Moving to Jakarta
July 28, 2019 4:36 PM   Subscribe

It is 85% likely I will be moving to Jakarta as of the first of January for 2-3 years. I have a number of specific questions, but general advice is also welcome.

My specific questions:

I will be moving with a dog. I have the government rules well in hand, but I'm looking for vet recommendations and any dog friendly neighborhoods. Difficulty level: large blind dog.

Any neighborhoods which are walkable and safe (bonus for dog friendly). I have a driver for work, but I'm a committed walker and have not owned a car for more than ten years and I'm going to go crazy if I need a taxi to do my grocery shopping.

Things which I should bring when I move?

Tips about learning Bahasa Indonesia? I'm starting with some online courses, but are there recommended teachers or schools?

Things you love about Jakarta?

I'm a runner and a hiker. I understand about the pollution and traffic. So what do people like me do in Jakarta? Go to the gym?

Books about Indonesian history?

Any other MeFites in Jakarta who would like to meet up? I'll be frequently travelling there as of the second half of this month.

Anything else you think I should ask but am not asking.
posted by frumiousb to Travel & Transportation around Jakarta, Indonesia (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you get a motorbike, most practical for shopping. If you don't know how to ride one, best learn before you go if you can, in a less congested area.

The cool thing about Bahasa is that it is standardized and you can quickly learn a basic form to talk with people before learning the more formal version you see ie, in the newspaper.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:00 PM on July 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Look on Facebook for expat forums. That's where a lot of this stuff could probably be answered more efficiently.
posted by k8t at 6:35 PM on July 28, 2019

Oh, lucky you! I love Indonesia.

With the caveat that I have not lived there for ten years: Jakarta is fascinating. The traffic is a nightmare and there is a lot of pollution, and a lot of poverty alongside (mostly expat) wealth, but it’s a great city to experience.

Re: Bahasa Indonesia - it is an easy language to learn (comparatively). The spelling/pronunciation is basically phonemic and the system for conjugating verbs is simple. It helps that Indonesian people are super helpful and appreciate any attempt to learn/speak their language, and will work with you even if you are mangling it a bit. (‘Bahasa’ literally means ‘language’ in Indonesian, by the way - so ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ means ‘Indonesian language’, ‘Bahasa Ingriss’ means ‘English language’, and so on.)

Hopefully someone will come along who can help with specifics re:dog. Hope you have a great time!
posted by Salamander at 3:29 AM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're not part of the Grumpy Expat FB group, you should be!

Pramoedya Ananta Toer is a wonderful Indonesian historical fiction author. I recommend starting with the Buru Quartet.

I took a world music class in college and the unit on Indonesian music was fascinating. A+ would recommend looking for something similar (probably online through open uni?).
posted by jrobin276 at 4:13 AM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd be wary of bringing anything leather which might get moldy. If you have big feet, shoes could be an issue, and my biggest bugaboo, finding bras that don't have an inch of padding and lace.

For drinking water, the large (water cooler size) plastic bottles of Aqua are very reasonable and recyclable. There are various pumps or spouts to attach or you can just decant into a water pitcher.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:57 AM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Where are you currently based? There are lots of Indonesian cultural organizations internationally - I take Bahasa Indonesia and dance classes at ICONE in the Boston area, and there are lots of grad students and Fulbright scholars in the area who offer private language instruction in person and online.

I don't know of a particularly good neighborhood in Jakarta - when I've been on Java for any extended period of time I have mostly stayed in Depok and Bogor - but I have friends who work for the US Embassy and live in Galuh and Kemang (these are both pretty expat-y).

Traffic sucks. Embrace GoJek.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:04 AM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ChuraChura, I'm in Hong Kong currently.

Thanks for the answers. I am also hitting the Indonesia expat forums, but I tend to like the advice I get from MeFi.

"finding bras that don't have an inch of padding and lace." ooh, I so hear you TWinbrook8! This is an issue in Hong Kong too!
posted by frumiousb at 5:25 PM on July 30, 2019

Coming back to add: surge protectors
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:45 AM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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