I get the odd comment from people that I lead the lifestyle they can only dream of. One which appears to include little work, lots of photos of blue skies and palm trees and presenting a positive picture. Which on the whole it is. Mainly because I live in a tropical country which has an awful lot of blue skies and palm trees. I also work 50 hours plus a week. That bit perhaps is not so widely known.
I work for English First Indonesia and my centre is in Puri Indah, west Jakarta. I have worked for EF for 6 years now and despite some western peoples opinions I enjoy the work, the environment and the lifestyle it affords me.
|The reception area of my centre at Puri Indah|
I start work somedays at 8 and some at 11 and never finish before 7 as a rule. I also work almost every Saturday morning. I don't complain about that because I understand that is something that is required of me and I agreed to doing it and enjoy it so why moan? I also travel through the city every day on a motorbike to get to work and back and that normally takes around 45 minutes each way. The reason I live so far from work is purely a personal one for my wife and a decision which I made. The journey by bike is pretty straight forward except experiencing life of death moments every day and due to the pollution I am sure the air I breathe is the same as smoking 30 cigarettes a day.
My work is always fun, never dull, always challenging and teaching and training always has its rewards and so I am never bored. Just lke working anywhere else in the world, there are good days and bad days but every day is different as are the people I work with.
My team is a mix of western and Indonesian teachers and staff. I have worked with teachers from many western countries and backgrounds who are here for many different reasons which adds to the fun.
Working for the worlds largest provider of English language teaching also has its merits, such as its ability to provide new and exciting courses, training, promotional opportunities and so on.
However, working and living in Indonesia for me is different to working and staying in Indonesia. The difference being the lifestyle and the responsibility. Now being married with a child on the way, life is more real for me, in the sense that there is very little difference to how it used to be for me back in England (except I was not married nor expecting a child) but the rest is the same. Bills, Shopping, making ends meet etc. These things are the same throughout the world.
So, when I do get the opportunity to post photos and comment about how wonderful it is out here, it is exactly that. I am fortunate that I can if I choose go somewhere in a country of islands and be on a paradise island with in a couple of hours. That is something I am grateful for and which makes living here so much better. I am also in the middle of a city of 20 million people and that also has its rewards and fun bits.
With a family to support now, the trips are less frequent. Moving to the house we are in now in a way helps make up for that. Why? well this is the first time I have been able to blog outside in the cooler evening air, with blue skies and whispy white clouds above, looking out at the tall and not so tall buildings to the north and listening to some guy at the local mosque telling us all something before its prayer time.
Sitting here is exactly what I need now and I shall continue to enjoy it for a long time coming.