Still taking some time to settle in, Jakarta is very much the opposite of Sarajevo in many ways:
1. Huge city, tons of traffic!
2. Tropical and warm
3. Not as Westernized
I'll be honest this email won't be much in glowing, we still don't have any of our home stuff besides that which we packed in our suitcases, finding and making friends is tough, there is a deep lack of community in the Embassy, getting around is tough, they don’t have public transportation that is easy to use and the cost of things over here are much more expensive than in Bosnia. To top that off, for me, I was dropped off into the deep end of the pool work-wise and unlike in Sarajevo where my predecessor was amazing and the team close, here I was left with next to nothing in instructions and the person who was supposed to train me, less than enthusiastic about the job.
The kids and I are adjusting as best we can. We have a nanny and a driver, both a must in this country, as one can’t drive in Jakarta (unless you want to take your life in your own hands). But not being able to get around freely, even walk around, makes connecting with the city and its people just that much harder! Here, I definitely feel like an outsider (which wasn’t the case in Sarajevo).
But then I think it will get better, we will figure things out and before you know it, two years are up, or on the flipside, if we never really like it, it won’t be hard to leave and move onto our next assignment.
One thing we can’t complain about is the housing, while smaller, it is in a luxurious apartment and the view from our 10th floor is amazing. The building has two pools and a playground, which the kids love, and the staff at the apartment complex is incredible, without their help in navigating around town and in the culture we would have been a lot worse off!
Someone told me to help stay positive I should think of things I enjoy about Jakarta.
Three things I like about Jakarta so far:
1. The weather, nice and warm!
2. Reminds me of India, good memories there.
3. Wide availability of Western goods, especially food!