Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Since January I have been having stomach and digestion problems and spent many an hour on the toilet wishing for a smell free day. Me being me, I considered it just a bout of food poisoning which is common here due to the lax hygiene routines in food preparation and really bad local toilets and dirty tap waterand oft badly stored but not cooked food. So I let things rumble on despite warnings from the wife that I should see a doctor and get it sorted out.

So on valentines day I decided to take my wife out for the evening to the hospital where we could while away the hours waiting to see a doctor. We went to the nearest one, which is Tria Dipa about 1km from my house and it is a good hospital and is well respected even if it does need a lick of paint.

The doctor I saw, seemed to know his stuff. I have met him before and he treated me for my back pains. You should know there are no GPs but doctors that you can see, therefore no real records or history of patients unless you keep returning to the same place. So to see the same doctor twice is a good thing I guess here.

I was told to go and have a blood test which was a first for me because I have never had a blood test before and after a syringe load of blood was removed, I had to wait 20 minutes while it was tested for the chance of Typhoid Fever or Tyhoid. One is never quite sure what it is out here but to mention you have 'Tipes' or Typhoid and you are instantly considered ill and wished a speedy recovery. There was also a chance that I would be admitted to hospital which I was not too impressed with, Yovita even less so and with having to stump up a large deposit first to get a bed I was not looking forward at all to that prospect.

1 form does it all for the tests in hospital

Back to the doctor for the result and I was told, it was Typhoid and I needed to rest not eat fried food and drink as much water as I humanly could before saying everything was OK and goodbye.

This ones says TY-O is + positive rather than negative

We were given a big bag of antibiotics and a letter declaring I needed 5 days bed rest. Bed rest being made to rest in a bed and off home we went.

Bed rest is boring and almost impossible with my son who is  not sick and wants to play and jump and crawl and play more with me all the time I was at home. So I spent my rest with him taking life easy resting at home and sleeping more when he slept so much so by the following weekend I felt so so much better. The drugs worked, the water worked and the rest definitely was a good thing.

Jeremy behaving while I was resting

Ironically, the doctor said that Typhoid was common for westerners to catch in Indonesia and looked a little lost when he was told I have been here for 8 years and only had the flu a few times and some back problems. But then he said my blood pressure was good for my age and my heart was strong so that was good.

So what is Typhoid?

Wikipedia describes it like this

"Typhoid fever — also known simply as typhoid[1] — is a common worldwide bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica subsp. entericaserovar Typhi."

So now you know. Happily the antibiotics kicked in and cleared it up and I am back at work and the world continues to revolve. And just maybe I will go to the doctors next time a little sooner!!!!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Happy Birthday EF

Somedays its hard to imagine that EF English First is 50 years old and that it was created a Swedish man with a vision and who saw a gap in the then developing tourist market and exploited it to the max.

But EF (Education First and its other familiar name English First) is 50. And last Tuesday we had a party.

This is I think, the only corporate birthday I have ever attended. A global party for all employees to attend and all at the same time. I imagine non Islamic countries enjoyed sparkling wine and champagne as the toast. I enjoyed the grape juice. Our party was for all the staff who work in the building for EF, which meant all teachers and staff and the administration people who live upstairs.

Decked out in our very best EF t-shirts, we listened to a short welcome and then watched a few videos about EF and its history plus how the organisation got into the Guinness book of records for the most people who participated in a dance world wide.

Cake and lunch then followed by the inevitable round of photos.

Somedays its good to belong to something.

The video:

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Floods in Jakarta

Well after 2 months of threatening the city with floods of near biblical proportions it finally happened. The city has in some places been flooding in areas since Christmas but this week with a high tide from the north,  heavy rains in the mountains in the south and torrential rain in the city, Jakarta in places finally became overloaded and the place flooded and ground to a standstill. It should be noted that this happens pretty much every year, and more than once. However, it being the rainy season the expectation is that the rain is worse, the floods bigger and the chaos more than the rest of the year and this year for some it has been.

The rains started over the weekend and on the Monday I had to be at school by 6am to go into the city for my school classes. It rained all the way from home to EF and then carried on into the morning at St.Ursula. There was a power cut for a while and then after around 9am the rain began to fall at a rate which you realise is going cause problems for people.
At 11am, parents were picking up there children from the school to get them home and the school itself started to flood. By 12 noon, my classes were cancelled and I was free to go (where?) back to EF for the day. Happily I work with another teacher whose classes were also cancelled so we waded out of the school without shoes and socks to Dunkin Doughnuts to wait for the driver who did arrive around 1.5 hours later. While waiting we watched the rain and floods rise.

My bike in the rain

The gloomy skies out side my school at 6am

St.Ursula in the rain
The floods starting inside the school

Leaving the school

The floods outside the school

Getting Deeper

The trip to EF was on clear roads but I had 3 teachers unable to come into the school on the Monday due to the weather. On the way home from EF I encountered the biggest floods I have ridden through ever and that was exciting but happily I made it. It was hard to do as the water was higher than my front wheel. But other than that, the traffic was very light.

The view from one my teachers houses

One of my teachers took this while trying to get to EF

Another view

The rain calmed down on Tuesday and I only had 2 teachers absent due to floods but they returned on Wednesday. The city itself got back to normal from Tuesday night and since then there has been no real heavy rain but there are many people claiming the rain will return this weekend or in the next week or so.  Lets see.

This was a 1km away from where I work

The city itself was stuck. The buses, trains and taxis stopped running. Large parts of the city was under 50-80cm of water and these are government areas, business areas as well as residential areas. Still it happens every year and every year nothing really changes, it just continues to rain and the floods come and go.

And some endearing photos of why I like Jakarta. People never give up.

From voanews,com

from floodlist.com

from thewatchers.adorraeli.com