Tag Archives: Jakarta

Long weekend

4 Dec

It’s another long weekend, this time courtesy of the paranoia about the protests in Jakarta. I won’t be complaining because that’s one less day of work for me. Anyway, not that it mattered because I still went on Saturday for extra class for those who wanted to revise for Monday’s test.

So it is Sunday now and the weekend was spent mostly watching Bondi Vet on Netflix. Season 1 was produced as far back as 2007. I’ve followed a few vet reality shows on NatGeo and Animal Planet, but Bondi Vet is different in that they actually included clips where animals died or had to be put down. Pretty distressing sometimes but that is the reality in an actual vet clinic, I guess. You get dogs that get run over. :( Kinda sad but that keeps it real.

I’m still reading Waltzing with a Dictator, but only a few pages at a time. I have a four-book backlog on Goodreads, and I’m a little torn about changing my reading goal to something more achievable. Let’s see. I still got three weeks left, anyway.

I’ve had some cycling of moods recently. Mostly sad because of something that happened a week ago. But yeah, shit happens, I should be able to get over it, etc. The problem is I have a tendency to dwell, and sometimes it is difficult for me to pull myself from a rut. The only thing that would likely help is to haveĀ  a routine with activities that can keep me busy and productive, instead of just lying around and thinking of things that cannot be changed. So yeah, I’m trying to catch up on an EdX course that I am currently enrolled in, and then work on my bullet journal later. Cooking also helps keep me busy, although I get annoyed by the fact that I always seem to forget to buy something I had meant to get. Like yeast for my homemade pizza. Lol. Also mozz for said pizza. I suck. Especially since I blow money every time I do the groceries, and then I end up not getting what I need.

Ugh.

Take me back to Jakarta ;'(

7 Jun

It looks like the the plan to rent that house I took a liking to fell through. The owner refuses to have the contract notarized, and is asking us to pay an 11% real estate tax. I will have to shoulder 30jt instead of 25jt, and my employer will pay for the rest. Not to mention that I can get kicked out anytime because the contract wouldn’t be legally binding. It’s disheartening. For one, I had already set my heart to living on my own in a quiet neighbourhood. I had come to terms to the fact that I would have to give up my year end bonus and then some more to make up for that amount I need to raise. But yeah, when I found out about the situation, which smelled fishy and full of bullshit, I went back to looking at ads for places to rent, and there aren’t many that are both acceptable and within the budget (or at least what I can possibly give).

I hate this place. I really do. I wish I had been more forward about getting transferred to Jakarta. There is no convenience here. You need a taxi to get anywhere, and there is nowhere to go or to see here anyway. And the housing. It sucks so much. One wouldn’t have an option with it, unless you’re loaded and willing to spend. There are only a handful of apartments, and they are much more expensive compared to Jakarta, and not much better for the price. And just this morning, I got up at 4.45 am to shower and surprise, low water pressure. Soon
enough the water ran out and I had to waddle to the bathroom downstairs, dripping, to rinse off. Shit I never had to endure in Jakarta. 

I can’t believe I am gonna spend another year here. Ugh. Fml.

Long weekend in Jakarta

8 May

I decided to go at it very late, but it was worth it to go to Jakarta for the four-day weekend. It was too short but really well worth it. Details later? Anyway, that wonderful weekend ended with terrible thing associated with that inevitable return to reality. For one, the Garuda Airport lounge was a real waste of money. And then the plane was delayed. And because it was delayed, we had to fly around until the runway was free, and now we are waiting for parking space to disembark. The airport in Semarang is really tiny. What I like about it is that getting off the plane and into a taxi takes about five minutes if you don’t have check in luggage. But at times like these it really sucks that it’s so small, because we should have arrived more than one hour ago, and instead we’re just sitting around, waiting, waiting.

Thanks, Garuda Indonesia. I’m gonna consider getting a cheaper flight next time.

Also, the guy sitting behind me kept coughing with his mouth open every two minutes for the duration of the flight. As if spreading spit and viruses was not enough, he also has really bad halitosis. So every time he coughs, the stink of his breath reaches me and uggggghhhh. Stinky McStinkface, please do the world a favor and just cough into your shirt. Ugh.

I miss cable TV.

1 Jan

My boyfriend and I have been living in hotels for more than two weeks. We spent New Year’s Eve in Jakarta, and we are still at an Ibis Budget Hotel in Menteng. I was looking forward to catching the premier of 1000 Days for the Planet but then they only have NatGeo, and not NatGeo Wild, where the show will be aired. I feel awfully disappointed. Since I left my job in Jakarta last year, I’ve been missing the perks of living alone in an apartment. In Semarang, I live with four other people from work, and while it is nice to have people around so you don’t think yourself into a nervous breakdown, there is so much boredom and a gnawing feeling of being cut off from the usual creature comforts. And I miss cable TV. I miss walking five minutes from work to my flat, turning on the TV and curling up on the sofa to watch the news or whatever show I found interesting. I miss my friend Shirley and our period of obsessive cinema-viewing. But alas, people have moved on. And while I have so many complaints about my current workplace with its inhuman workload, I know I should be thankful that I even have a job. Here’s to hoping that I will get something that is less soul-crushing than now.

Term break

6 Oct

Right now I am in Jakarta, slumming it out at my friend Shirley’s house. I left Semarang Saturday morning and proceeded to do some serious shopping/money burning at Grand Indonesia. Lol. It is a relief to finally be able to buy something, especially something that fits. And it is also nice to be able to get away. I have only worked there for a little over a month and I needed a getaway! The workload is heavy: five classes and five different preparations. Most days I was already too bummed out and too exhausted to really do anything after getting home. While I am practically also doing nothing while here at Shirley’s place (her term break is next week) it is a pleasant kind of doing nothing. I read a couple of selections from Penguin’s Little Black Classics and now I am only one book behind on my Goodreads reading goal! Lol.

End of chapter

15 Jun

I’ll be coming back home on Saturday morning. Leaving Jakarta for I don’t know how long. My visa application was not accepted (not denied) by the German embassy in Jakarta (considering that I was not going to returning to Jkt after Frankfurt) so I asked my sister in the Philippines to book me an appointment at their embassy in Manila. After several attempts and about Php 1500 worth of phone bills later, she was able to get me  scheduled on the 29th.

I am hoping for the best, but at the same time expecting the worst. When I come back to the Philippines I will be unemployed, and I am afraid that i might be profiled as someone who will overstay or illegally work while in Germany. I guess it has happened all too often, and in many other counties, that you can’t really blame them for being suspicious. But really, if my visa request was ever denied because of that, I would be deeply offended because while I have worked in Indonesia for five years, I did so legally. And I have passed up opportunities for well-paying jobs this year (possibly losing the flat that I have been paying for since 2012 in the process) just to get there. But yeah, like they would care anyway. Lol.

That one we’ll have to wait and see.

Anyway, I am still in Jakarta, sharing a flat with a friend. My third balikbayan box will be picked up on Thursday. And like I said, I will be arriving on Saturday. I AM SOOO NOT READY TO COME BACK. My things are still strewn all over the place, and there is no feeling of excitement about going back. In fact, I have this immense feeling of dread of not having the capacity to earn my own money anymore. Just thinking of it upsets me. No more job to come back to. Most likely six years of not having an income. While I must do this to start a life together with my boyfriend, losing my financial independence is a pill a little too bitter to swallow.

Today we had a meeting to deliberate the fates of failing students this year. I am such an asshole for giving homeroom teachers a hard time, but I really hate “helping” lazy students. Especially if the homeroom teacher asks for them to be given free rides even if they don’t submit their projects after many reminders, cajoling, and threats from me. Eventually I had to give in to peer pressure. But not without making myself look like an asshole first. Lol. Anyway, why should I care. I won’t be there anymore next year. All I can say is: good luck!

Tomorrow is the last day of the meeting, and I should really get to cleaning out my desk.

Au revoir, work. 

I’m gonna miss my salary.

Pera o pag-ibig?

17 May

It’s only a couple more weeks of teaching and after that a couple more weeks for exams and finishing up with grades for the school year. How time does fly past! I’ve only got til the end of the month to stay here in my flat, and then I’m moving in with a friend for the rest of my stay in Indonesia. Yep, I am leaving this year. I’d be going back home sometime in the third week of June, and then leave for Germany on the first week of August. The first trip is going to be a short visit (if a couple of months is short), and then we will see how it goes from there.

I am going to miss my life in Indonesia. It’s been really more like a second home, because when I am here I feel at ease. I don’t remember feeling homesick in the five years that I have stayed here, and it being close enough (just a four-hour flight) makes it seem like it is just an extension of my home. Thursday I had one of two boxes of my belongings shipped. The next one is just before I leave my flat. I feel a bit sad leaving, also because there are so many opportunities suddenly open to expat teachers like me. The past year their manpower department has been implementing the regulations for expats to be issued work permits and temporary stay permit (KITAS). I had trouble with that as well, because when my KITAS expired last year the company I worked for could not secure another one for me for several months. That was the reason I almost did not return to Jakarta January this year. It was too risky to not have the proper permits. And just last night, a coworker told us that there was a ‘battalion’ of immigration officers that showed up at her kost at 1 am. She had her documents so she had no trouble, but she heard that there were people ‘taken’ from other neighboring kosts.

So yeah, with the immigration strictly regulating expat residency, all of a sudden the doors of opportunity opened for expats like me. While I am a career teacher, a lot of schools here employ western expats to teach, even if they do not have a background in teaching (I know of someone who does not even possess a bachelor’s degree). These bules, as they are so called, earn so much more because, well, they’re bules. Don’t get me wrong, there are also qualified western expat teachers, but I guess there are more who are not, especially since by first-world standards, they would be earning something close to minimum wage. But they would live like kings here because the standard of living is quite low. Anyway, teachers from the third world like me only earn a fraction of what they get. And even then a lot would go with it, because it is still a little better than what they would earn back home. But with the current demand for qualified teachers, schools are opening up to teachers like me (sorry, but I am intentionally skipping some telling descriptive words because I do not exactly want my thoughts coming up on Google searches – overly paranoid). A friend of mine recently got a contract with a school that offered perhaps double her current salary, with a very attractive compensation package (which unfortunately she couldn’t fully avail because her children are of legal age already). And I’m thinking, man, I wish I wasn’t leaving this year. Lol.

My boyfriend thinks that I am overly concerned and constantly worried about money. Me growing up poor in an impoverished country contributed much to it, I guess. Okay, I did not live in a slum (or he would disagree there again) because my family owned our house and we were actually sent to private school and college, but the constant financial problems that our family faced had a huge impact on me. While I did not plan on working abroad, when I did and got a taste of the comfortable life, I didn’t want to go back to how it was before.

But then, my boyfriend and I agreed that I would come with him to Germany this year. I’ve got a visa appointment at the end of the month, the flight is booked, and he is preparing for when I get there. I wish I wouldn’t infect him with my fears, but I can’t help it. I feel powerless without an income. Living in the moment means I don’t have much in the way of savings (errrrr). How can I be my evil self when I am dependent on someone else? #IndependentWomanProblems lol. But I know, I should also take my chances and make compromises for our relationship. I know as much. I wish I wasn’t as conflicted as I am, because it affects him too.

Oh well, gonna get my mind off these worries by DOING MORE WORK. Lol. b