Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Yesterday I was finally able to pay my rent after all sorts of difficulties. I spent nearly an hour at the bank getting my money properly transferred to my account then transferred on to my realtor. It is a huge weight off of my shoulders...

Jackie has been confirmed to sign to an agency in China... Considered to be the best agency in China it is a big deal and I am very happy for her but its going to be very sad to be away from her for so long. She should be able to make more money than she has been making here which will be very helpful... Again though the thought of being away from her for approximately 2 months will be very tough. I remember very well when she went to model in New York for 1 1/2 months and how hard it was for us.

She will probably miss both of our birthdays as well as my spring break... I'm trying to only think of the positives at the moment.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Always something...

No matter the day or the issue there is always something bound to go slightly wrong when living in a 3rd world country. I have been having all sorts of difficulties paying my rent for the remaining 6 months of my stay in Indonesia. Firstly the realtor asked that I pay at the beginning of the month even though it should not be due until the end of the month. Next my company who are required to pay my rent have decided to break up the payments so I must cover 1 month of the rent from my own pocket until a later time. And then finally when my company finally transferred the money my bank has withheld the funds for some as yet unknown reason. Hopefully by the end of the day I will have the money in my account and will be able to pay my rent and this whole mess will be behind me.

Its raining outside and I'm feeling quite lethargic really. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

re:re: Charlie Hebdo

This week has dragged on and on even though it is well on its way to finishing. Ahhh the first week back... I do know this semester will be a lot more palatable though due to the multiple holidays that will break it up. Chinese new year and Easter holiday will both be upon me before I know it.

I am sitting in the office waiting to take part in a looong meeting where a few decisions will be made after much discussion.

Also, yesterday in Paris a group of jihadists attacked a satirical newspaper killing many and escaping into the chaos. Acts like these create a larger divide between the western culture and that of Eastern culture.

Westerners consider their ability to speak, believe, follow whatever they chose as the ultimate definition of  freedom. Any attack on this freedom is then over reacted against on entire communities as a whole which only divides in equal proportions.

In the East this concept of absolute freedom is misunderstood and often unimaginable. In the same way the concept of certain things being untouchable and so virulently respected is unknown in the west.

The focus here in Indonesian newspapers seem to be that Hebdo had it coming to them for their history of abuses to all religions and strong held beliefs. The point is missed completely... People died over cartoons. Cartoons.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say things like "how would you feel if we disrespected Jesus, or nuns, or priests, etc?". I hate it, if I'm honest.

I remember there was a French artist who depicted the Virgin Mary in a sculpture of his own frozen urine. That affected me and annoyed me. However I would never kill him for it. The Westboro Baptist church angers me more than Neo Nazi goons at times and yet again I respect that they have the right to say what they believe. This is the separation between East and West.

The word Respect and Honor mean completely different things on opposite sides of the globe.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hanging on by a thread

I am barely alive at the moment. I didn't sleep very well last night and have been fighting sleep all day. My eyes are angry with me... I think it will still take a little time before I have adjusted myself to the school schedule again.

I am struggling with my job as well. It can be difficult when satisfaction has been drained away. It is hard to argue that I am making much if any difference at the moment.

What will come next year is becoming more and more nebulous. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Returning to the office

Its Monday morning and I am back in the office, its hard to believe my holiday is already finished.

I started off the holiday by leaving for Banda Ache with a group of friends and Jackie. We traveled first to Banda Ache where we were held back a day due to rough seas. Jackie and I were hassled by the religious police during a short walk after dinner. The next morning we were able to take the ferry across to the island of Pulau Weh.

The island is an incredible tropical paradise.. the island has epic beaches, waterfalls, a volcano, monkeys, multiple Japanese forts from WW2, mountains, scuba diving, hot springs, and NO mosquitoes!

The resort we stayed at is run by a former NGO who is an excellent cook. Every night he makes a 4 course meal that is better than most food I have had since I came to Indonesia.

We traveled around on a small motorcycle and explored the majority of the island. From hiking up an active volcano to trekking through a Japanese fort complex.

After returning to Jakarta Jackie and I celebrated Christmas. Christmas had always been a difficult time for me before but now having Jackie here with me it was a warm and incredible time.

On boxing day we traveled down to Bogor to the Mama Sayang orphanage to hand out presents to the children.. what was odd was the bus we used was a repurposed party bus with disco lights and karaoke machine... to an orphanage. At least it did have a toilet which was needed on the nearly 4 hour trip each way.

