Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The last day of September

Wow, Its October tomorrow. Living in Jakarta all that really means is that it is getting hottter and maybe a little closer to the rainy season but other than that not much. For the northern part of the world seasons are changing, feelings are changing and there should be christmas in the shops by now. Here. We just have got passed Idul Fitri and now not much really happens until Christmas.
It is however like I said getting hotter. It did rain on Fridaay night I am sure I wrote about that. The pollution seems to be less or I have finally learned to stop breathing all the way to work and back but I doubt it.
Pretty tough day today mainly cos of the power cut at school as the electricity board plan a rolling series of blackout through the city. That simply does not help.
We had total blackouts on Sunday and even Taman Anngrek apartments went into total darkness for a while which was fascinating to see. It lasted 2 hours here and so that was no fun. I had just woke up from my afternoon nap (such a tough life) and got the tv on and then bang tv off and in dark we were. Saved by beer and a charged Ipod I survived the darkness chilling out on the balcony. Luckily enough the apartments have backup power and so I there was light but that was not really needed as I had nothing to do anyway.
There seems to be a lot of blackouts at the moment through the city, it could be lack of fuel to power the generators, it could other people stealing power, stupid people digging up cables by accident or the huge fire at a generating station in the city either way no enought to go round.
Monday morning again a power out in the apartments but the elevators worked so I went to school where there was power so that was good.
Back to the school after a week away. Some good news, all the teachers were present and even chirpy. That was good. Many students had returned also so that helped.
So lots of planning and discussion about things and what we needed to do for the week. Did not take long to get back in the swing of it. And with exam week upon us, the week hoepfully was panning out for an easy way back into work.
Going to the gym. Now that is a concept that I am still not sure about but swallowing pride and holding it all in off I went. Gold gym is a global brand apparently. Still it full of meat heads and fat wobbly women. I have seen muscle bound men on tv but this lot in the gym are astounding. I however quite like my British and comfy living figure however, following doctors orders I am doing in the gym.
Indonesia is great. I can walk into a gym and someone smiles helps me the least and then points me into the changing rooms and thats it. I am a faceless member. The spider has caught the fly in its web and so I now must take what comes.
Oh how it hurt.
I endured 50 mins of sweat and burn. But the hot showers were nice and needed and 10 minutes later I was home stuffing down pasta and water a plenty.
The goal - get cardio fit, get weight loss by 5kg, sort out some muscle tone where practical. Maybe see my toes without breathing in!!!!
Anyway it was ok really.
Nothing really happend Tuesday. Except the internet in the apartment went from slow to dead stop. Not Frustrating more pick up objects and hurl them around the place. But I gave in and went to sleep. Hey its only email after all.
And so that brings me to today. It is never a good sign to get to the motorbike park and get a handwritten ticket as that means.... yep power cut. So today the school had no power. Now that always sucks and makes  the armpits even more steamy. 3 hours for me. I did convince the boss to have the air con turned on in the teachers room for the teachers which the generator that was running could run so that helped a little.
Quite a eventful day for me and only me is what I will write about. Thats cryptic but so what.
Had a huge postcard from Ma so that was good I enjoyed receiving that. Did some teacher reviews and they went well and actually spoke with Venny today. Something that I must remind her we need to do more. I dont  like not talking every day with her and the team.
Choices choices, choose the gym over beer again and a very good thing too.  Rode for 10km and the threw some weights about and then ended up on another machine. 50 mins of good pure sweat and hard work. IT does refresh the brain and body I have always believed that bit about the gym, and I also believe it will do me good in the long run. I want to feel some burn and the ache and feel different and also hopefully feel different.
The builders are back knocking banging and generally making more concrete skeletons to my left as I look out of the apartment. The men are back from holiday. So the noise has gone from 0 to a lot and I am not sure which one I preferred the most.
21 days to go now before I fly away to foreign lands (well Thailand still same part of the world ) and that is great. Now need to find a way to get to the UK next year for a visit. Dreams are amazing when those in them are trying not to strangle you............
Right thats all. More soon.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Wanna Know what is happening around me?

If you want to know a little more about my life here in Indonesia, read the news from here.

Click on news and then either City or National and read through what strange but typically normal things happen here daily.

