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How's the scene in Indonesia?
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: How's the scene in Indonesia? Reply with quote

Hey all, I've been teaching in Vietnam for the last few years and have loved it, but I recently have found myself in the position that moving on might be preferable to staying. I'm an experienced and qualified teacher with my degree in TESOL and nearly 6 years of teaching experience, 3 of which were in Vietnam.

So I had a few questions about Indonesia. Keep in mind that I'm not set on coming there just yet, really all of SE Asia is open to me right now, and I'm just trying to make the best choice.

1. How easy is it for a newbie to the country to get a job outside Jakarta that pays well enough to live comfortably and have an enjoyable lifestyle?

2. What are the attitudes towards foreigners like there? Do teachers have local friends or do they mostly stick to hanging out with other foreigners? What's the dating scene like? I know Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but does that interfere in meeting people and dating?

3. What's the average salary compared to cost of living there? I don't have any expenses or bills to pay, so I don't care if the salary is $1,000 USD a month if the cost of living is below that. Where I'm living in Vietnam, you can live comfortably if not extravagantly off of $1000 per month.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 988
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just come to Indonesia and and check it out first then see if you like it or not? Money wise expect to earn about the same as in Thailand...about US1,000/Month + few benefits if your lucky. Regarding dating checkout the Bali scene...they are Hindus...dating Muslim women is frowned upon and can get you in a lot of trouble...unless you convert and marry one! Good luck!
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Bali for vacation. It's quite nice, but I got the feeling that there wasnt much in the way of EFL jobs there. I'm also hoping to find something a bit better than your average EF chains. Is there any work in Yogyakarta?
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
dating Muslim women is frowned upon and can get you in a lot of trouble...unless you convert and marry one!


In somewhere like Aceh maybe, but in big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya many young Muslim women are happy to date western guys. Sure, some will hope it'll lead to marriage while others just want to have a bit of fun. What's more, if you're expecting all of these women to be walking around covered head-to-toe you'll be in for a (pleasant) surprise.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say the relaxed and easy dating scene is one major reason why some male expats (of either sexuality) stay so long in places like Jakarta and why - in my experience - the vast majority of English teachers are male. Unlike somewhere like Thailand, foreigners are still somewhat of a rarity in Indonesia (outside Bali) and, in some circles, there seems to be considerable kudos attached to dating a foreigner.

As for jobs, they're certainly out there (not a great deal in Jogja or Bali) but the rupiah is very low at present so salaries in USD terms have stagnated if not declined over the last few years and there are also a number of issues with procuring work visas which have been discussed elsewhere on here.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 988
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there,

I would go for the teaching scene in Indonesia any day...but the marriage scene is another story. Bali is my favourite destination....and Jakarta my least! Enjoy Indonesia.. Very Happy
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
dating Muslim women is frowned upon and can get you in a lot of trouble...unless you convert and marry one! Good luck!


Not so much exactly ("frowned upon"), yes and no, well, somewhat yes... not a good idea in Aceh, but in Jakarta, Surabaya or Medan... meh. Muslim women are forbidden to marry outside their religion, but many do, if in Indonesia there will have to be a false "conversion" by the man (which I cannot in good spiritual conscience recommend, but many do so), so there will be an "appearance of propriety"... but you are talking about dating, not marriage... urp. Dating of Muslim women by non-Muslim men may meet with disapproval by male relatives, neighbors, etc, but there are many women who are "free" enough here to do more or less as they please...

EFL Educator, it can get you in a lot of trouble if you do convert and marry one, too! Very Happy
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: How's the scene in Indonesia? Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
Hey all, I've been teaching in Vietnam for the last few years and have loved it, but I recently have found myself in the position that moving on might be preferable to staying. I'm an experienced and qualified teacher with my degree in TESOL and nearly 6 years of teaching experience, 3 of which were in Vietnam.

So I had a few questions about Indonesia. Keep in mind that I'm not set on coming there just yet, really all of SE Asia is open to me right now, and I'm just trying to make the best choice.

1. How easy is it for a newbie to the country to get a job outside Jakarta that pays well enough to live comfortably and have an enjoyable lifestyle?

2. What are the attitudes towards foreigners like there? Do teachers have local friends or do they mostly stick to hanging out with other foreigners? What's the dating scene like? I know Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but does that interfere in meeting people and dating?

3. What's the average salary compared to cost of living there? I don't have any expenses or bills to pay, so I don't care if the salary is $1,000 USD a month if the cost of living is below that. Where I'm living in Vietnam, you can live comfortably if not extravagantly off of $1000 per month.


I had almost finished a long post answering these questions, and I lost it... seriously, I completely lost the motherstumper. I'll try again, but not right now... capek deh.

