Sunday, 28 March 2010

People in lifts, Blogger Draft and crazy indo things

I must spend 15 mins a day in a lift going up and down to my apartment, jostling with others, trying to avoid the personal space issue, trying not to make eye contact with people who think if I do then they can practice their English with me and totally ignoring other western people as that is what we would do in the west to a point.
Today I watched one guy wander into the lift hands glued to his BlackBerry and then quickly press the floor number he needed and then proceed to stay totally focused on the screen while getting out at every door opening, realising that it is the wrong floor and then just pushing straight through people when got the right floor without even looking up to ask them to move.
This morning I tried to get out of the lift and was met by a crush of people so desperate to get in they were beyond rude so I just stared at them and slowed down forcing them to get out of my way.
Last night there were 15 kids all going on a sleep over in the lift and they looked horrified to see a 'bule' in their lift and I could sense that.
There has to be more life going on in the lifts in apartments then we really should care for. Laundry men, People delivering food, people delivering water, cleaners, security, building management, people leaving, people moving in, rubbish bins, all sorts.
No one speaks (luckily), everyone loves a little child they can coo at and smile at. I truly believe that the mobile phone usage in a lift is like a shield which lets the user think they are invisible and therefore no one will talk to them.
Women going out loaded with perfume making everyone smell nice for 5 mins. Sweaty basketball players no one wants to touch.
Maids feeding kids rice, Prams and push chairs, although not yet met a screaming child in a lift. There are 3 lifts in the apartment, something I think the architects got wrong as there really should be 4 as the queues often are too long.
The tradesman lift is too slow and small, how people fit furniture in there I dont know, the other 2 are fast but the door sensors are dodgy and so close on you crushing you as someone frantically presses the open button. I never help. I have my mobile phone shield so I cant be seen.
There was swimming pool signs but they go stolen. The tv monitor plays the same adverts over and over again.
There are special locks on the entrance to the lift halls and by tapping the glass of the door when you dont have a key the security aspect goes out of the window and you are in, to wander around the apartment should you care too.
I think though with all that the only thing that annoys me is the person who has a rucksack or backpack and gets into the elevator without taking it off and cannot see how it upsets others. I assume these are the same people who board planes also and then struggle to take them off in the aisle.... tut tut

I have never lived in an apartment block and so this is new to me, even after a year. I must record more randomness of the inhabitants of Tower E.

I just spent 10 mins reliving the week so I could record it or rather thinking what actually happened I dare report on here through the week.

So here goes. Monday I was told I have a new teacher starting. He arrived Wednesday and spent what was left of the week inducting him. He is Indonesian. Through the week I spent time with all my teachers holding file reviews which for me is a useful excercise. Someone brought a vacumn cleaner for the school and so all the carpets are clean.
Friday I held a big exam for my business class which consisted of a speaking assessment, listening and writing.  That stressed them all out.
Saturday I had to teach a class and then I went to a local school to handout certificates, be photographed and look bemused. It took an hour. I must admit it aint my cup of tea.

The afternoon was spent in Citra land eating and shopping before going home to watch Shutter Island on DVD (which was great and played all the way through). I had some problems with taxis as they did not want to take me the short distance from the apartment to the mall and back. Funny thing is that, those short sighted taxi drivers forget I will pay and tip over as it is a short journey. Still their loss not mine.
Shutter Island was good.

It was earth hour Saturday and so I had the lights out, the AC and TV on and the phone charger plugged in not charging, so kinda helped in a small way. The apartments turned off various lights as did central park but I am sure there was more that could have been done. I think there should be more of these than just once a year.

Its a good idea but not really in the media spotlight where it should be.

So Blogger Draft and new images and things have finally arrived and I like it. It just makes my blogs a little brighter and interesting and it Blogger has been a little behind in imagery and ideas and now it has caught up. Well done. Lets hope it continues to....