The rest of the holiday was spent relaxing and watching movies. Working out and cooking great food with my incredible fiancé.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All done

I finally finished up all my grading and have submitted my last exam. It is very much the same sentiment as to students when they finish their last exam. I slept in until 7:30 this morning and feel so well rested! 

Looking forward to friday when I am off to the beach! Pray for no rain!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Finishing up

I finished grading and correcting all but one classes exams. Tomorrow is the Christmas celebration. I should be able to finish these exams at the latest on monday then I will be all done!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Still Grading

Work work work... All the exams are done but I am far from with grading. Tomorrow is the faculty christmas party and this Saturday is the School's celebration. Its all coming to a close but I still have a lot to do.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


All I am doing  today and for the next few days is grade grade grade. My eyes hurt, my brain hurts, but I know it will all be over soon enough... Back to it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sing and back

This last weekend I had to go to Singapore once again. Seeing as how it is so nice there and I was able to stroll along the beach and eat fantastic food I suppose I can't really complain. I was able to meet up with Jackie for a bit as well as our visa runs overlapped briefly although she is still in Singapore even now. 

This week is off to a slow start. I have no exams to invigilate or grade until Wednesday so today and tomorrow are sit in the office and look busy days. I made an ornament for the office Christmas tree and walked to lunch. Now I am just watching old top gear episodes and avoiding eye contact. Christmas holiday is within sight. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Almost finished!

Well I had a bit of a rough start to the week having lots to do but now I am just about finished. I had to do the morning devotion and just finished with the last of my exams. I think I am going to Singapore this weekend then its Finals week and then glorious glorious holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Taxi woes

Last night jackie and I went out to run some errands which requires the use of Taxis... After running around all day we finally headed home and waved down a taxi. When I arrived at my apartment he suddenly demanded I pay him more than triple the amount on the meter. He made up some excuse about a standard minimum rate of rp 40,000 if the taxi is called i.e. reserved by phone. However since I had just waved him down off the street this was completely bogus. I refused to get out of the taxi and had to argue with him for several minutes before he begrudgingly gave me back my change. This morning as I was trying to go to work I walked outside to the taxi queue as I do every weekday and although there were around 9-10 taxis waiting none wanted to give me a lift. They all just shook their heads and turned away from me. When I finally convinced one to take me he admitted that taxis don't like to take white people and that none of the other taxi drivers wanted to take me because I am white. He said white people do not speak Indonesian and often get mad at the drivers... Well maybe if you didn't try and rip us off at every turn we wouldn't get mad! I am so fed up with taxi drivers over here. It is a constant battle just to get a fair rate.

When I lived here before I hardly ever dealt with taxis because I had a motorcycle and then a car... I had no idea it was this bad.

This week is review week and then next week come mid terms. So very soon yet still so far away...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Coming to a close

This is the last week of regular classes with next week set aside for review to be followed by exams and then... beautiful wonderful Christmas break. This semester has gone by so quickly it is hardly comprehensible. It feels like ages since our last break (which was before the semester started) but in terms of classes it seems like it has only been a few weeks.

Jackie has been working out a lot lately which has put me to shame and encouraged me to get back into working out. Its hard though to get into the habit as I've hardly ever used gyms. I much prefer to use physical activity or sports to gyms but Jakarta is not really a place that lends itself to outdoor activity. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Same problems different day

Yesterday Jackie and her friend Elisa intended to accomplish two tasks. Open bank accounts and repair the screen on a phone. Seems easy right? Set aside 2 maybe 3 hours right...? No, here in Indonesia one must set aside 5,6, up to 8 hours to accomplish simple tasks. First there were problems with Jackie's visa because it did not show her address. Then the real problems started when they tried to get the phone fixed. After agreeing upon a small price of about $10 to fix the broken screen they returned an hour later to a new inexplicably inflated price. Nearly 80 dollars... to fix a cracked screen! I arrived and spoke to them in Bahasa Indonesian to the shop owner who swore up and down that it was always that price. I demanded that they give me the phone back in its original state then walked around the corner to a different shop where I was able to fix the phone for half the price. The first shop however, angry with the loss of business took their sweet time in returning the phone so hours later Jackie was finally able to use the phone. After all the problems and concerns she and her friend went back to Jackie's Apartment where I had made fresh tortillas to go with some soup Jackie had made the night previous and we all sat down to a nice dinner with some red wine.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sleep wanted

Two nights ago I hardly slept. I had a lot on my mind and just could not sleep. I was surprisingly awake all day finished the days work and went to bed at a reasonable hour. Yesterday on the other hand was misery... I was a zombie for the majority of the day. I struggled through each of my classes and by the time I returned home I could barely stand. I napped off and on for the remainder of the day and finally succumbed to sleep at 9pm. Thankfully I am feeling much better today thankfully but it is a constant reminder that even the smallest change to my sleep schedule can ruin my week. I am often asked to go out to a movie or something which might make sleeping at my regular time more difficult. I rarely do for this reason alone. I might be okay the day after but maybe 2-3 days later as the lack of sleep builds upon itself I am crushed and can hardly function.

