Last Friday was a public holiday (again!) so we decided to get out of the big smokey Durian and go somewhere we can walk around with the kids. Explore our city some more and force myself to get out of our condo.
My husband suggested Ancol Beach City. We haven’t been there before and I was eager to go somewhere outside of a mall. Ancol is easily accessible, located in the north side of Jakarta. Its a small island that you pay a toll to enter and there is A LOT to do there! There is an aquarium, water park, amusement park, cable car, zip lining, a really fun looking photo gallery (called Alive Museum) and Eco Park with animals and lots of greenery that I would definitely love to explore again next time. Now, just as a waiver, it is still in Jakarta so don’t expect it to be like Tokyo Disneyland with everything brand new and modern but its a nice spot for families. As an expat living here, I think its one of those places that you need to give a fair chance and go in with a positive attitude.
On Friday we decided to go for a short stroll only and wasn’t cut out for an entire day there, mainly due to the heat. So we went for a walk along the beach where the pier is. The pier itself is in a heart shape with a local cafe at the end (we decided not to stop at this one) and a spot where lovers (obviously those without kids and have time for such things) put their padlocks on for ever lasting love. We really enjoyed our walk. It had a nice friendly vibe to it with lots of families and young Indonesians spending a day out at the beach, taking photos and selfies with their selfie sticks. My tip is to bring scooters for the kids and perhaps go in the afternoon when he sun isn’t as strong.
There were also a lot of Indonesians swimming at the beach however we decided not to swim at this beach. Our kids were happy enough to play in one of their many playgrounds and enjoy a small train ride.
By this time, we were dripping in sweat and hungry, so we decided to drive to Pluit, which is about half an hour away. I love Pluit! It’s so different to central and South Jakarta. The houses there are huge, like mansions in Beverly Hills with their own private jetty and big power boats! My most favourite thing about Pluit is the boardwalk along the ocean.
We had lunch at my favorite restaurant there, The Jetski Cafe. I highly recommend this restaurant for kids and any visitors that you may have. The location of the cafe showcases another side of Jakarta that is rare. Wide ocean views, shaded outdoor dining with cute wooden love swings, delicious seafood and a place to walk! Every time I go to Pluit, I feel refreshed and recharged. Its quiet and I feel like I’m in a seaside harbour town, far, far away from Jakarta. Its honestly a beautiful spot for expats who are losing their minds in traffic and the business of the malls here. Jakarta is so under rated!
One of the best things for me as a mother with young children is being an expat at the same time. I think that if I were to have my children back in Australia, I would have struggled to make other mummy friends. My best friends had their children a lot younger than than I did, so there would be no playdates with them. I also think its more difficult making friends as an adult outside of work or university. Most women already have their core group of friends from childhood and they are not in the market for new friends. Yes, as a new mother I would have been set up with a local community playgroup but the demographics of that group may not be compatible for me. Also, I think that mothers are simply too busy to make new friends in Australia. They are washing, cleaning, cooking, juggling school runs, and making a living to pay the bills.
As an expat however, its the complete opposite. Especially in Jakarta. The market is saturated with other expat woman who are looking for new friendships! Continue reading
A few days ago I embarked on a life changing event that occurred within the walls of my condo complex. I stepped foot into my gym for the second time since living here (I’ve been here for three years) and joined a “Body Combat” exercise class. I was absolutely blown away by this class! It was challenging, professional, very popular, and so much fun!
This realization has revolutionized my life! I can now exercise without leaving my condo and avoid sitting through the infamous Jakarta traffic!
This little find has once again solidified my decision to live in a condo rather than a stand alone house. Continue reading
For those who know me, I try to avoid traveling as much as possible. It’s simply too difficult and stressful to leave my haven (and household staff) in Jakarta and globe hop with three young kids. Last week however, we spontaneous decided to go to Bali during school holidays. We literally had 1.5 hours to pack and leave for the airport! I’m surprised we even pulled it off, considering my nanny wasn’t even there to help me!
Living in Jakarta, we are so lucky to be located right next to the tropical paradise of Bali. Continue reading
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