The week ahead has a holiday and an aptly named one for a change. Good Friday. I am not a religious man but it will be great to have a Friday off!!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Some more borrowed lists but with my answers


1. Are you single?
Not really
2. Are you happy?
3. Are you bored?

Not at this moment
4. Are you naked?
Under my clothes certainly

5. Are you a blonde?

6. Are you moody?
Yep and proud

7. Are you a lover/hater?
More a lover

8. Are you hot/cold?
Luke Warm hey hey
9. Are you Irish?

10. Are you Asian?


1. Name:
Luke2. Nicknames:
Jeff, Dave, Jon, Dr, Monster, Loopy, Regs, Mister, 

3. Birth mark:
Left on my belly button

4. Hair color:
Dark brown with grey highlights

5. Natural hair color:
As above

6. Eye color:
Grey Green

7. Height:

8. Facebook Mood:

9. Favorite color:

10. One Place to Visit:


1. Do you believe in love at first sight?
2. Do you believe in soul mates?
4. Have you ever been hurt emotionally?
Yes I have
5. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

6. Have you ever been cheated on?
7. Have you ever liked someone and not told them?
A lot of the time
8. Are you afraid of commitment?

9. Who was the last person you hugged?

10. Who was the last person you kissed?


1. Love or lust?
3. Cats or dogs?
4. A few best friends or many regular friends?
Few best friends
5. Television or internet?
6. Chinese Or Indian?

7. Wild night out or romantic night in?
8. Money or Happiness?
9. Night or day?
10. MSN or phone?


1. Been caught sneaking out?

Yes2. Been skinny dipping?
Yes3. Stolen?
Ye4. Bungee jumped?
Yes5. Lied to someone you liked?
6. Finished an entire jaw breaker?
8. Wanted an ex bf/gf back?
Of course who hasn't
9. Cried because you lost a pet?
Sure have
10. Wanted to disappear?

1. Smile or eyes?

2. Light or dark hair?
3. Hugs or kisses?
4. Shorter or taller?
5. Intelligence or attraction?
6. Romantic or spontaneous?

7. Funny or serious?
Both depending on the situation
8. Older or Younger?
Either9. Outgoing or quiet?
10. Sweet or Bad Ass?

1. Ever performed in front of a large crowd?
Yes2. Ever done drugs?
3. Ever been pregnant?
No5. Ever been on a cheer leading team?
6. Ever Been on a dance team?
Yes7. Ever been on a sports team?
8. Ever been in a drama play/production?
Yes9. Ever owned a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Escalade, Hummer or Bentley?
10. Ever been in a rap video?

1. Last phone call you made:

2. Last person you hung out with:
4. Last time you worked:
7pm tonight

5. Last person you tackled:
No one
6. Last person you IM’d:
A colleague Andy

8. Last person(s) you went to the movies with:

9. Last thing you missed:

10. Last thing you ate:
Tango wafer Strawberry


Hi Days and holidays

One of the best things in Indonesia is its love of national holidays supported by everyone having holidays and time off.
So what better day to have off than a Tuesday. It gets Monday out of the way and one less day to worry about and so can spend the day relaxing and doing my favourite thing. Nothing.

So off to the mall then!! Meeting Yovita at Semmangi for lunch and then she had to continue studying for her exams which are this week. The city was nice and quiet and so it was a good way to relax and not be at work. Getting paid not to be somewhere is a wonderful thing.
The rest of the week at work kinda got better. One of my teachers left the country and headed home and my newest started teaching. There seems a lifting of the pressure somewhat for some reason and so that feels nice.
I had to interview for a new class outside of the school in a local bank and so that was fun. I had 12 staff who spoke no to little English and they probably had never spoken to a white man or a 'bule' before so it was all giggles and shyness from the girls and crazy smiles and embarrassment from the men but it got done and that was good. I look forward to it being part of our schedule. The teachers will love it.

Rainy season must nearly be over which is good but it is getting hotter and dustier with more smog and more coughing as the days go by, but it is still sunny and warm all the time so I cant complain. When I get to it, I will take some photos of the plants which have started to flower.

