Monday, 15 December 2014

Floating Market Sentul

Think Asian Markets, think Floating Asian markets and instantly you create a world of long narrow boats full of fruit all tied  together with men or women in big rice field hats smiling and trying to sell you anything and everything. That exists in real life but in Thailand. This is Indonesia, its just not the same.

Still moving on. Last Sunday EF Puri went to Sentul, a place between Bogor and Jakarta and to its floating market.or Ah Poong Floating Market or Sentul Eco Park but for me it was the Floating Market at Sentul.

Taking the toll from Cilandak and heading south it took us not ime at all to get there and for a change that was good.

The place basically is a restaurant surrounded by water, a river and a small garden with some statues. It is a big 'eat and eat' whereby youy purchase a credit card type card and add money to it and then choose from the vast range of Indonesian foods and drinks and other food goodies; basically like the one in Gandaria City but with natural lighting.

I chose Sop Buntut or Oxtail soup. Which is bits of Ox tail in a clear soup. It is always good and this one was very good. After that some Mango frozen Ice and some other snacks. The eating seemed to go on for a long time and then it was time to explore.

Bouncy bridge over the river

We took a boat trip (5,000 rupiah each) to the weir and back and that was a good 15 minutes spent and then from there a walk through the gardens to see some bizarre unnaturally linked together Statues.

Whatever you think that horse is doing, it is
A transformer and a good one at that

A fat man

For a Sunday lunch activity it was fun and easy to get to and it was nice to see the mountains around Bogor and have the lungs filled with cleaner air. And it is that air which has probably made me sick since!!

Happy days.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Nexus 5 Lollipop

I have owned a Samsung for a while now; my tab which is at least 4 years old, a Samsung Grand and a Samsung  Mega 5.8. They are all amazing devices and can do amazing things, however I have been getting frustrated recently with my Mega and so I have been looking to change it for something else. Android something else.

I ended up with the Lenovo Vibe Z, Samsung Note 8 and the Nexus 5. I have used Lenovo before and so know what they can do and Smasung is always easy to use. Nexus 5 is an unknown quantity for me but has very good reviews and interestingly enough is in the same price range as the other 2.

On Saturday after much searching, I ended up in Pejaten Village at 7pm at night (I had been doing other things as well) and after being told the Vibe Z is no longer sold and the note 8 was not 3g, I found myself in a phone store which had Nexus on offer for just over 4 million.
Typically, the store took only BCA or Mandiri debit cards and I did not want to pay with Credit Card so I had to go to an ATM and come back with far too many 50,000 rupiah notes and stood and watched amused as the cashier counted them.

Then once the Mini Sim I had been using was fitted I was and still am the proud owner of a Nexus 5 black phone. The mini Sim failed so I had buy a new Sim Card and number and that is now causing me a headache but I will sort that out later.

Yesterday I updated the phone from Kit Kat to Lollipop and its awesome. Battery runs a little fluid but its great.

Some specs if you need them.

Its Black, made by LG, 8mp camera, 1.3mp camera on the front, non removable battery, 12gb free memory but no expansion. Android 5.0 Lollilop. 5 inch screen and groovy.

As of day 2 it was a good move to switch over to Nexus and I am not missing Samsung at all. I hope it is all that I think it is in 3 months. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Renting in Jakarta

I think we might be on the move and after 2 years we will probably look for something a little smaller and not so expensive.
The house we are in is rented and there is no real chance of us buying a property just yet due to one thing or another so we need to keep looking and work out the best way to do that. 

The rent of the house is in my opinion over priced and with the cost of everything else increasing balancing everything is becoming too difficult. The house is a 3 bed 3 bathroom affair in the middle of everything. It is 3 years old yet has problems with a leaking roof, cracks in the wall, wonderous plumbing and the phone signal around the house is getting worse everyday. It still has a great view, ideal location and plenty of space but I am beginning to tire of the noise from the bike shop and the constant worry when it rains of where the next leak will come.

Looking into the Kitchen

Naturally the landlady remains absent and unattached to all this, rather just sits and waits for the rent to be paid and lets the house continue to not be maintained, which is a shame. I think the approach from the landlady is that there always someone who will live there and therefore pay the money, but this will come at a price to her because if she wants to rent it again so much will need to be repainted or repaired to make it more viable. She not set foot in the house since we rented it in 2012. 

However, searching for property to live in is not as easy or as hard as people make it out to be. You can go on line and search for property for rent or sale or pop into the various estate agents who will help you and give you a price and then when they see a westerner give another price because we are all far richer than those in Indonesia, yet I dont have a house or a car so hows that? Or you can roam the many streets and see what is being locally advertised and then send in all those that are not Indonesian to look at the place and negoiate a price before the westerner is seen and yep the price will go up again. The second option is cheaper and far easier.

So yesterday we rode around the streets close to home looking for places that are for rent and found 3 or 4 places with phone numbers displayed which we will follow up and ask how much is the rent, how big and how many bedrooms. We cant really move too far away from where we are now due to the school Belvan goes to, the closeness of work for Yovita and the fact that her family is within walking distance and that is good news for her and the kids. Plus if we move too far away then the cost of transportation will negate any saving on the rent over the year and therefore potentially be more expensive. The final reason  we have to consider is if we lose our current housekeeper (it took 5 months to find this one) then we have to again rely on Yovitas family and my working hours for child care which becomes more stressful by the minute for all. 

Not the best view in the world but its the one I have

I hope we can find something we can settle into for even a year while we work out what comes next. Of course if we cant then we will stay where we are and look again next year, but in the mean time all the housing in and around Mampang and Pancoran seem to be turning into guest houses therefore shutting out people with families who want to live there. I guess we would ultimately be forced to move somewhere else where there is more affordable housing but further from everywhere we want to be. 

If we do stay then I guess I will have to buy some paint and give the place fresh look as it does need it. The roof can continue to leak and the plaster cracks widen but I am sure a coat of paint will make things better in some ways. Afterall, I live in a country where painting over the cracks is the solution to most things.