Sunday, 11 March 2012

Home living Jakarta


Its been a long time since I crawled out of bed at 11am on a Sunday after having a long lie in and having nothing to do early on a Sunday morning. My old routine always saw me up and about by 8am sorting out laundry and then wandering to Starbucks for breakfast before spending the rest of the day in front of the TV slowly going mad, not that everything has changed dramatically but I cannot remember the last time I did that and it was good.

The change to my life from Apartment to house is huge. I am back cooking daily and eating more veg and fruit and spending far less on take away and rubbish junk food the change is huge. The travel and long days at work also make me very tired but that means, I think, more sleep although whether it is more refreshing that's hard to say.

On the other hand, getting up early does have its merits. Yesterday I was at a Yamaha bike service center by 7am to get my bike serviced, sitting in a Starbucks for breakfast by 7.30 and at work by 10.30 after being very busy all morning. Then in the afternoon once home, beer, TV and some good old fashioned steak egg and chips and footy on the TV. So British and so easy, and much more interesting that cap cay goreng!

The bike service was less than expected and came in at 162,000 due to some work on the brakes and a tune up. I will or may invest in some new tires next month as I am becoming more and more convinced that the ones I have are no good. They are after all 3 years old and whilst the bike has only done 10000km the tires still have taken a beating. 200k for a tire is a lot of cash when compared to the value of the bike service but it is a cost that I will endure.

My weekly spending has changed now, I am cooking at home every evening and so that means more time in the supermarket but overall I am spending less in the week. My major expense now is fuel and I am spending around 27k every 7 trips or 220km. Is that good fuel economy? I have no idea. I have moved to Pertamax and that is one of the reasons my fuel costs are higher and on the odd occasion I visit Shell then it is standard fuel but still more expensive that Pertamax.

With my enjoyment for cooking still gathering speed, the investment in an oven will be a good one so I can start to do baked and roasted foods which will cheer me so much. Interestingly the local supermarkets (Hypermart at Pejaten Village, Giant just down the road and Carrefour Market in Tendean) all offer something different. Hypermart is just full of everything but the choice of meat and the cost of it, is expensive. Giant has a limited range but the meat is fairly good and not too expensive while the Carrefour has good meat but ants and small cockroaches scurrying about on its shelves. All struggle with the restocking of beer and Giant has not had any Anker beer for the past 3 weeks and has now run out of Carlsberg. Carrefour also has no Anker but still Carlsberg and well I have not been to Hypermart for a while so I cant say.
Carrefour is on the top floor through the clothing store!?

Another interesting quirk is the cost of the electricity and water here. Happily I don't have a water bill as the water comes from a ground well and is pumped into the house. How the water gets replaced in the ground and where it comes from is beyond me. There is always a little bit of black grit in the water and it cant be anywhere near safe to drink but cleaning teeth is OK for me. I really should get it analysed to see how polluted it really is but the fear of knowing is greater so I will be in glorious ignorance until I go mad later in life and then someone can say 'tha'ts from the water in the well that did that' yes, that and years of living in dirty foul air and riding in cancer emitting traffic. I am sure something like that will be said.
Anyway, the bill was a lot less than the bill in the apartment and with an AC running, a water pump running etc it makes you think what kind of markup the Apartments put on power and water and then pass to the dweller.
Indovision also sent me a bill via their TV system but for some reason I managed to delete it and so I don't really know yet what to pay, I guess a phone call to someone will sort that out.

So living in a house is a completely and interesting experience for me as everything keeps changing. The street life also is new and not always pleasant and not always unpleasant. Last night there was a guy sat outside the house trying to play guitar and try as he might, he failed. The noise was bad and not really enjoyable, luckily I am patient enough to ignore it. At 2am however people, locals playing football are a little more annoying but I cant really complain as they might be off to pray or something and it would be dangerous for me to tell them to shut up or be quiet etc so I let it pass. Why is it unwise to do such things? well the simplest answer is being western, living alone in a busy street with people that watch the house 24 hours a day and so knows when I am home or not and paying 2 pound a month to the local security to keep things safe is really no insurance policy. Even if I paid 4 pounds I am not sure it would make me feel any better. However, the 2 padlocks, barred windows and meshed and locked front door kind of helps my feeling of security!

I am now looking for some plants to make the front a bit better and hopefully a little more pretty and fragrant although the promise of giant bees coming to visit has not been well received. I will wait and see what happens but there will be plants....

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