Sunday, 28 April 2013


At the beginning of April we were hoping for an April baby but with May in sight, it appears that won't be the case.
We have had scares and contractions and dilations and many trips to either midwives and doctors but all are saying the same thing. Wait.

The excitement reached a new height on Tuesday when during the weekly check up the doctor turned round and said 'today' and we were led off to another room where Yovita was wired up to a machine and after 30 minutes sent back to the doctor who said 'not today' and so we went home but it has to be soon.

We will visit the doctor again on Tuesday who I am sure will say the same and we will wait until the due date which is the 7th of May. After that I guess the baby will be induced.

Happily I am teaching my wife to be patient and just wait for the time to be right rather than rush the birth and considering I am a very patient person and am told far too many times a day 'wait ya' I am doing just that, being patient.

Through all this waiting, everything else is on hold. So its work and home and home and work. We managed to sneak out for breakfast today and a few hours in a coffee shop which was good but yesterday we stayed home, er waiting. Actually I spent the afternoon sat in the sun drinking but it still counts as waiting.
not really any help

I have a feeling it will be May 1st, not because it is also the same day as my fathers birthday but because its labour day here! and that will mean the city will be full of demonstrators protesting about fuel prices, salaries and things and the during the afternoon riot a bit to make the day complete, therefore bringing Jakartas frail  road network to a complete stop and preventing us getting to the hospital easily.

won't be any help either

So if there are demonstrators than can read, read in English and read this blog, do me a favour, go demonstrate at home. Its easier to get to, you will be just as ignored as you will be here and if you get tired then there's your favourite chair to rest it.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Customer Serivce

In order to appreciate what customer service is I suggest you go and work in a fast food chain or in a supermarket dealing with people who quite frankly on a good day should not be allowed out of their homes due to the fact they believe that everyone and everything owes them something, which of course they don't.

Having spent a good 16 years in customer service and also being a customer service manager for my sins I fully aware of the need to be polite professional and quick however from experience of service here in Jakarta that is not always the case.

However for a change I can actually write about good things and good service which I have had over the past week. Not from BCA, or the laundry or Carrefour because lets face it I am not a miracle worker but from Permata Bank, Hypermart and SmartFren.

I hate slow too but thats all there is

I dislike Smartfren as the 'I hate slow' advertising does not really reflect what speed it offers for mobile internet users and on a good day, it does not offer anything more than dial up speeds. Still I still use them as it is consistent and does not go down just goes slow.

So last Friday I tried to top up Pulsa through my on line banking with Permata only failing twice and having no pulsa and money taken from my bank account.

A phone call to Permata bank on Monday morning to an English speaking customer service person got me a reference number and a guarantee of it being sorted in 7 days. Then an email in English to SmartFren got me a very polite email from them after 8 hours and an acknowledgement that there was an error in the system and I will be refunded.

"thank you for your trust using the product Smartfren.
In connection with the email you send regarding the purchase of credit constraints through your Permata Bank account, we apologize for the inconvenience. After we checked from your Smartfren number 08xxxxxxxxxx172 the transaction is failed, please kindly you can wait for three days work minimum for refund proses from your Bank to your account.
Should you require any further information, service request, or any form of assistance related to Smartfren products and services, you may also use the following customer channels:"

3 days later the money owed was back in my account. This was followed by a phone call from Permata telling me the money had arrived and the issue was resolved.

Good Stuff

Also last week after the latest debacle with the laundry we decided to go and buy a washing machine and so we went to Hypermart in Pejaten Village because they always have great promotions on electrical goods over the weekend. We purchased a washing maching 400k less after discount and it was delivered the next day free of charge and without complaint.

Lets hope I can add to this list of companies here which manage to impress me with their service.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sunda Kelapa Harbour

More new teachers and yet another opportunity to visit parts of the city. The city tour is always something I enjoy and look forward too as not only do the teachers see and maybe learn more about the city, I get to choose where to go and normally this involves going somewhere different as well as the usual places and so this trip was not really any different.
We set off from the house loaded with tempe and headed this time into Tebet and then into Manggarai and into Menteng. Passing toilet stores and wheel chair stores which were interesting to see as I have never seen so many crutches, wheelchairs and toilets for sale anywhere else!

In Menteng we passed a nice small park called Surapati Taman which while we were passing had a small band playing and many people taking it easy. I had not seen that before, so again something new.