Its fun

More strange things in my wonderful world

I should be sleeping but I just have to write this all out. Arsenal and Fulham on ESPN and its well late and already into Sunday. I am also very tired.
I quite blogging on here although I have no idea why these things wonderous things cannot be found on the internet.
So is the place to find them and then from there look for the rest of my enteries over the years.
So Sunday already and that means tomorrow I am back in the chair, steering EF away from the dangerous shores and keeping all things kinda sensible and normal but thats another story yet to be told.
So from Thursday I have been not up to much. Thursday I rode the motorbike around for a bit getting fuel and then off to get it washed but to my displeasure finding out that the place I normally go is shut. Ah well back to the apartment and then settle down for the rest of the day.
I watched Ju'On or the Grudge but it is the original Japanese version and it was pretty freaky and creepy but not that special. Thats was about it really. I did intend to take some photos but I never took the camera and so I must go and do that another day.
Friday was different again. I went swimming in the pool. A gloriously hot and sunny day, the pool was warm and empty of people and so that was great. Enjoyed swimming and managed 5 lengths before I thought I just need to float here and try and change colour which hopefully would be to a darker colour not a paler colour.
Not much else really, watched tv and had a couple of beers, it seemed quite a good way to finish the day off. Mind what helped was the stunningly long lightning and thunder that knocked 3 channels off on cable tv and lasted about 2 hours and it rained for about 35mins. The lightning was awesome. I did try to record it but it never really happened but I know there will more opportunities so I will capture so great footage soon.
Saturday was a trip around the city. Met Yovita at Semanngi and spent hours looking for clothing for the holiday with her. Ate at rice bowl and the food was pretty rough but ok and then carried on shopping. Off to Citraland next as still needed to get more and so we did. Then as it is next door to the apartment I decided to find out about Golds Gym.
So completed a health questionnaire in English and then spoke to the marketing man in Indonesian, who very cunningly lied to us and told us I would not have to pay until 5 November but could start immediately which seemed ok. Paid for via the credit card and that was also ok as it cleared. However on challenging him further he had it all wrong. F*cker and so I get charged in October and have to pay from this month. However it is £30 a month for unlimited use and classes and includes free this that and the other so its not all bad. I had to sign for 12 months so as long as I have a job here its ok oh and I continue to live next door but I think that that bit will be ok.
Then once I had paid, the contract. F*ckers this is all in Indoensian to confuse and even the English speaking customer service person did not really know. Sigh oh How Indonesian..... I am hardly surprised by all this but at the end of the day, I have now joined a Gym and will hopefully begin on Monday. Objective - get fit, make the heart stronger, lose some belly and find some muscles (upper body) and maybe lose some fat....
So I now become a gym bod... Personally stunned but I think I can do 3 times a week Mon, Wed, Fri. Luckily for me it opens at 6am so I get start at 7pm and finish at 8. Get fit and feel better.
Made some stunningly spicey pasta - 7 chillis, whole red garlic, a lot of white garlice and onion. Very hot but good to eat.
Off to Jacksa for some pool and that was ok. The pool hall is in the middle of renovation so air con not really the best. Got bored, went to the movies. G force only - forget that, went to Starbucks - standing room only so Ice cream in McDonalds. Coffee McFlurry but it could be called McSlurry. Foul. The french fries tasted of chicken and the coke mix was too syrupy and flat. McDonalds sarinah truly is in my top 5 worst McDonalds in the world.
1. Times Square NYC
2. Boscombe - Near Bournemouth
3. Sarinah - Jakarta
4. Melksham - UK
5. Bath

Why? well mainly too full and crap food which considering its McDonalds has to be bad. However Green Garden and Kebon Jeruk both have good ones and overall the Big Macs here are well made and the triple cheeseburgers are great....

Any way I digress.
There are lots of superstitions on this planet some quite acceptable so quite silly and some quite bizarre. I live in a land full of this stuff
and the bunch of twigs I use to brush the bed mats chairs etc has to be stood upright with the twigs in the air the window to prevent ghosts from coming in. Now the curtains need to be washed as they are dirty and this is a haven for lost spirits. Closing the window apparently does not help but cleaning the curtains will.
I dont disbelieve but I dont find it strange, but my gf has strange dreams here, I do too but I wont say why as I dont know so anything might help....

So now you know about some more strange superstitions here and also my agreement to have these things happen in my room. But then I wont let anyone put new shoes on the table. My mother used to tell me off over these things so best I learn.

Well thats that lot off my chest. Best go to sleep. But first got to find me that pesky mosquito who has been busy.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Central Park and Taman Anngrek

While I have the time to do this I might as well fill my time. As my other posts on here have said I am on holiday this week in the city and the place has been fairly quiet with many people away in their home towns and villages. So I have decided to stay in the city.
Today has been really hot not hot. Surprisingly it is always hot, currently it about 90+ and there is no sign of it cooling down. I guess the rainy season must be coming soon, please. Lets have some rain here. I dont care when. I can run from the apartment to hero for beer.
Anyway I ramble. I do like doing that. I had Yovita knocking on the door at 9am this morning so that woke me up and so now semi concious, a nice cup of tea and thoughts of what to spend the day doing.
Central Park, Jakartas latest mall is open and it is 5 minutes walk up the road so off we go. I did take my camera to take some pictures but I actually never bothered. Now I have been in some big malls in my time but this when open will be possibly the biggest. It is huge. 5 floors and it is going to be loaded with M&S, Gap, Espirit, Next, Guess, Apple, blah blah blah, a huge starbucks is coming, Burger King ( fantastic ) JCO (doughnuts and coffee nice) is already there. Also a huge cineam complex on the 3rd floor and the ultimate Carrefour in the basement which is roughly twice the size of Tesco's in Trowbridge and all on floor. So that will be nice to buy HP sauce and Toothpaste from. And it is all on the doorstep. Outside there will be an auditorium and cafes and restaurants to sit in and enjoy the night smog so I am relatively excited.
Then feeling hungry off to Jakartas largests mall (and that is debateable after Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia got linked by a bridge) Taman Anngrek. Quick wander around then Macdonalds, well I do like traditional Indonesian food and then JCO for Yogurt and Kiwi and a read of the paper. Before looking for bikinis and clothes for Yovita.
We took a taxi back to the apartment as it was too damm hot ( 6000 rupiah or 45p!!!) and that was it really.
I did some cooking today again, Makes hot and spicy mushrooms which involves lots of garlic, red chillis, worcestershire sauce a lot of mushrooms. Ate with bread really quite spicy and good to eat.
Wednesday already and half way through the week. I cant believe I have been to 6 different malls so far, this is more than I would normally visit in a month.
Now tomorrow I am sure I will not post anything or write it depends what is going on. I think swimming and getting the bike cleaned. Also its time to sort out getting the internet upgraded. I do go on about this. For simple surfing its ok. For uploading pictures forget it. I cant even download virus protection updates as the speed is kinda slow to stop. But it is free and saving me cash a month but I would rather pay for a speedy service.
I have a feeling that I owe someone some money for my old service but seeing as they just cut me off without any warning and then demanded I pay for connection to a free service well they can wait. And I have yet to see the bill.

One thing is for sure I wont be walking around the streets tomorrow it is far too hot to do that sort of thing. I hope the laundry is open as I am running out of clothes now and I guess the builders will be back soon making far too much noise. I think maybe I will take some photos of around here so we can all have a look.

All this rest and lack of doing is beginning to feel good. And I get paid next week which means only 4 weeks to Thailand.

Tony has his orders, mother's going shopping and so thats good. Everyone is excited and I am sure Yovita is overly excited. Not at Tonys level which is a sleepless days and nights and surfing the internet for the best bars to drink in in Krabi but it is really close.

Ching Ching

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Whats in my world Tuesday 22 September

Fuck its hot outside as well as inside, as I step onto the balcony from the inside of my apartment. I am a freak of western culture according to some. I have no air con in my 23rd floor apartment, I have to buy it and I have not gor round to it yet. I think I will if I stay here for another year. Its a nice place, mediterania in Jakarta Barat (or Jakbar) and the place is quiet and not so full. There are shops and laundries, atms and most important swimming pools will help cool you down.
So no air con - saving the earth? no actually not reall wanted to spend 3 million all in on it and then the extra electricity bill actually, using my money for other things. That said I do think it is time for it.
Did I say it was hot?

Anyhow so here it is, my news from Jakarta and I am going to attempt to write down my thoughts, feelings and failings throught the months as it happens. I have lost since stopped doing this for reasons that have escaped me and considering I find writing a release I should get back on it.
Tuesday night, Tobruk is on HBO Max and I have beer, tim tams and the fan on. Its a great way to spend the evening.
I am on holiday this week as it is the Idul Fitri celebrations at the end of Ramadhan and so EF has closed and I am free for a while. Now, I could have chosen to travel with the rest of the country to somewhere nice but did I say I was going to Thailand in October, so I decided to remain in the city this time and not do much.
So far this week however for someone that does not do much I have been to FX, Senayan City, Chilis at Sarinah, Pizza Mariano at Senayan City, Semmangi, Pancoran Barat, Mampang and Puri Mall. So thats a lot in 4 days. I have ate a lot of food which makes a change, swam a couple of times and drank beer.
Today Yovita came round and after arguing with the taxi driver who had no change what soever and then borrowing 10,000 of the security man we decided to take the bike to Puri Mall. Driving in this holiday is actually quite nice as there is about 50% less traffic and so that means that it is almost pleasurable in this heat. My lungs and chest however do hurt when I breathe in deeply so I must remember to stop that but other than that the journey is always pleasant to Puri.
The best thing about Puri is that you can get pretty much everything thing you need there except today its BCA atm centre was closed. 15 machines all out of order and 7 men all sat there doing absolutely nothing. Great. And the funniest thought is that there are no maids and so the parents are forced to look after their own kids for 2 weeks, imagine that.
Pizza was nice as was JCO yogurt and then back here and that was the day.

And that is where I am up to now. I hope/intend to write more to capture the moments of life here, well my my life here.