Sunday, 17 February 2013

British Embassy Website for Indonesia

Some help and a moan about help for Passport renewal from Indonesia. The changes have been made only this week.

The site has undergone some kind of enhancement and improvement process by which all information regarding passport renewals goes to this page: ,

where it will give you 3 boxes to check and then provide the forms for you. So its quite friendly, however what it omits to tell you is whether you still need to just copy the page in your existing passport containing your photo and details and just send that.  The old site used to. The reason it used to advise that is because if you are in Indonesia you are likely to be stopped and your passport is required for proof of legal entry here. This information is sort of crucial and is missing.

Also the link  takes you to a page with the link which has another link in blue WHICH DOES NOT WORK and even if you copy it onto the browser and press enter it will take you to exactly the same page.

So if you want to go any further you need to go here: and follow the  instuctions already mentioned.

From some frantic searching if you go here it very simply tells you what you need to send (your passport is not apparently required according to this site but dont blame me if it is)

So here is what I am doing as I need to renew my passport.

I have completed the relevant C1 forms. I have had them checked by another Englishman who recently sent off for his renewal to make sure they are correct. I have new passport photos following the advice neither of which are counter signed as they are just for renewing my passport.
I have filled out the credit card payment form and signed, this can be found on the overseas-passports site along with the C1 (this is called the blank application form) the online one can be used if you have Adobe reader but I do not.

I will copy my details and slide it all into an envelope, take it to DHL pay around 300,000 for recorded post and send it here:

British Consulate-General
RPPC - 5th Floor
1 Supreme Court Road
Hong Kong

and wait at least 4 weeks for a new one to be delivered to me.

So really quite a simple process.....

My next challenge is to get a list of train times from Jakarta to Bandung out of the Kereta APi website. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A storm

Not the perfect storm by any means, but a storm that was strong enough to flood parts of the city, bring it to a standstill and clear up the air a little. The bulk of it lasted for an hour but it finally stopped raining around 7pm. Now its all clear skies and stars...

 Before as the clouds move over the city

 Heavy rain is spreading

 The view is starting to disappear with the sheer volume of rain falling

 And the rain has blocked the view completely with in 30 minutes of it starting to rain

 But after another twenty minutes the rain has passed and the buildings become visible again

Until the view is pretty much back to normal

This is what I can see on a clear sunny day

Been a while since I have seen a storm like that although I know I have been in far too many but I am normally working when they happen and just look out of the window and then move on.

I am sure the result of the storm has been pretty bad for many but I am also pretty certain that it will be seen as a blessing with Chinese New Year tomorrow.


Sunday, 3 February 2013


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.

Why complain about that?