Monday, 27 May 2013

International Money Transfers

I recently had to have some money sent over from England and I thought I would share some of the dramas that were encountered when actually it is all very simple.

I bank with Permata bank and they are, for me a simple and easy bank with easy online and mobile access and fast service in their branches. Money is easy paid in and even easier paid out.

So receiving money to it therefore should not be a problem.

To receive money from overseas to a bank in Indonesia you need to provide the person who is sending you the money with the following 3 things


and thats it.

To find an Indonesian SWIFT code you can do many things:

Click here:  and find your banks code

Or go to a branch of your bank and ask or phone them.

You DO NOT NEED AN IBAN CODE, regardless of what is stated by the banks over seas, especially those in England.

It took the person sending me the money 2 trips to the branch in England and a phone call to their head office to confirm that an IBAN code is not needed. Clearly the bank staff at a  local level are either unaware or too lazy to arrange. If you are told that you need an IBAN code then point that person to the website I have provided and ask them to find Indonesia.

This is from Lloydstsb website:

How do I start an international money transfer?

You'll need to give us accurate information about the person you are sending it to. This includes:

  • Their Bank Identifier Code (BIC), SWIFT code or national bank code.
  • Their bank account number or International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
  • Their full name.
  • Their bank's full address.
  • BIC and IBAN codes are similar to a bank account number and sort code in the UK. They are compulsory for payments to European Economic Area (EEA) countries and other countries around the world where an IBAN is required. You'll need to get these details from the person receiving the payment overseas.
So now you know it is not required.

However being persistent, the money was sent and arrived 3 working days later. Rather too simple actually....

Sunday, 26 May 2013

3 weeks old

Jeremy turned 3 weeks old on Friday and its been a very quick and sleep deprived time. During this time, the amount of new skills and experience I have had are vast. So many things have changed and emotions and feelings and events that they are all hard to experience.
Lots of common questions about nappies, feeding, bathing, sleeping and yes I can do all that and sleep little and still get by. I can warm milk, sterilise almost anything, recognise different baby cries and know the difference between farts and poo in a nappy. All useful skills for the near future.

We have given Jeremy a dummy to help him sleep and it seems to be working and once it has fallen out naturally he sleeps on with out any concern. He is both breast fed and bottle fed and we have began albeit very slowly to introduce formula into his diet when Yovita is struggling to keep up.

Saying that, she has started drinking milk herself which seems to have increased a little the amount of breast milk being produced and that is also good news. Jeremy definitely gaining weight and we think he has grown somewhat as well.

In the Pram
We finally took him out into the wider world today and for a short time Jeremy was pushed around the Epicentrum in Kuninghan and managed to sleep most of the way through it. Noise does not seem to disturb him much and the taxi ride there and back kept him sleepy or sleeping. We need to adapt to bags and doors and the fact that none of these places are either pram or wheelchair friendly. The Epicentrum has lots of steps but few slopes and I will start listing all the places where the clever designers of buildings forgot this bit. Being western I dont like carrying my child around in a sling and so I will be happy to report and complain about the following:

  • No easy access for prams therefore wheelchairs
  • Stupid lazy people using elevators instead of walking for the reasons I just described
  • People who complain I am in the way with my pram
  • Security check points in malls and the attitude taken towards my and my child

Still moving on.

Also been out and about shopping today. The 10,000 rupiah (68p) hair cut is fantastic and the barber takes his time to shave my head and explain whats on TV. Today it was Badminton and Korea vs China. Next was getting some fuel at the Shell garage in Mampang. The cost for super is 8950 a litre or 60p and the V power is about 68p which is twice as much as the Pertamina stuff but I prefere Shell as I am sure I have mentioned before. There is never a queue and so getting fuel takes less than 5 minutes.

Finally to Giant for the weekly big shop. It seems Ramadhan is creeping up on us now as the place was full of tins of Biscuits, bottles of Fruit Syrup and the beers been moved.

The price of fruit has also increased with 4 Royal Gala apples costing 30,000 or just over 2 pounds. Whats that about? The price of the supermarket fruit and veg with the exception of bananas and watermelon just seems to be getting more and more expensive. Continuing my rant, there was no Frozen mixed veg again only bags of sweetcorn and now beef mince to be seen.

Still I managed to spend my usual amount of around 25 quid for the week (its all relative) and went home.

Apart from that not much has really happened as far too busy working, trying to sleep or trying not to fall asleep. I am in the process of sorting out personal health care for the kids which I will update you all on, any forays into cooking and other stuff as it comes about.