Funny, I have been teaching in Indonesia for three years (with one more year on contract) and considering jumping to Vietnam... have a thread in the VN forum. Where are you living there now (city) and how much is average (lower tier) rent for 1BR apt, if I may ask? From what I saw of listings in HCMC, minimum rent was about 300 USD / month. That's a lot more than I pay in Medan...
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: How's the scene in Indonesia? Reply with quote

[quote="mysterytrain"]
ExpatLuke wrote:


I had almost finished a long post answering these questions, and I lost it... seriously, I completely lost the motherstumper. I'll try again, but not right now... capek deh.

Funny, I have been teaching in Indonesia for three years (with one more year on contract) and considering jumping to Vietnam... have a thread in the VN forum. Where are you living there now (city) and how much is average (lower tier) rent for 1BR apt, if I may ask? From what I saw of listings in HCMC, minimum rent was about 300 USD / month. That's a lot more than I pay in Medan...


I'm living in Danang which is probably one of the nicest places in all of Vietnam to live, but one of the hardest places to find steady work. There are local apartments you can find for $50 per month, but I've never heard of a foreigner living in one. I pay $250 per month for a nice, but small, apartment 2 minutes walk from the beach. Most of my friends pay in the $300-$400 range.

If you work for a school which will pay for your visa and work permit, your housing will be your biggest expense. You can easily live off of $1000 per month in Danang. It's what I started at when I moved here.

I honestly love Vietnam, and I think I'll come back here, but I just need a change of scene for a year or two.
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jaybet3



Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 139
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Indo Scene Reply with quote

I've lived and worked in Indo for the past 5 years, so I'll comment based on what I've experienced.

Dating: If you're a 20-40 year old in decent shape and friendly, you'll have plenty of ladies to pick from. I had a friend teaching in Central Java. He was an American. 28 yrs old, tall, blonde hair, etc. He dated so many women, he had to go out of town sometimes because friends of the girls he dated would see him with another woman and message them . On some night he had crazed, angry women banging at his gate while he was doing the same in his room with a different woman. The Muslim facade is BS unless you're in a place like Aceh where the men try to keep the culture like it was 100 years ago.

Jobs: I'm currently working in Malaysia because I couldn't find any decent jobs and refused to work in Jakarta or Bali. The company that hired me mentioned they've seen an influx of teachers from Indonesia because of the recent international school sex scandal, the government's reluctance to issue work permits because of previously referenced scandal and what is likely the lowest freakin' salary in SE Asia. I make double what I made in Indonesia for the same amount of work.

Bali: Ah, the dream of working in paradise is a joke. You'd be working in Denpassar which is a traffic jam nightmare to rival Jakarta. If your idea of choking on motorbike exhaust in a jungle climate then have a good time. You'd have to be extremely qualified (ie: Masters Degree, young learner experience) to land a job at an International school that would pay enough to put up with the nonsense. The competition for these jobs is high so temper your expectations.

In comparison, I rate Malaysia much higher than Indonesia. Less traffic (ie: less motorbikes), better infrastructure, a government that understands English is important unlike the clowns in the ministry of Education in Indo.

Indo was a fun ride from a central Java English First school to a private school in Surabaya, but I doubt I'll ever work there again for many of the above mentioned reasons.

FYI: I am happily married to an Indonesian woman and we have a 4 year old daughter. They stay there while I work in Malaysia because I've grown to dislike Indonesia immensely for the above mentioned reasons.

Bradley Cooper. Where are your comments????
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Indo Scene Reply with quote

jaybet3 wrote:
Bradley Cooper. Where are your comments????


1. Dating

Mostly agree with what others have said on this one. A lot of Indonesians want to date Westerners and I am sure that this is why many men stay in the country for longer than they really ought to.

If, like the OP, you are a self-professed ladies man, I recommend living in an apartment rather than a house, especially a house in the kampung. I have heard cases of concerned villagers banging on doors in the middle of the night. Discretion is highly recommended. Don't rub your amorous adventures in the face of religious types.

2. Religion

Religion is a highly complex matter and it is also a rather problematic one in many ways, but this is a long way from the Persian Gulf, and only a small but vocal majority are aggressive about their beliefs.

There is a division in Javanese society between the more pious, religious families, who sometimes used to be referred to as 'santri', and the abangan , who are more the rural poor. The abangan traditionally tended to be less devout and mix Islam more with belief in spirits, Hinduism and the occult etc. This distinction gets ever more blurred by the year, but different social strata do approach religion in noticeably different ways.

