I painted our living room walls last night and didn’t want to go to bed until I finish. Why? The arrangements I made fell through twice and I became too tired of waiting and too frustrated to not get things done. I realized, I can’t depend on someone to get things done, thus, I need to do it. It wasn’t the first one. I’ve actually painted 3 rooms and one small wall in the past two weeks. We have 3 more rooms and one small area to go. I would love to have someone else to do it although I enjoyed doing. It’s exhausting since I have to paint after our kids go to bed. We’ll see if I can find someone else to help me out.

Recent and First Happy Purchase

This past weekend, we went to a shopping mall near us called “Pasaraya“. The purpose was to find Batik shirts for my husband. He has wanted to buy some new Batik shirts for work for a while and since it was raining outside, that sounded like a good idea. I have been to this mall many times to buy paints for our house. There is a hardware store, “ACE”, in the basement where you can pretty much buy any home improvement goods just like in the States.

The floor for Batik was HUGE. There were so many shirts to see that my eyes started to cross. We walked and walked and finally found a few shirts my husband liked. He wanted to walk around more to see what other floors were like, so we all followed his lead. We got to a floor for sports goods and my husband asked if I wanted to look at sneakers for myself. I have been wanting to buy a pair of running shoes since I forgot to pack them. I packed my work out clothes, but no shoes! Just to tell you that my brain wasn’t functioning right.

We looked around and instead of finding my shoes, we first found a cute pair of shoes for our daughter. I didn’t pack her shoes since I didn’t think she would need them and we would receive our air shipment soon enough, but since she started school, we realized it would be better if she got a pair of sneakers. She liked these and I liked the design, so we settled with them.

I wanted to find a pair for myself, but because shopping here is so different and can be difficult, I almost gave up. I figured out that what you see in display may not be available in your size and to find them is a big task. I could not find any shoes I liked in my size. I almost gave up, but I thought that if I don’t take this chance to buy myself a pair of sneakers, I won’t have another chance to do that for a long time. I just don’t get to shop for myself with my little ones.

I have an interesting episode for you related to this. My husband, our daughter and I went to an interview with her teacher before the school started. Her teacher asked our daughter what we usually did as a family. Our daughter replied “shopping” which made sense since I have dragged our girls everywhere to run errands almost everyday since our arrival in Jakarta. Her teacher went on and asked who did shopping. Our daughter said “mama”. The teacher bursted into laughing and said “Oh, kids are so HONEST!” I instantly knew that she was imagining my going shopping at fancy malls for myself. I wish that was the case. At that point I have not done any shopping for myself. These pair of shoes I finally dug out were the very first item I bought for myself and other times, I have purchased a number of cleaning supplies such as a mop, broom, rugs, brush, cleaning soaps, sponge, you name it, groceries, little trinkets like trash cans, extension cords, tupperware, note pads and pens. They are all very unsexy.

The way my daughter’s teacher interpreted the answers that my daughter gave is understandable. I agree with the teacher that kids are honest. However, I feel that you can’t interpret what kids say and think that you got a whole picture. I notice that kids give a fraction of information and sometimes it can be missing a critical piece of information that completes the picture.

First Day of School

Traffic in Jakarta

We’ve been here almost a month, but I feel like our life is hardly set up in Jakarta. We don’t have a car yet. It’s quite difficult to purchase a car in this city even though the city is overflowed with cars (and motorcycles). I’ve used taxi many times. It’s not that hard to use taxi except for the times when your driver has no idea where you want to go and you can’t explain where it is because you really don’t know or you don’t speak the language. I have a long way to go. I’m taking baby steps everyday. I’m learning the language (thank you google translator) and learning where things are. Still I find myself in a one-step-forward-two-steps-back situation. Life is like that I suppose.



  1. says

    I lived in Bangkok 2 years ago, and I think it is pretty much the same as in jakarta: very messy, very polluted and very dirty. After a short while you will get used to it, and even though you don’t speak the language, you will find your way quickly and communicate efficiently with people. And should I add that I lived in japan too, and that honestly it is not a piece of cake to communicate with Japanese people in the street (they are so shy) and even worst is to try to find your way in cities without street names!
    Anyways, I think you are a well traveled lady and you are surely very patient… you will know Jakarta in no time!!
    Cheers :)

    • says

      I now understand what it feels like to live in Japan as a foreigner. That has to be so tough!!!!! Without street sign, getting around is quite hard. I remember when we lived in Okinawa, we used all the directions using “turn right at the corner with a yellow store” or “take a left after the sign that looks like …” I am Japanese, so it wasn’t too bad as I was able to ask directions (which was not many times successful as the local people didn’t know the places I wanted to go), but for foreigners, that has got to be challenging! It already made me feel better to hear you say that I will be able to find my way quickly and communicate efficiently with locals.

    • says

      True. It’s good enough for simple sentences in Indonesian, but it might not work as well for complicated sentences and probably not for some difficult languages.

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