Oh and I discovered that Liptons Yellow label tea is the same as the Sariwangi tea but costs twice as much due to the name.

Are these the same?

Oh well. I will get paid next week so I will get some Early Grey or something equally as satisfying.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Jeremy has been home now for 2 weeks and is 16 days old. Sleep deprivation has not yet sunk in but it is getting close. His astonishing thirst for food is amazing and is yellow poo is intriguing, the smell is nothing but a smell and ignored.
His sleep pattern and food pattern has not set yet but he is sleeping most of  the afternoon and some of the night.  We are getting about 6 hours of sleep through the night and maybe some through the day if lucky, which of course does not really happen but it sounds nice.
No TV now as there is no time after work but to eat and sort stuff out and then help Yovita and spend time with Jeremy. So I am back to reading and staring and in the early hours of the morning, spending my time thinking I want a cup of tea before going back to sleep and waking a little later.

Jeremy has grown a few centimetres and has put on weight. He has become a little bigger and he has become very restless and moves all the time.

We are now using milk bottles as well as breast feeding and have gone straight to nappies as the cloth ones just stain and are not really suitable for us.

We have not taken him outside the house yet, only to the hospital for a check up, which was all good and so he is not yet used to sunlight and when he goes onto the balcony we have to be careful of the light and the heat so he is not up there for long. He is however totally ignorant of the noise outside the house, from the motorbikes, the mosque, the repair shop, the man with the horn selling his sweet corn which is good but he does react to voices close and far which is good.

My time at the moment is just work and home and chores and thats about it. I managed to sneak Yovita out of the house today for a quick 30 minutes for coffee (the nanny was in control while we were gone) and that was the first time out for her for a while as well which was nice.

As Bob Dylan once sang, 'Times a changing'....

Friday, 10 May 2013

Coming home

Sunday the 5th and Monday the 6th

Sunday is far quieter in the hospital than any other day, mainly because it is not open except for emergencies so the trickle of visitors and odd patients makes it a very tranquil place. Waking after a long period of sleep there was nothing to do and no one really bothering us. Breakfast was at Starbucks which was nice.
Yovita its getting better and walking is a little easier for her so that helps.Jeremy is still a milk fiend but appears to be calming down and a little more restful. He slept more yesterday.
Our good friend Andy turned up for a quick visit which was great. The crying and breast feeding made him leave quite quickly but it was still great to see some one different.
With the family back everyone managed to stress Jeremy out mainly due to the noise and the raise in temperature in the room which he did not like and so panicked and would not stop crying. This meant him being taken back to the baby room for observation, a stressed out mum and all the family moved outside. He stayed there until 4pm.
So once we knew he was going to be OK, I managed to sleep and Yovita just rested. No sooner was I in full dribble mode when some more friends arrived, Jamie and Fiona. Again it was great to see them and they were delighted as were we when Jeremy came back all happy and hungry. Leaving Fiona with Yovita we snuck out for food and some well needed beer.
On return more visitors were there but they never stayed long and once they and our friends left, Jeremy seemed chilled and sleepy and spent along time with me while Yovita managed to eat and shower. He went back to the baby room around 9.30pm and so we could sleep. 6 hours later a nurse was in the room with a breast pump as Yovita needed to provide milk for JD and now she is starting to produce quite a lot and so he won't go hungry which is good. By 4.30am it was definitely time not to sleep as the room was filling with cleaners nurses and do on and Jeremy arrived around 6am but was gone again by 8am for tests and blood taking which cannot be pleasant to watch but necessary.
Hope fully we can go once we have seen the doctor today and hopefully that's by 2 pm as well I want to go home, Yovita wants to go home and Jeremy needs to come home.
Very excited about going home
Possibly the best Monday ever because that was the day Jeremy got to come home after 3 nights at the hospital. Sleeping as bad as the previous nights meant another early start but time with Jeremy before he went off for the usual inspection and things. Breakfast again was at Starbucks and a chance to rest a little and then when back wait for the doctors and the physiotherapist to see Yovita.
The doctor came and said see you next Tuesday after making sure the stitches were OK and that Yovita was doing well which she is. We were then told we could go home but had to wait for the physiotherapist to instruct Yovita with some exercise routines to help the milk flow.
Finally the baby care nurse came and gave us lots of packages and a booklet all about Jeremy before carrying him to the waiting taxi for our journey home.
Once home he was put straight into the cot. I got changed and went to work to discover packages and parcels from friends and family.
Back home we settled down for a long night and got it. I guess 5 hours max sleep through the night but to be expected after all.

