I’ve been silent for a while and the main reason is that I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time in Jakarta. Ever since our return from our vacation in Australia, three months ago, myself and all three kids have continuously been sick. It’s been an endless episode of fevers, coughs, tests, nebulizers, antibiotics and trips to the Doctor.
During my lowest point, when I had a flu and was bed ridden for 5 days, we coincidentally had to fly out of Indonesia to renew our visa. This came at the worst possible time because I felt so weak, was in pain and couldn’t imagine having to fly with three young children as well.
It then got worse with my two youngest kids falling ill when we arrived in Singapore. Miss 2.5 was so sick, the Doctor wanted to hospitalize her! I thought my head was going to explode from the stress! But, like all mothers in this world, my super powers kicked in and I took care of my family. We all finally recovered towards the end of our trip and had a few days of walking around Singapore to enjoy everything that the beautiful island has to offer.
I have to tell the complete truth here. This was the first time that as an expat housewife in Jakarta that I actually didn’t want to return to Jakarta. Having previously lived in Singapore, it just felt like home to me. I met up with old friends and when you are an expat, there really is no better feeling than seeing old friends again. It makes me feel like I belong somewhere and the home sickness goes away. I feel like I’m ‘normal’ to have a friend that I’ve known for a longer time than the term of our current expat assignment.
Singapore was also easy in the sense that I already know the country and how it works. I understand the culture and the system. Know which shops to go to and what food to eat. I knew where we could walk to and where we could play. All of this made me feel so warm and safe. I never feel threatened in Jakarta. That’s not what I mean at all. It just feels natural to be in a city that you’ve already lived in versus the feeling of settling into a new city. Mind you, I’ve been in Jakarta for three years now but I’m still learning my way around this big city!
Every time I move to a new country, as an expat, I get a little bit more exhausted. I feel like I’m diving further away from who I was, (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I’ve grown so much with this experience) but I feel like the old me is slowly slipping away. It’s hard to explain and I’m trying to process this myself. The only way I can truly explain is that I miss the old me. I miss being in my comfort zone and I miss stability. This expat adventure is so exhilarating but at certain times can also be so soul suckingly challenging.
Miss Two Point Five, has been feeling unwell the last few days, so I decided to keep her out of school and observe her. It was a great opportunity for us to spend quality time together without being distracted by her brothers. I decided to go to Sophie Authentique on Jl. Cikajang. Now, this isn’t going to be a review about the food or coffee. That was great and very delicious. Instead, I am going to focus on my experience there, as a mother and daughter duo.
Have you ever had one of those days, as an expat housewife, where you feel so sad and so low? You desperately want to talk to someone and open up but you don’t because you honestly don’t know who to turn to? I’m having one of those days.
I’ve receive many emails from women who are planning their move to Jakarta and will be an Expat Housewife themselves. They send me many questions and although I love to personally reply to them with my own advice, I think it’s actually better to refer them onto other Expat Housewives in Jakarta. For anyone new to the city, I suggest you look into the below: Continue reading
It’s the new year and what that usually means for Jakarta, in the world of expats, is that many old friends have left the city to go onto their next assignment (or are sent home) and many new expats will arrive. I have already met so many new faces this year and have seen new families around my condo. One of the things that I really enjoy doing as an expat housewife is helping new fellow expat housewives to assimilate into Jakarta, and make sure they they too, love their time here as much as I do!
The most common questions that I’ve been asked by newbies are, “Why do I love living in Jakarta so much?” and “How have I achieved this level of happiness?” To help answer these questions, I am going to focus my posts on providing advice for new expat housewives into the city. Please bear in mind that this is my personal advice only, highly based on my own personality, preferences and experience.
I am going to focus this post on families that are similar to mine, where there is a working husband and a stay at home expat mother. My first form of advice for any new family moving to Jakarta is to choose the area that you live in very wisely. It can “make or break” your time here and will have a huge impact on whether or not you will be happy with living in Jakarta. Continue reading
I’ve been back in Jakarta for two weeks now and the first thought that crossed my mind as I stepped into my condo was, “Its great to be home!” Many of my friends have been eager to catch up with me to find out whether or not I was happy to be back in Jakarta, or if my extended stay in Australia had invoked an inner desire to stay there permanently. The truth is, I love living in Jakarta and this is my home!
It’s a fairly new establishment that, much to my excitement, opened up in Gandaria last year, an area close to me. Gandaria, and surrounding areas, do not have many great, stand alone cafes that are not a part of a shopping center (I don’t like waiting until 10am for a coffee!) so I was probably one of their first customers when it opened. I was immediately impressed.
Today I returned our hired car and took the bus, and then train, with my kids to return home. Taking public transport was a highlight for my children! They loved waiting at the bus stop, saying ‘hello’ to the bus driver as they hopped on, and pressing the buzzer to alert the driver to stop!
On the way home, we stopped at a park and had lunch. They loved the open space, beautiful 20 degree Melbourne weather without humidity and refilling their water bottles with fresh, drinking water from the water drinking fountain! Continue reading
As you all know, I am currently taking a break from Jakarta at the moment, so a lot of my posts have been around life outside of the Big Durian. With the Christmas holidays coming up, many expats choose to fly home for the Silly Season however some expats decide to stay also.
If you are one of the few who will be staying in Jakarta over the break, please check out one of my dearest friend’s website for lots of fun activities and travel ideas for those living in Jakarta.