Wet season has started – November 2014

My first experience of minor flooding here in Jakarta. This was after less than 20 minutes of heavy rain and the impact on traffic is utterly ridiculous and incredibly frustrating.
The first two photos were taken on Jalan Sudirman, Setiabudi which is a block or two from our apartment. The last few were taken around the back streets near our apartment.
As you can see, the water is well above street level. What you can’t see is the rubbish and God knows what else that is swirling around in the water. The smell isn’t too pretty either.
Must be time to invest in some Princess gumboots!

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thesmult- life is what you decide
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Australia travel tips: 20 things that will surprise first-time visitors

Not a bad article by David Whitley, a British travel writer and regular visitor to Australia. He outlines a few tips for those visiting our beautiful land of many contrasts.

http://www.traveller.com.au/australia-travel-tips-20-things-that-will-surprise-firsttime-visitors-giyfph?&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=social&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0093-optim-nnn%3Apaid-25062014-social_traffic-all-postprom-nnn-traveller-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook

Experiencing Indonesian Roads

So a month or so ago I was feeling adventurous… I got my Indonesian licence. Now don’t be too impressed just yet- there was no driving test, no road rules exam. Why? You ask. Well check out the photos at this WowShack link and you’ll see why.

Driving in Indonesia is like Marble Run. You just pull out on to the road, regardless if there is a bike, car, cat, truck coming and go; mostly at a glacial pace because the roads (if you can call them that) are increasingly becoming giant craters with bits of sealed road around them. See the lack of need for testing my practical or theoretical knowledge?

Rules? There are no rules. The road is for driving and you are King, or Queen in my case. Lanes are merely suggested spaces to travel within and indicators are decoration. In the far right lane and to turn left? No problem, just drift across and sound your horn once or twice and you’re sweet!

Police helpfully blowing their whistles and imploring cars to move along a road resembling a car park is the norm. Somehow waving a red stick evokes the traffic gods and traffic finds a way to creep on just enough to make you believe that yep, we are making progress.

Pedestrians step out on to the street without remotely looking and possess a wonderous thing called a ‘magic hand’. Hold your hand out and wave it about and you too will be the proud owner of a magic hand that creates an invisibility/protective shield. The power is unprecedented I assure you!

Now I have not even begun to do the WowShack post justice; take a look for yourself. And no, I haven’t taken our car out for a spin just yet…

http://www.wowshack.com/22-things-youll-see-or-experience-on-indonesian-roads/#at_pco=tst-1.0

thesmult- life is what you decide
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21 weeks in..

OMG it just dawned on me that I have been living in Jakarta for 21 weeks now! It’s been a little up and down with weeks of feeling content and happy and weeks feeling quite down. D has handled my emotional outbursts with support and understanding and for that I’m so very grateful.
Chatting with friends/family from home and new found friends here, I now recognise truly how important our social networks are in maintaining emotional balance and an overall sense of being well, OK.  Building new friendships requires time, patience and a true giving if yourself. I’ve learned that I need too be kind to myself and not feel like I should have it all figured out already. It has, as I’ve said, only been 21 weeks.
So this week has been jam packed with social activities which have come at the right time (for the last fortnight I’ve been feeling low). Here are a few pics from my time out and about in Jakarta..
IKEA opened and I made a new friend. Rochelle, Felicity and I went on an adventure to IKEA. I say ‘adventure’ because we spend 2 hours driving around the wrong side if the city wondering why we couldn’t find the place.

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Tuesday was the American Women’s Association Bazaar. What an experience! So many people, so many stalls and so not enough time to check everything out properly. I also met Maree the ex-Principal of the NZ International School; another friend made.

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The Australian Embassy held a morning tea raised money for local breast cancer charities. Wasn’t quite what I expected as it was supposedly targeted out spouses. When we arrived it was mostly local staff and a smattering of Embassy staff. Still, all for a worthy cause. We’ve all been touched by breast cancer.

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Women will understand how difficult it is to find a ‘good’ hairdresser. My first experience with Musa at Alfons Salon was not great. My appointment was 10am and casually rocked up at 10.30. Not a wonderful first impression. Thinking I’d give him a second chance I had my final appointment with him last Wednesday, or so I thought. He used a shade lighter than my chocolate brown which resulted in lighter roots and darker lengths, noit quite the look I was going for. He says nothing as he dries my hair until I say ‘Oh no. THAT is not okay. You need to fix this’. His response ‘We fix in four weeks’. Many of you know ‘the face’ I give when I’m not happy Jan. Well he got ‘the face’, got the ‘tide and then got the message- he had better fix it and for free.
He did on Friday morning. I’m happy and never returning.

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Weekends are great. I love them because I get to spend quality time with D, whether it’s just pottering around at home, going to the movies or even boring chores like grocery shopping.
Yesterday we ventured to the Intercontinental Hotel to check out the 2014 launch of the Fuji Fotographi photo book. Quite the swish event for photography enthusiasts, particularly for those interested in photographing models wearing skimpy outfits (look closely at the photo below). Clearly catering for the nearly all male crowd in attendance me thinks.
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We also indulged and dined at Eastern & Oriental for a scrumptious 3 course dinner. My new favourite place.
Such a treat for the taste buds I swear!
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Great week 🙂