Saturday, 30 January 2016

January 2016

With January over, I can honestly say that it feels like time has moved quickly for a change and its been quite an eventful month.

There has been a lot happening in Jakarta what with one thing or another, some good some not.

I took the family on a train ride through the city which was fun to be repeated soon as Jeremy liked it and it was simple enough. We only a short distance by train but went quite far if we had to go in a car.

Trains are fun in Jakarta, if not a little overcrowded

Then there was the terrorist attack in the city which took lives and seemed to get everyone all upset as well as patriotic. The bombs did kill people but not as many as I suppose the clowns with the bombs wanted to kill.

A view of the police box destroyed opposite the McD and very close to the Starbucks

Terrorism will never win. Local Jakartans came out in force the same night and held peaceful events around the bombed areas.

"we are not afraid' was the message of the day

And of course, this man hit the news for selling food while it was all going on, very close to everything. This made huge news here as a sign that people ignore terror.

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More importantly for those in Indonesia was this policeman who seems to be far too handsome to be on duty and this caused a huge stir in the Indonesian Internet pot

Funny how different cultures react. People here were more upbeat or 'care less' over the bombs than other parts of the world. I suspect that this may change if things like this happen again but Jakartans are a tough bunch of people.

2 days after the bombs, I attending a wedding of a good friend here just up the road from it all and you would not have known anything had happened if it wasnt for the boarded up Starbucks and police box. The wedding was nice Catholic affair, followed by lunch with friends at a restaurant nearby and then beer and photos in the evening, which was great.

Oh the Bridge and groom were lovely too!!!

Peter, in the bow time was the groom

He married Stella

And then we (I) drank beer in the evening to celebrate

For a full review of the wedding - try this link from the Melton times in England!

As the month draws to a close, I went to a car free Sunday in Jakarta and despite the rain it was a pleasant Sunday morning. Yovita went off running and I walked through the city enjoying the views and we will probably go back this weekend.

Yovita off running

Local Kids bike, which is obviously illegal as there is no reflector on the back wheel

And that was January in Jakarta. Hopefully February won't be as dramatic but equally as fun.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Air Pollution

Reading the news as I do on a all too frequent basis, the subject of air pollution rears its ugly head again and again and the health risks they pose. It is generally accepted than less economic wealthy cities and countries have worse air quality than those better off, however, even with the rules and systems in place air quality around the world is not what you expect it to be, unless you are in China then it is. And it is always bad there.

So recently I was discussing air quality and how Indonesia doesn't have readings or information regarding its air quality especially in Jakarta where as the rest of the world seems to. I was then told to go here as it provides the latest information of air quality for Jakarta and around the world. The good old US of A has measuring stations at their consulate offices and so are reporting information live.

So lets make some comparisons for today. I am sure that Jakarta is worse overall but it might challenge some staple beliefs but again the information is only a snap shot.

Jakarta now at 4pm 

There are not exactly a lot of monitoring stations in Jakarta and there is not a lot of information being gathered but Moderate is nice. The weather today is overcast and rainy and perhaps I should look at the differences again in the dry season. And whilst there are time difference which would effect air quality and stuff, the traffic here is now beginning to go into rush hour as London will start to reduce its morning rush.

London now at 9am

It seems in the dead of winter the city of London is not a good place to be for fresh air.

England today across the midlands and south

Jakarta today, bearing in mind that once you leave Tangerang, West Bekasi or Depok there not much there in the way of anything and Bogor is in the foothills surrounded by volcanoes, hence the lack of any other monitoring stations


South East Asia and the Red and Purple signs in China and India

USA and Europe, with Europe displaying red unhealthy signs 

With a predicted 70% of the worlds population living in cities by 2050, one needs to assume the air quality issues will be fixed around the globe. My dream of retiring into the countryside really does seem like a good idea even a breath of fresh air, so to speak.

Monday, 18 January 2016

My Old Watch

A long time ago in England I purchased my first ever G-Shock somewhere around 2005 or earlier, I cant really be sure. It was my first. My second was stolen when my house was broken into in 2012. Both have sentimental value and I was gutted to have lost one watch but happy not to have lost the first one as that dates way back.
However, it finally stopped working and the strap fell apart and became unusable. Several watch shops refused to do anything with it as changing a battery on a G-Shock involves taking off the back and replacing the seals if they are worn or damaged which are expensive so I left it and left it.
Just before new year being bored, I decided to go and get it repaired and checked and hopefully it can be used again so I did just that.

Old and not working, the strap was falling apart

In Jakarta there is one Casio service center, naturally far from my house and so a grab cab trip later I was near Pasar Baru and the center of the city and at the service center.

I don't know much about service centers but this is the second one I have been to alone. The first being LG to save my Nexus, however I was pleasantly surprised once again as the service time and immediate repairs just happened.

The service was quick and the watch repair man came out and showed me that everything worked and put the new strap on there and then and the watch is now as good as new.