My week is a good one. Another reason to like Indonesia, always expect the unexpected and so its all going well and everything is good when I find out that the payments for my new motorbike failed to be paid through the post office computer system so to prevent my bike being reprocessed I had to make another payment by the end of Friday. You me and money this year are sticking together like oil and water. So here is a thing I have $120 USD paid to the bike company through the post office and its lost in a transaction somewhere. So I have to pay that amount again and in 10 days time I will get a refund. (Coincidently in 10 days time it is time to pay the bike installment again, so I dont actually lose or win). So another week strapped for cash due to financial minefield that is Indonesia. If this happens to me what horrors happen to the locals here. It cant be easy unless I am doing something wrong. Anyway lesson learnt and will now pay through bank as it is more reliable and there internet cant fail so that has to be good.

I like the idea of having money, it seems however, the gods are plotting against me and sending me on a series of financial adventures to test me out.

The week apart from those little gems has been a very work focused and cant afford now to do much affair and this weekend was no exception.
I stayed home Saturday after work and did the least, which involved some tv and sleeping an awful.

I met Yovita on Sunday at Sarinah for lunch as she was studying in Starbucks there and from there we went to Care Cartel where the pasta is ok and the Philly Cheese Steak is poor but edible. Pricey and empty and a packed Burger King, I know where I want to be next time as they are selling triples now!!! and for a lot less.
We watched the movie Green Zone at the cinema there. 25,000 for the weekend and the sound, screen and the place whilst small is comfortable and relaxing.
The movie was great and I do like a Matt Damon film as they are under whelming whilst full of action at the same time.

So thats a thumbs up from me.

A short blog possibly a relief for some and not for others. My friend Jon finally joined Facebook after all this time of protesting and I know in a few weeks he will be hooked, Twitter is next!!. If he disagrees he can comment on here.
Mum says the daff and crocuses are up, so please send me some photos I know some people that have never seen them and would love the English spring flowers in all there glory.
And thats that. Except why do I get a Malware warning everytime I open the Jakarta Post?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Jakarta Airport and City Traffic

I got a new teacher :) so thats marvellous. I got a new female teacher so that is fantastic.

Good things this month so far.... Band of Brothers on HBO, Snow White and the 7 dwarfs on Disney channel, helping my girlfriend with a new phone, seeing the floor tiles shine after cleaning and polishing them and getting a new and female teacher. One could almost argue life is good.
Oh and I have hits now from over 50 different countries. Its not all bad. Oh I also caught the mouse terrorising the teachers!!!! I am a man of many talents....

Next month going to be even better...........

So I have to go to the airport and thats always nice. I have my classes covered by other teachers and put all my work on hold. Sit in the car and get driven to Soekarno Hatto airport in the province of Banten in the city of Tangerang Jakarta. Just like Heathrow airport London, the main airport is not actually in the city but about 45 mins in a fast car from the city.

Getting to airport, I discovered theflight from Dubai was delayed by 2.5 hours. There's a shock. So that meant I could not be back for my final class and so had to spend the next 4 hours at the airport waiting.  
What joy.

So I went to Toni Jacks for something to eat. Its used to be McDonalds but the franchise collapsed and so it was now Toni Jacks. The slogan "ours is better than that one" is in my opinion very misleading unless you eat the fried and then they might be right. The burger was pitiful. If the owner had spent so long making burgers then why was the one I ate awful.           

The only consolation was the guy who served me looked like and acted like a pirate so that helped.

So here I am waiting for something to do. I have spoken to the school sorted by schedules out and now sat waiting. Twitter updated. Facebook updated. Girlfriend spoken too.


The best thing abut hanging around the airport is watching all life there live and survive together.
I did not want any perfume, hotels, watches etc as normal. But this time I spent my time watching 2 girls from the west getting harassed by the local men and followed and sat closely with talked too. I then watched one man sneak behind one of the girls and try to take or touch something. Bored and fed up with this I went over and asked if they were ok.
They were from Russia and needed to get a taxi into the city to help them to their place.
The airport is nice dont get me wrong but it is not welcoming or friendly or helpful or anything that an international airport should be. A tourist coming here has no chance of any help as no one wants to help just extort money.
So I stepped in and helped them out. Took them to the blue bird stand got the man there to ensure they got to the city ok and that the fare was going to be correct. I can only hope it was.
That was pretty much my only highlight.
The flight landed at 6.25. My new teacher wandered out at 7.30pm


The ride back to the city was nice and quick.
After dropping her off at the house. I met the teachers and we all went for a beer at Cafe Pisa at Puri. I needed that.