I was just looking at the schedule and it looks like I only have about 2 weeks until review week and then finals! Only a short time more and I will finally get a decent break. I will be relaxing on the beach enjoying the sun and be free from 5am mornings... 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back in the habit

For whatever reason I have been lax in regards to this blog as of late. I need to get back in the habit of writing nearly every day. I have been very busy of late. I am in the middle of reorganising the structure of discipline at the school and more importantly enforcing said rules. Very often rules and decrees are made with little to no enforcement in Indonesia.

This week marks the anniversary of the beginning of the revolution for Indonesian independence from the Netherlands so we are celebrating Indonesia and its diversity throughout the week. Yesterday I was part of a play where I needed to speak entirely in Bahasa Indonesian. I was busy all week and always had meetings when rehearsals took place so I only had about 1 day to memorize my lines. Unfortunately my abilities are only just when it comes to speaking Bahasa. I can communicate well and understand quite a lot. However I am by no means proficient. Indonesian has a formal language which is far from the informal speak that is more often used in everyday life. Very often I receive formal papers at my apartment or at the school that even my Indonesian friends cannot understand. That is how far removed formal Indonesian is from everyday life. I understood the vast majority of my lines... but there was certain words which I could hardly pronounce much less understand.

Lets just say at the last minute I had some doubts and decided to have a little help....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fly by

This week has absolutely flown by which is odd considering how slow last week went. My stomach isn't feeling fantastic but such is living in a third world country...

Jackie just returned from Surabaya and though she worked hard and came back exhausted she did well and made some money. It can be a very frustrating thing to be over here in the middle of (seemingly) nowhere and have nothing to do. Her work schedule is such that it can be very difficult to make plans as she never knows what she will be doing the next day until the night before.

I have no plans for this coming weekend but of course I am looking forward to getting some extra sleep. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Back to school back to work

This weekend was a short one though relaxing. I hardly did anything at all aside from read and swim. Jackie is in Surabaya for work and had been busy all week due to Jakarta fashion week. Not much else to report. Im just sitting in my office grading papers and dreaming of christmas break. I'm sure it will be here before I know it. But still.... can't wait!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good with the bad: Ikea and Puncak

Last week somehow stretched on and on. Usually the days fly by but not last week for whatever reason. So I very much looked forward to the weekend I think I went to sleep at around 8pm on friday night... I am such a party animal.

On saturday Jackie and I went to the new Ikea in Alam Sutra Jakarta. A friend let us use their car and driver which made the trip a lot easier. I couldn't believe how crowded it was... packed to the gills with people using common Indonesian "courtesy" so it became very uncomfortable. The food court was so over crowded and the lines so long Jackie and I pushed past our extreme hunger and finished shopping to eat afterwards. We found all sorts of great plants and things and had a great day although I became frustrated when I reached the checkout only to find empty aisles. The vast majority of shoppers were there only to look around and to eat.

Yesterday Jackie and I still had use of the driver and car so we decided to go to Puncak again. We set off in the morning to head into the mountains to go for a hike amongst the mountains and fresh air. However after stopping for lunch we were faced with the reality that the road had reversed... You see in Puncak the main road going up and down the mountain only allows one flow of traffic at a time. On normal occasions the traffic reverses every 1-2 hours. Yesterday, they decided to reverse flow every 5 hours. So for 5 hours you could not go up the mountain... only down. Then for the next 5 hours you can only go up. We drove all the way to Puncak, had lunch, then had to return home... we then spent 2 1/2 hours stuck in traffic so all told we drove for 5-6 hours for lunch. Once again we were forced to take the good with the bad in regards to life in Indonesia.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I had to give the morning devotion today but the rest of the day should be less stressful. I have to consult some teachers and give a short performance review as well... but I think I will have lunch outside of school just to take a break. I have to give the devotion tomorrow as well... Not a lot to say about this week so far. Just work work work. I also have an amazing fiancé.. just saying.