The goal was to go to the fish market at Muara Angke with a quick stop at the Sunda Kelapa harbour to see the old boats. It being a car free Sunday we managed to get stuck in the traffic after the event and so it longer than expected. And I wanted to get into the harbour another way, so we detoured via Mannga Dua / Ancol and passed the famous Alexis Hotel ( no we never stopped, I am not that brave ) and then into the port through the smaller entrance. We paid 3000 for the car and after a few boats being loaded with cement all of us got out and started walking.

Bobbing about in the water was an old man in a rowing boat who said that he would row about the harbour for 100,000 rupiah but accepted 30,000. We gave him 50,000 at the end as we never had the right money and it was worth it to be honest.
So 3 of us get into this very small boat and duck as we pass under the bows of the ships and then head towards the harbour wall beyond which lies Singapore. What ever the old man was doing was certainly not rowing as we just stayed in the middle of this tiny bit of sea until we all started rowing.  We rowed up and down, waving at the fishermen and the men in the ships who looked rather bemused by us before we decided enough fun had been had and got back to dry land. Sadly the boat never had an engine because I would have loved to have further inland and to see whatever there is to be seen, maybe next time.

Our driver had managed to drive off so we continued to walk through the port and after many photos with the workers there, finally found the car and then went to Batavia Marina for a well earned beer and some top food.

Never reaching the fish market,  I have vowed to go there next time I organise a city tour with my teachers and will make sure that is the first place we go and not the last.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Weekend

Well Good Friday came and went and then Saturday did the same and Easter Sunday wandered by all relatively innocuously to be honest.

I was glad of the break for Friday and then another normal weekend of half day working and the rest of the weekend off to relax.

Friday was spent shopping for stuff for the baby and we managed to get a bumper and a baby bag for all his needs. We ended up in Pejaten Village which is not too far from home and spent most of the day there, eating and wandering around before getting back and chilling out for the rest of the day.
I spent the afternoon on the balcony reading enjoying the view and sunset with a few cold ones to pass the time and ended up watching TV for the evening which is fairly rare for me as I normally just read or sitting with Yovita chatting in the evening.
Around 11pm I noticed a very large electrical storm passing. I took a look for a while and then decided to take some photos with my Galaxy Tab rather than my camera. Taking photos of lightning is no easy task thats for sure but I got some pictures which have now made me more determined to photograph the weather and all it has to offer a bit more seriously. Jakarta has some great weather patterns. Lots of storms and lightning, weird coloured sunsets and suns due to the pollution and very clear nights with the moon showing and I like all that sort of stuff.

 Sunset looking away from the sunset

 Rainclouds forming over the city and house

 Typical night scene

 Lightning in the distance

More lightning

Saturday I had to work in the morning so that meant no lie in but by 2pm I was home albeit wet from a storm. We had to go Cilandak Town square (Citos) to see if the store could repair my wedding ring with has cracked open. They said they could and to come back in 2 weeks. We shall see. They also said it will cost 25,000 rupiah, that bit I did not believe. 
Eating in Fish and Co I ordered a beer and luckily only the one because I was charged 45,000 for a bottle of Heineken before tax. The fish good. The beer good but so expensive. Water next time.

Sunday I got up late and we proceeded to Ambassador to look for maternity things and spent a few hours wandering around in there before we left feeling hungry and went next door to another gigantic mall Kuninghan City. Looking for restaurants we found ourselves in Mothercare. Much later we left with stuff for the baby before eating and having time to relax.

We got home just before the storm and with enough time to water the plants before it rains solidly without stopping for over an hour. It was a big storm which lasted from 4 until 6 and then lightning lasted until 7.30pm.
As I had nothing better to do because my my internet provider sets the speed at reverse on a Sunday I went had a look. And the sunset was a golden and orange and there was a rainbow and lightning, bright sunshine and also rain all at the same time. 

 Panoramic of the sky from sunset to rainbow



Easter was not really celebrated any other way in my house. No church was attended and no gifts given. But I have been assured Easter chocolate is on the way....


The baby's arrival is imminent and Yovita will start her maternity at the end of the week for 90 days. We have been busy with the buying, washing and visiting such exciting places as Mothercare, The stores in Ambassador, Matahari baby section and other intriguing places to get the bits and pieces we need in pretty much of a hurry.
My mum and Yovitas family have been very helpful so far with lots of stuff being given to help us and it all is proving very useful.

As the day draws nearer and I am now talking weeks rather than months, we have already started to pack the baby bag and plan out the next steps from there.

I am sure once Jeremy has arrived my blog will take on a different slant and direction but I determined to keep writing and posting as much as I can about everything I do and see still as well as my new life with my son.