Friday, March 4, 2011

Jakarta life

I love my maids. I really do. Last night, I came home from work to a nice dinner cooked by my maid. I am referring to wholesome meal that is warmed up nicely along with fruits and coconut juice for dessert. It was welcoming after a long day at work. I love coming home to a clean home where things are in place, all thanks to my maids. Such are the perks of life in Jakarta.

On the downside, it takes me 90 min to travel 10 km to work. So that is three hours wasted on commute daily. Well, with my blackberry and iPad, I get productive in the car. But still, it is frustrating. Not go mention another 2.5 hour if I want to have lunch outside the office. Of course, the driver is the perk. And having a driver is very much part of life in Jakarta for the middle class. It costs less than $200 for the monthly wage of a driver.

So there is upside and downside to life in this city. We don't have parks but instead of lots of huge, glitzy malls with more malls to come. We lack public transportation but we get by stuck for hours in the car chauffeured by a driver. Jakarta is as safe or as dangerous as most cities in South East Asia (excluding Singapore which probably has close to zero crime rate). Practice basic common sense and safety precaution and you will be fine.

It's a shame Jakarta is under-rated as a tourist destination and usually not the preferred posting for expats. Give Jakarta a chance and in time you will be charmed by this place and its people who are probably one of friendliest you can find in any cosmopolitan cities. You can always spot a smiling face in Jakarta.

No comments: