Jakarta News

Expat of the month
  • Jakarta News
Published on 2012-12-01 at 00:00 by Expat.com team
Hi, my name is Luke. I am from Frome, England and I am now living in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I live in the south of the city and travel to west of it every day for work.

Hi, my name is Luke. I am from Frome, England and I am now living in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I live in the south of the city and travel to west of it every day for work.

When and how did you decide to move to Jakarta? Is it complicated to settle down there?

I spent 2006 travelling across the world and I thought about working as a teacher in Asia and so I applied to various schools across Asia and was accepted by schools in Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. After some consideration I choose Indonesia, mainly because I had never been there before and so it would be a brand new country and experience. 

Moving to Jakarta in 2007 was relatively easy to do as my employer took care of the legal side and housing, so all I needed to bring was clothing and personal items. 

Have you ever lived abroad before? How many countries have you visited?

Previous to 2006 I had travelled through Europe, parts of Africa and around the east coast of America from Key West to Bar harbour and also some parts of Canada.

I am not entirely sure how many countries I have been to but I know that I still need to visit more and try to learn more about them and the people that live there. 

In 2006, I spent my time travelling the world and spent 4 months in Thailand, a month in Ecuador, Malaysia and travelling across Europe, 3 months in New Zealand and a month in the UK visiting Ireland, Scotland and Wales. So I think I had enough time in some countries to appreciate the way of life and some of the culture. 

What do you like the most about Indonesia/Jakarta?

Indonesia is rich in culture, nature and lifestyle and there are so many different things to see and do throughout the country. It has the most amazing rainforest, jungle, mountains and volcanoes, beaches and grasslands. The seas are full of amazing creatures and because Indonesia consists of Islands there are so many places to visit and explore. I like the ability to get on a plane and within 2 hours be sat on another island by the sea and enjoying the view and the lifestyle. 

The people here are very friendly and welcoming and the lifestyle overall is relaxed and not too pressured. Everything gets done, although not always how you would want it or when but it does get done and that's enough for me.

Living in Jakarta is the most amazing experience I have ever had. I guess because it is so different from my home town of 25,000 people, as now I live amongst 20 million people and the challenges and pace of city life are huge. For me, Jakarta offers something different every day and putting its problems with traffic, overcrowding and pollution aside, there is always somewhere to visit and explore and there is always something happening in the city. 

Since being here, I have found wild monkeys living in the city, discovered the old Batavia city walls, found new foods and fruits and some of the best nightlife in the world. 

How is/was the cultural shock? What are the main differences with UK, your home country?

I came with little or no expectation of what to find so I got away with the culture shock I think. I also think travelling across the globe before settling here made the move easier. I find going back to the UK harder as there is no-one there cooking food outside your house, everything is expensive and shuts by 5pm and it's always cold!

Do you miss anything from your homeland?

I miss the food, my family and friends most of all. 

Any 'memories of an expat' you would like to share with us? Your best souvenir? Or maybe your worst experience?

The best thing that has happened to me is getting married to my Indonesian partner as that has made living here perfect and the worst memory is having the house burgled 2 months before the wedding and losing most of the things in the house including wedding rings and knowing that there is nothing the police will do to get the items back. But to be honest that can happen anywhere and it is not just an 'Indonesian thing'.

Where will you celebrate the end of year celebrations? Any local tradition you would like to share with us?

This year, I will celebrate New Year at home and with a few friends. Last year we celebrated New Year in Bali and it was amazing and definitely worth the experience. 

At New Year, the locals flock to Ancol the big theme resort by the sea or the National Monument to celebrate and the traffic grinds to halt after 10pm so that is one local tradition I will not embrace!

When did you start your blog? For what reasons?

I write 'Jakarta News' as often as I can to help me make sense of living here and to provide an insight to life in Jakarta and Indonesia. I started writing in 2006 but I never really got the blog started until 2009, when I decided to start recording what happens in my life to make it easier for those back in the UK to understand how I live here. 

I try to write at least twice a month and add photos to all my posts as I do see and visit many places around Jakarta and across the country. Finally, I write my blog because I find it enjoyable and I know it is helpful when I get comments from people who say they found it helpful and interesting.

Did you make new friends with your blog?

I have made friends with many people around the world and in Jakarta too. I think blogs can be a way to meet and learn about new people and their way of life, but I find so few personal blogs that are kept running as people move on and do other things over time. 

Why did you register on 

https://www.expat.com and what do you think of the website?

I registered in 2009 with Expat-blog as a way of meeting and sharing information with people in Indonesia and across the world. I think the website is very well managed and governed and that the members (well in Indonesia especially) are polite and helpful and always sharing ideas and information. 

Which advice would you give to the other Expat blog members who would like to settle in Jakarta?

If you are coming to live here, do your research and search forums for the answers to your questions as they probably have already been answered. Don't come with expectations that it will be like living in your home country or things will be done at the speed or way you like them done as you will be disappointed very quickly.

Accept things for what they are here and don't be afraid to try something new or do something different.


Jakarta News