Saturday was city tour afternoon and so me, Yovita and a couple of teachers got into the car and headed into the city. It was really a nice day and we went to the usual places. Sunda Kelapa harbour to see the old wooden ships and the men loading them by hand. They send everything from here all over the country from bottles of waters to motorbikes. All in these huge ships.
From there we drove through the city.

We stopped at Kota first for a wander.

Random views around the square....

From there we rode around the city a bit looking at the skyline after seeing the Monas and the Presidents palace. The skyline is great here and there are lots of great buildings

Different views through Sudirman and then upto Semanggi and back towards Taman Anngrek.

Our final destination was at Batavia Marina, one of the nicest places in the city to eat and chill out. I must admit its great there.

I will I am sure have more photos of this place over the months but it is nice to visit there in the evening as the sun sets to the east and we sit facing north,

That was the week. A good week full of nice things.

Oh yes. I am with Permata Bank now and they speak English in the local branch in Puri and it took 5 minutes to get my account open. Yeay

Monday, 8 March 2010

Money, Stress and all things Indonesian

Work wise - a bad week, started bad and then just got worse. Thats all I want to say about that.

Actually it was not that bad in places. It got better. Through the week I did very little except work and try to sleep. The insomnia is back with a vengance and thats really not helping. Work was successful in lots of ways but some of the more negative bits left me with my head in my hands and wondering where does it go from here. Still never stop fighting, never stop trying.
Yovita came and visited me in the week, that was great and cheery and made me sleep better.

Going to pay the bills on Thursday I noticed that the old bank account was a little low and after sleeping on it overnight I woke with the realisation that money had been taken from my account. 2 million or $200 or £144 to be roughly accurate. When I say gone, I mean missing.
On further investigation it appeared that the money was transferred to another account possibly my credit card account and I needed to speak to someone to find out more as Yovita was investigating for me and she was unable to get any more information. That never made the week any better infact ended it kinda badly.
So afterwork I went to Taman Anngrek to the bank. I should point out that I wont mention its name for fear or being sued or something as they dont take kindly to negative press and writing over here.

The customer service people were very pleasant and the branch was overloaded with people.

They made a telephone call to the Credit Card section and I spoke to them.  I spent 15 minutes being told everything but what I wanted to hear. Basically I never made the full minimum payment for my credit card as I could not simply afford it. The reason for that was in December they suddenly reduced my limit without any warning and then charged me for what was over !
So I was paying this back so I could live.

In the rules it states *** have the right to take money from my account to pay anything outstanding. Thats a good thing. It also states that they will give prior notice. That is a good thing. However they did not. 

So I spent 15 minutes trying to explain this to the Customer service person on the phone and was simply not either listened to or understood. I left the bank totally frustrated but happy I could shout and make the branch quiet and here my dissatisfaction.  I was told to speak to the payment and collection department who did not speak English and TRY to get an answer. That made me more than upset. Then the person said that if it happened to him then he would be happy and accept the moving of cash. 

My argument was the fact I was not told it would happen. That was all. My Credit card is paid now and there are no concerns. I will however move to Permata this week and stop using my *** account. They just have bad service and understanding of how to deal with customers.

Bad luck comes in 3's so it is said. I think I have had my 3 with ***

1. Sudden change in Credit Card limit NewYears Eve resulting unable to pay for bill in restaurant
2. No notice temp closure of my account for security's sake leaving me with no money or access to money
3. Moving money without my knowledge. 

So that was another voyage on the sea of money and the crashing into rocks. Another frustrating occurence financially and just rubbish service.

Hungry and less shouty we went to FX mall and ate in Pizza Marzano, a cos they have nice pizzas and bread and b they serve beer. Then after being filled up went and watched Alice in Wonderland which was a great piece of work and also cheap in FX and the cinema was not full on a Saturday afternoon. 
Then back here for more food and tv.

Sunday was spent cleaning the apartment and then to Puri Mall for the schools EXPO at the mall and to help try and recruit more students. I think we got about 50 so thats good news. My role. Stand and have my photo taken with random strangers. I did meet Yovita as she came all the way across the city to say hello and that was great as it cheered me up. 

