Friday, 15 June 2012


Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday and what with the wedding coming up and the cost of flights for four people, I decided to spend it in Bandung, a regional city some 120km from Jakarta to the east.

I managed to borow the schools car and driver for the weekend, so coffees all round we set off to Bandung on Friday afternoon. Not being used the traffic I was surprised once we passed Karwang how light it was and once we started to head towards Bandung from the split to Cirebon, the journey was fast and surprisingly pleasant.

We got to Bandung at around 6pm and was greeted by a lightning storm and some rain. The traffic once you enter the city was no better than Jakarta on a Friday night although despite missing the turn to the hotel twice, we arrived by 7pm.
The hotel was the Aston Tropicana, right slap bang in the Cihampelas area of the city, surrounded by factory outlets and the famous jean stores. It is also opposite Ci city Walk or something named very similar to that.
After a wander round and the futile search for beer in the area, we retired for the night as we had an early start the next morning.

Breakfast at the hotel was good and feeling full we bundled into the car and headed north into Lembang and towards the nearest volcano, Tangkuban Perahu. The trip into the hills and mountains of Java was simply beautiful and watching the morning sun burning the clouds off the mountains and from the valleys was lovely. The air was cool and fresh, which is lovely considering the filth I breathe in daily and the traffic very light.
The cost to go into the volcanic area was 70,000 idr for a car and 4 people and because I had my kitas I paid the same as the locals which was nice.

The views from the volcano into the steamjng crater were great and looking into Java even better, I could have stayed there all day. From there we went to the far too touristy place of Ciater for the hot springs. It was a nice place but too touristy for me although the hot water was good to be in.

The afternoon was spent in Paris van Java the largest mall in the city and it was fairly nice as the majority of the stores are underground and there were a lot of stores. They also have pizza e birra with good food and lots of cold cold beer which was needed.

We spent eating close to the hotel and we got some beers to take away from a restaurant.  Bandung recently outlawed the selling of alcohol from stores, shops,restaurants etc. And only fully licensed places can sell it. Thix was annoying because the last time I was there it was easy to get some.

Returning to the hotel room, we were presented with a cake by the hotel to wish me happy birthday which was a great thing and cheered me up no end.
It was a good weekend away from the city although I dont think I will return due to the traffic and lack of beer on sell. I am not an alcoholic but I do enjoy a bottle or 2 and being unable to find it was rather a shock, however I will return to Java when I can as that is just beautiful.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

House break in

Getting home from a 12 hour day at work, I was very surprised to see the lights on inside the house, the gate wide open and the front door wide open.
So after initially thinking my fiancee was there, I could not see her shoes, instead just lots of green painted wood by the front door.

I went into the house and yes, I had been burgled and things had been taken.

Both bedrooms had been gone through, clothes on the floor and boxes opened. In the family room my netbook and cables were gone. From the bedroom 2 pairs of my fiancees wedding shoes, a watch and most upsetting of all the wedding rings had been taken but the box they were in remained.

The value of the loss was not huge but the fact the house has been broken into, my netbook containing my photos from around the world and the wedding things have been taken is cause enough to be angry and upset.

Speaking to the neighbours, many houses had been broken into in Mampang and there is little being done about it. The night watchman who carries a gun and a knife, just in case was not on duty when it happened.

Today, new locks have been purchased, the door will be repaired and life goes on. A police report has been completed, although I never went as the cost and hassle increases, but I know that there is little that will be done and nothing will be recovered.

The robbing scum however missed other stuff and also never took my passport which is a blessing. I hope that misfortune, bad karma, a big truck, whatever enters their lives and well, it hurts and hurts them alot.

I can only imagine the house was being watched. I am watched constantly by the locals, I am sure they know my every move. This is something you get as an expat living in Jakarta.

Tomorrow, back to work but hopefully someone staying in the house so the chances of it happening again become never.

I know this post is a bit messy, promise to clean it up tomorrow. Sent this from my tab as, well, I no longer own a netbook.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


My stats for my blog have been going up for the last month and it is all due to a system called 'Rippers' and the visits are coming from India. Delhi to be precise and always from the same place.
I cannot find much information about what 'Rippers' are but I am concerned that something will happen to my blog.

Any ideas?

From this afternoon

In detail

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Bali in May

Last weekend I was in Bali. I went there for a final check on the wedding preparations before July and also to have a break.
We flew from Bandung and as usual with Air Asia. We took a shuttle bus to Bandung from Jakarta. That was quite fun and a different way to do things. 
The airport at Bandung is called Husein Sastranegara and it is a typical small airport you would expect to find in Indonesia, despite the fact that it is an International Airport (serving KL and Singapore) and that you can fly to many more places with Air Asia than you can from Jakarta (Medan, Surabaya, Pekanbaru and Bali vs Bali, Jogja and Semarang from Jakarta). 

After a check of entry from the security guard outside the airport we were not asked to provide ID at either Bandung Airport or in Bali. We had checked in online which makes life so much more easier but I must say that the lack of security and checks provided by Air Asia is slightly worrying.

The airport itself is tiny with next to nothing in it and huge traffic problems outside, however we settled in the cafe next to the departure lounge and waited it out.

We flew at 7.55 and got Bali around 10 and it was nice as we arrived early.

The place we were staying was in Seminyak and it was a Bed and Breakfast called Umadasa. It was nice and small and exceptionally quiet. The area in fact was quiet even with the amount of big new hotels going up and Beach Double six just minutes from the room.

The usual things in Bali for me, beer, sea, sand and shopping but this time we hired a bike to help get around a bit more easily and so instead of opting for a Mio or some other fully automatic bike I insisted on a geared bike and ended up with a Honda Karisma 125. On first inspection it went well and stopped and of course needed fuel so we got on and headed out. By the time I had filled the thing up with fuel I had already come to the conclusion that there were no brakes either front or back and so to help stop the bike feet down and hope!

Returning from the wedding venue, we had a flat tyre and so rode on to find a repair shop which seemed to be almost impossible because Kuta is a tourist haven nothing more and so it took a while to find one and
then another while to replace the inner tube. 

The sunsets as usual were glorious and the beach at Double Six clean and full of activity. However the locals outnumbered the tourists and the tourists were mainly families and not groups of drunken Australians, which was nice.

I had to brave Oleh Oleh Krisna near the airport for some souvenirs and then it was time to go back.

Not staying in Kuta was a very good idea as staying somewhere nicer and different from Poppies 1 was great. No hassle, no rude or obscene calls to me or the fiancee and less rowdy and drunken behaviour.

The next time we are in Bali will be to become one and we are not staying anywhere near Poppies nor will my Parents!