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Positive experiences in Indonesia

 
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markustm



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject: Positive experiences in Indonesia Reply with quote

I used to teach in Indonesia, and found it a very positive experience. One thing I enjoyed after teaching in Indonesia, was the opportunities in teaching IELTS, and experiencing living in the diverse cultural environments, that makes Indonesia, so unique.

What positives did you/have you found in Indonesia?
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 131
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foreigners often say how lovely the Balinese are, which seems completely wrong to me. They are the least genuine people in Indonesia. Too interested in chasing tourist prices. I worked in Bukittinggi as a volunteer for a while. The people in West Sumatra are genuinely interested in travellers and have very rich traditions. The landscapes in the Minang Highlands are gorgeous too. In the rainy season you've never seen so many shades of green. That is a wonderful part of the world.

Last edited by princesss on Sat May 31, 2014 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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memae



Joined: 24 Apr 2012
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martabak manis is, basically, the highlight of my life.



i just adore Indonesia. Java is just beautiful - i love the towns and smaller cities in Jawa Tengah - especially Wonosobo, Dieng, and Magelang. i think one thing i really enjoy about Indonesia is that each little area - whether it's a neighborhood or a kampung or a town in itself - really has its own identity and has something to offer (or a mix of things) that is often unique to it yet it still fits into something much larger. Where i'm living now in rural Sulawesi there's a lot of Adventists, so the food here is largely appropriate for them, and the sambal tastes different because it doesn't use terasi, and on Friday afternoon the street is full of people walking off to church all dressed up with Bibles tucked under their arms. But the next desa over has a pretty big mosque and there's a lot of Muslims there, and the food is different - there's more food like gado2 and sate and whatever lalapan. i mean, there's lots more to them than just food, of course, but, well, i just really like eating. i also really like that i can walk 1km and be somewhere that feels very different.

My electricity goes off every day (been out for 5 hours already today and still isn't back on) but it's usually after school and i pour a glass of wine and go sit outside with my neighbour's kids and stargaze while we chat about whatever they've been getting up to. Blackouts make for the most beautiful starry skies here.

i go running most evenings after school and catch the sunset, and it's always stunning. i try and run somewhere different each time - through the city, through farms, through kampungs, along the new highway, behind the mountain. i stop and take photos and usually someone comes out of their house and talks to me. i've had so many interesting conversations at 5:40pm since moving to Sulawesi.

That's another thing to add about living here: speaking Indonesian. i think it's just a really fun language. i'm not great at it or anything, but i just love to speak Indonesian. i love the way people speak so noticeably differently here and there and i love the way slang evolves in Jakarta. It fascinates me.


My least favourite experience ever is always saying no to durian in my cendol but always getting durian in my cendol.
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Zorobabel



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a great experience teaching in Indonesia. I worked at EF, Wall Street, and a low-tier international school over 4 years. I loved the food, the climate, and the scenery. But the best part was really interacting with all the different people of Indonesia and learning about their different cultures.

I've changed my career now and am back in my home country, but I've always got an eye out for good opportunities in Indonesia and definitely intend to retire early and move back.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 780

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

princesss wrote:
Foreigners often say how lovely the Balinese are, which seems completely wrong to me. They are the least genuine people in Indonesia. Too interested in chasing tourist prices.


There is no other way for them to make money
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 202

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zorobabel wrote:
I had a great experience teaching in Indonesia. I I worked at EF, Wall Street, and a low-tier international school over 4 years. loved the food, the climate, and the scenery. But the best part was really interacting with all the different people of Indonesia and learning about their different cultures.

I've changed my career now and am back in my home country, but I've always got an eye out for good opportunities in Indonesia and definitely intend to retire early and move back.


Those are the two market leader schools in the industry in terms of hiring expats. They are easily the biggest employers of expats in the industry, so it is encouraging that you had a good experience working for them. That bodes well for others.

Can we safely presume that both employers got you a work visa, known as a KITAS? I always found that having that official card was so important. It meant security and legal certainty while living there.
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 64
Location: SumUt

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plumpy nut wrote:
princesss wrote:
Foreigners often say how lovely the Balinese are, which seems completely wrong to me. They are the least genuine people in Indonesia. Too interested in chasing tourist prices.


There is no other way for them to make money


I think it would be accurate to say "that's how they make money" ... I don't know about it being the "only way" they can possibly do it though. I think that's a bit like saying that using drugs is the only way that people can get high. It might be the easiest way ...

Medanese seem to be able to make some money (some of them have a lot of it, actually), though there are admittedly a lot of "orang miskin" here ... and there's shit for tourism really. Yes, a lot of foreign tourists come here, but they are just passing through on their way to Lake Toba, Bukit Lawang, etc, and they generally spend as little time in Medan as humanly possible. Some of them never even get out of the car.

Still, there is an economy here, at many levels.

I have had, overall, a very positive experience of Indonesia. It made a deep impression on me the first time I was here, and when I found an opportunity to come back some 34 years later, I did. That decision has resulted in some fairly "profound" changes in my life, and in fact I am now "married to" Indonesia ... its culture, its majority religion, and its people (person). Still, after almost three years here and one more to go on contract, I think I will be ready to move on for awhile in 2015 ... let's see how things develop though. After all, there are positive experiences to be had elsewhere as well.

From the first time until this one, it has always been very much a "love/hate" relationship for me, but the country is just so diverse and so unique that it sticks with one, positive or negative as the perception may be ... for me, it's mixed and ambivalent, and I think most people, if being really honest, would say that, but there may be those who just love everything about it without exception.

One thing that always stuck with me the most over those three decades plus I was away was the smells of Indonesia: the acrid smell of organic matter and other sampah burning on the side of the road, even the smell of the clayish, muddy soil, the food of course ...

The amazing lack of pretension and artifice, and sincerity among the "common people" too.

But one time at the American Club in Jakarta in about '75 or '76, some really stupid kids (who used to bully me too) tied a huge bottlerocket to a big frog and blew it up, that was definitely a negative experience to see that ... however, the meanest kid who lit the fuse and maybe one or two of the others wound up with frog guts all over their shirts, so I guess evil has its own rewards ...
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Zorobabel



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:
Zorobabel wrote:
I had a great experience teaching in Indonesia. I I worked at EF, Wall Street, and a low-tier international school over 4 years. loved the food, the climate, and the scenery. But the best part was really interacting with all the different people of Indonesia and learning about their different cultures.

I've changed my career now and am back in my home country, but I've always got an eye out for good opportunities in Indonesia and definitely intend to retire early and move back.


Those are the two market leader schools in the industry in terms of hiring expats. They are easily the biggest employers of expats in the industry, so it is encouraging that you had a good experience working for them. That bodes well for others.

Can we safely presume that both employers got you a work visa, known as a KITAS? I always found that having that official card was so important. It meant security and legal certainty while living there.

Yes. I worked on a KITAS at both organizations. EF did have me work a couple of weeks on a visa-on-arrival while processing my KITAS after arriving which, yes, is against regulations. I did two years at Wall Street and never worked a single day without a KITAS.
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