Not so happy to start with at home

But soon got over that!

And now that Jeremy is at home, the fun begins!!!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The first few days

Last Friday (May 3rd at 1.50pm) I became a father to Jeremy. The most life changing and inspiring moment ever I have encountered.

Below are my thoughts and what I saw from the day. The post will be in two parts.

Friday 3rd May

So after 40 weeks the decision was made to induce the baby and go from there. We have been going to YPK Mandiri in Menteng which is a mother and baby hospital and with the permission of our doctor was allowed to induce the baby a few days early with the warning of a c-section if the induction failed. We checked in and went to a ward where Yovita was checked out by a midwife and then the doctor paid a visit and explained that due to the position of the baby's head the chances of induction working was only 15% successful and so we agreed to have a c section. 

This was at 11am and the delivery would take place at 1pm.

Yovita was then put on a drip and had blood tests and anti-biotics pumped into her while I signed here and there on some bits of paper to allow the operation to go ahead. I also had to change into the hospitals medical clothing, wear a hair net and a mask to cover my mouth. The footwear I had to wear was a pair of crocs! As I write this I am sat in the recovery room wearing a blue gown and no shoes but I digress.
15 minutes after Yovita was taken to the operating theatre I was sent for and stood by holding her hand  as the doctors busied them selves with the delivery. About 5 minutes later at 1.50pm Jeremy was born all purple and pale but screaming and kicking which is the best sign. He was cleaned and put under a hot lamp while the nurses cleared his noise and throat.
They  then gave him to Yovita to nurse, maybe to help ignore the fact that the doctor was sewing her back together at that point but also to help Jeremy feed but it was so cold in the room that the feeding never took place.

After that I went with the nurses and Jeremy to weigh and measure him. He weighed 3230g and was 48 cm tall with his head being 34cm which I am sure is important. Then he was tagged and put in an incubator and once he had opened his eyes, whisked away to the baby room.

So I phoned mum and broke the happy news to the world.

Yovita is now in the recovery room under a hypothermia blanket sleeping and recovering. JD is screaming somewhere I hope and I am sat waiting for the next thing to happen which I guess is the move to the private ward. I have just returned from a quick bite to eat so I am feeling better.

In the operating Theatre

Just been weighed and off to sleep
 Saturday 4th May.

I think we eventually got to sleep about 11 pm on Friday. Yovitas family showed up around 8 pm and stayed a while.Jeremy had long since gone to the baby room and Yovita was still spinning from the pain killers so being the dutiful host I showed them some photos and then they left.  From 12 midnight there was someone in the room every hour checking on Yovita and probably doing other things as well and finally with boiled eggs being presented for Yovita to eat at 4 am it was time to wake up and get up.

Yovita slept as badly as me and was in some pain because of her operation and stitches but finally managed to eat some rice porridge for breakfast which was good. Jeremy arrived at 6 am smelling very nice and so Yovita could feed and start to know her new son while I just watched still unsure what to do, eventually I managed to sneak out for some food at around 8 and has a peaceful breakfast in McDonalds.  Before 9 am Jeremy went off for some tests so when the family arrived 30 minutes later they were not too impressed.
More family arrived around 10, not sure who but they were; aunts our something. As they left, Jeremy arrived so they were called back were happy because they could see him and then left. What happened next was an hour of photos as Jeremy was not too hungry or sleepy but happy to be photographed so every one was happy.

The doctor came a little later and told us we could go home Monday which is the best news and the drip and things going intoYovita following the operation could all be removed as well. Yovita is now eating which is great. Jeremy is insatiable in his quest for his mothers milk and we spent most of yesterday evening picking him up feeding him and then trying to put him todown to sleep but to no avail.

In the afternoon, I quickly popped home to get a few things and ate in Ya udahs restaurant as I was starving. Its a great place with overly rude waitresses in a hurry to serve you so you can eat and leave but don't let that put you off.

We finally gave Jeremy to the nurse around 9.30 pm so he could rest and we could sleep. By 10 pm we had both passed out. Still by 4 am Sunday morning, everyone was awake and food was was arriving and nurses were coming in and out. Jeremy arrived at 6 am and fell straight to sleep as did we for the next hour.

Saturday looking about
Top man
The next few days will be in the next post.