jakarta proper, and she is in the outskirts.]
What is living in Jakarta like?
Obviously, my experience isn’t the same experience as many of the people in the city. There is essentially no middle class in Indonesia, so the dichotomy is very clear. In regards to navigating the things about Jakarta that are very different than normal big cities in the United States, here are a few differences:
*The water is polluted, so you can’t drink anything from the tap.
*The city does not have clean, even sidewalks like in the United States. Therefore, while you can walk places, it’s not like living in New York, Chicago, or Grand Rapids in terms of easy-to-follow paths and street lights.
Do you like your apartment?
Yes, I do like my apartment! It’s on the 11th floor, and it is very nicely furnished. I have air-conditioning, too, which is brilliant. I like my view, however thought provoking it may be, and I like searching for the mountains every day.
Do you like living in Jakarta?
I have not even lived here for a week, but as of right now, yes.
Everything is new– I haven’t grown tired of having to go to three different grocery stores to get everything that I want, or not being able to drive a car, not understanding what anyone is saying, or it always being 92 and humid.
If you know anything about culture shock, I am due for a breakdown in two months…. So check back with me then 😉
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!
Don’t forget that you can see a bit of my day-to-day life from the instagram photos on the site. If you scroll down a bit, they are to the right. (If you want to see a larger version of the image, click on the photo!)
*For all those Chimes kids…