You may notice currently I am spending a lot of time working, well I am. I dont really want to write my thoughts and feelings down too much as I dont know who reads this and if they are part of the company. I always enjoy my time at work and it is a great and fun place to work just I have a lot to do and need to sort out lots of things. 

Still I am making plans about June to go somewhere for my birthday weekend and chill. It will involve white sandy beaches, beer, and clear blue sea. Thats for sure I always have something to look forward too. 

I got a poscard also from England that was great as it is always nice receive them as it makes my day and cheers me up. So thank you Uncle M!!!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Some things I have done

I have taken this from another blog as it is a great list of things to review. I would like to thank Gregory posting this. I do like lists.... His blog is linked to this and you should check it out, it is awesome. Also do check out Margaret the blog, again the link below, it is good.

Somethings I've Done

I took this from Margaret. She has the greatest lists

This is a list of 98 things that you may or may not have done. The ones that are in blue are the ones that I have done.

1. Started your own blog  this one!
2. Slept under the stars - camping around my home town
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower in England
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - Florida
8. Climbed a mountain - New Zealand
9. Held a Praying Mantis - Malaysia
10. Sang a solo - When I was a Choir Boy
11. Bungee jumped - New Zealand
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm - Jakarta
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - 2 weeks ago
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables - in Chippenham
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - Night Train from KL to Bangkok
21. Had a pillow fight - often
22. Hitch hiked - Thailand
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - In England
24. Built a snow fort 
25. Held a lamb
26. Run a Marathon
27. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
28. Seen a total eclipse
29. Watched a sunrise or sunset- Bali
30. Hit a home run
31. Been on a cruise - Galapagos
32. Seen Niagara Falls in person- Back in the day
33. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
34. Seen an Amish community - Same time as the Falls
35. Taught yourself a new language - Indonesian
36. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
37. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
38. Gone rock climbing - England and NewZealand
39. Seen Michelangelo’s David
40. Sung karaoke - Jakarta
41. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
42. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - New Zealand
43. Visited Africa - Tunisia
44. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Bali
45. Been transported in an ambulance
46. Had your portrait painted
47. Gone deep sea fishing
48. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person- from the outside, it was closed the day I went
49. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
50. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Corfu and Thailand and Galapagos
51. Kissed in the rain - often
52. Played in the mud - Home
53. Gone to a drive-in theater - Back in the day
54. Been in a movie
55. Visited the Great Wall of China
56. Started a business
57. Taken a martial arts class
58. Visited Russia
59. Served at a soup kitchen
60. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
61. Gone whale watching - USA and New Zealand
62. Got flowers for no reason, bought - I like flowers
63. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
64. Gone sky diving
65. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp, Auschwitz - very very young
66. Bounced a check - back in England
67. Flown in a helicopter - Over New York Twice
68. Saved a favorite childhood toy, Old Panda, my first soft toy
69. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - back in the day
70. Eaten caviar - In England
71. Pieced a quilt
72. Stood in Times Square, drove through - Several Times, last time NYE 2006
73. Toured the Everglades- 2003
74. Been fired from a job,  
75. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London- when I was young
76. Broken a bon, a toe, I think 
77. Been a passenger on a motorcycle - Often
78. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
79. Published a book
80. Visited the Vatican - yes in the 90's
81. Bought a brand new car - Corsa 1.4 16v!!! and a new motorbike
82. Walked in Jerusalem
83. Had your picture in the newspaper - when I was young
84. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve - New York 2006
85. Visited the White House - Back in the day
86. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
87. Had chickenpox - Not sure
88. Saved someone’s life - Kiss of life back inthe 90's
89. Sat on a jury
90. Met someone famous - Prince Charles DDay celebrations 1984
91. Joined a book club - Brittania
92. Got a tattoo
93. Had a baby
94. Seen the Alamo in person
95. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
96. Been involved in a law suit well I was named in a Divorce case!!
97. Owned a cell phone - still do
98. Been stung by a bee - when I was younger

54 not so bad....