The Muslims who date Westerners are usually 'abangan', though few Westerns demonstrate any understanding or even interest in the class distinctions in Indonesia. These Muslims follow the religion in a fairly superficial way and are sometimes called "identity card Muslims". They often drink beer, go to clubs and are rarely seen with a copy of the Qur'an in hand. However, there are millions of pious Muslims, but they are more likely to be at home with family rather than out at expat bars.

3. Jobs

The OP has said he will be happy with $1000 a month. The last time I earned that little in Indonesia was on my first TEFL job in 2005, during my first 6 months in the country. Would I want to live on it in 2014? Absolutely not. But I don't doubt that a budget conscious person could manage it. Personally, I found that a higher salary allows you to cushion yourself from some of the madness of Indonesia. I wouldn't be happy living there on $1000 a month, but, yes, many people manage it.

If you are going to live on $1000 a month, maybe try Sumatra or a small city in Java. It will be more of a strain in Jakarta. As for Bali, I fully agree with Jaybets. What an overpriced, traffic-choked nightmare it has become. There are some quieter corners of the island, but the whole Denpasar area is a concrete jungle with the highest prices in Indonesia outside central Jakarta of anything. You would be mad to try and live there on a TEFL wage.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 988
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding Bali yes it has been destroyed by tourism....what a shame...TEFL wages are very low there and everything has become extremely pricey! Shocked
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Indo Scene Reply with quote

jaybet3 wrote:
The Muslim facade is BS unless you're in a place like Aceh where the men try to keep the culture like it was 100 years ago.


I caution and advise you to temper / self-moderate a statement like this in light of the very real possibility it could be viewed as offensive by others... (myself included).

The implication of your statement seems clearly to be that most, if not all, Muslim women in Indonesia (outside of Aceh, of course) are "loose with their legs", is it not?

You are more than welcome to your personal opinion about Muslim culture in Indonesia and the behavior of women in that context, etc. but as there may be members posting in / reading this forum who have Muslim wives, nieces, daughters, etc (and /or who are Muslim ourselves), and who may have a somewhat different perspective, you might consider using a slightly more respectful approach in future (?)
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SiThep



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By this point I am also getting tired of Mystery Train's argumentative streak. The last thing I want to see on here is Mystery Train acting as a self-appointed moderator taking objection on behalf of others.

Jaybets is just as entitled to give his opinion about Indo as anyone else. If Mystery Train feels that forum rules have been breached he should report that to the real moderators. The fact is that many Indonesian girls do date expat men and it isnt up to MT to defend their honor in cyberspace.

He didn't use the words "loose with their legs". You did! I hope you arent just trying to start a fight.
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Indo Scene Reply with quote

SiThep, I'm not too concerned about what you're tired of or what you do or don't want to see, BUT...

Yes, he is completely entitled to his opinion, did you not notice that I said so myself?

I am not "backseat modding" here. I was trying to tell this poster that I (me, myself, I) find the clear implication of his statement offensive, and I (me, myself) am married to an Indonesian Muslim woman. Get it?


To quote the statement with more "context":


jaybet3 wrote:
. He dated so many women, he had to go out of town sometimes because friends of the girls he dated would see him with another woman and message them . On some night he had crazed, angry women banging at his gate while he was doing the same in his room with a different woman. The Muslim facade is BS unless you're in a place like Aceh where the men try to keep the culture like it was 100 years ago.


The implication seems pretty clear to me. If Jaybet feels I am misinterpreting the statement, HE can tell me so, but I am a Muslim, my wife is an Indonesian Muslim, and that is neither a "facade" nor "BS".

As far as the posting guidelines here, you can read them for yourself. If it was a more blatant case (in my opinion) sure, I'd report to the mods.

As it is, I was just informing him that as the Muslim husband to an Indonesian Muslim wife, with many other Muslim women and girls in my extended family, I'm a bit offended by what he said.

That is MY opinion, and I am entitled to have it and to state it just as he is to have and state his (within the posting guidelines of the forum, of course). You've got a problem with me telling him I have a problem with what he said? (shrug) I don't have a problem with you having a problem with that. Okay?

And the "respectful" name for this country is "Indonesia", not "Indo", by the way.
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SiThep



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First you deny doing back-seat moderating and then you "correct" my use of the term "Indo".

Maybe you should prepare a list of terms that you are personally comfortable with and supply them to everyone. Maybe you could ask the "mods" to make them a sticky.

Or perhaps its 'my bad' again because I didnt use the correct term of 'moderator'. Is it all abbreviations you are against or just country ones?

You are now offended on behalf of Muslims, Muslim women, and the proper and respectful terms for geographical names. Wow it is going to be fun on this forum with you on here.

Let me just tell you one rule you don't know about boards. The real moderators have spelt it out before. Focus on your own comments and dont criticize and nitpick at all the other people who dont happen to agree with you.
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