Looks as good as new and will last a good few years yet

Yovita has the watch now and she seems to like it but I have a feeling we will have to change strap again to a fabric one as the leather one makes the skin sweat underneath it but the watch is working and I am happy. 

Friday, 15 January 2016


Recently I asked my students to list what they felt they found 'odd' about foreigners to help them explore differences between people and cultures and also what they felt foreigners would find 'odd' about them.

Here are some of the findings.

Indonesians find 'odd' about foreigners.

  1. Tall
  2. Pointy noses
  3. Different colour eyes
  4. Different colour hair
  5. Show skin
  6. Wear Bikinis
  7. Free sex
  8. Openly show affection in public
  9. Drunk
  10. Smoke weed
  11. Drink from the tap
  12. Use toilet tissue not a small hose in the toilet
  13. Don't shower at least 2x a day
  14. Always have a backpack
  15. Look great in simple clothes
  16. Not polite to older people
  17. Call everyone by first names
  18. Call people by rude names
  19. Are carefree
  20. Like to walk everywhere
  21. Walk fast
  22. Not religious
  23. Wear shoes in the house
  24. Sweaty
  25. Get sunburn
  26. Like dark skin
  27. Obsessed with cheese
Tourist (Bule) clearly happy today

What Foreigners find 'odd' about Indonesians.
  1. Selfies
  2. Selfies with foreigners or strangers
  3. Find Selfie Sticks important
  4. Going to school at 7am
  5. Eating rice 3x a day
  6. Eat random things
  7. Eat everything with Chili Sauce
  8. Eat everything with their hands (not soup)
  9. Durian
  10. Eat the whole fish
  11. Always Eating
  12. Obsess over coffee
  13. Complain about the heat
  14. Complain about the AC being too cold
  15. Very polite
  16. Very noisy
  17. Respect older people
  18. Bathrooms are always wet
  19. Walk slowly
  20. Religious
  21. Have lots of children / brothers or sisters
  22. Spend all their time with family
  23. Go with tour groups for holidays
  24. Won't queue
  25. Dress properly at Airports
  26. Always using their phones 
  27. Always shopping
  28. Complain about dark skin
  29. Wear jackets and jumpers in the sun 
  30. Have no concept of personal space
That Damn Selfie Stick..... 
What makes these lists more interesting is the fact that I asked over 400 different students and the results came back pretty much the same. So there must be some truth in this.

Monday, 11 January 2016

19 years of mobile phones

I posted this back in 2010 but as things move on so there is a need to update things. Here is a list of all the phones I have pretty much owned since the conception of Mobile phones.

A list of the phones I have ever owned from Nokia and a random hairdressers phone that slipped in!

'97 6110

'98 Philips

'99 3210

'01 5210

I loved this phone

'02 5100

This one was great

'03 6600

 I wish I never sold this it was simply the best

 '04 Sharp GX10i 

Shockingly bad, hated it!

'05 6630

 never really got to grips with this one although it was a good phone

'05 6680

fantastic, a prerunner to the N series

'05 N80

Should have been better, wasn't. Sold it in Jakarta

'06 6282

'06 1100

My Thai phone, lost in Jakarta. Happy memories with this one

'07 6070

First phone in Jakarta, rubbish really

'07 N70 music
Managed to destroy this through overuse

'08 N73 music

Loved it but sold it for the one below

'09 E71

It looks good, does good things but did not like swimming pools.

'09 1202

One of the best (mainly cos it has a torch, the E71 does not) cheap cheerful and just keeps going and going, no matter how many times it gets dropped, gave it to my mum when she came in 2012.

'09 5800 Xpress Music

The best one yet. This rocked

'10 Blackberry 3g Curve

At the time this was the only way to talk to anyone in Indonesia. My collection of Blackberry phones through this time were:

Blackberry Torch, which was a nice phone but the camera kept freezing so it had to go.

Blackberry Bold was a really good phone

2012 Nokia 701

Then I went back to Nokia and for my last one ever I had a Nokia 701, which was good and fun but it didn't last long as everyone started using Android and Nokia didn't have the range of apps so I had to move on again.

Until now.....

My first Samsung was a Galaxy Grande and it was pretty good but too small so I eventually got a Galaxy Mega which was more like it and I kept with that phone right up to 2014.

I also have a small Lenovo phone (somewhere) and when I had it and find it again it was very useful and simple to use. 

I also invested in my first Tablet. A Samsung 10.1 which ran on Ice Cream Sandwich but was great for reading and work and I should have not sold it. 

I bought a new tab last year, a Samsung Tab 4 8.0. Its good, but not that good. I want a bigger tab again.

After the Galaxy Mega in 2014 I upgraded to my existing phone and one I really wont want to move off from. An LG Nexus 5.  Simply great.

There you go 19 years of Mobile phones!!!

Philips, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, Lenovo, LG.

25 different phones, 2 tabs and counting.

What do I wish for now?

Well, I think a Nexus 6p and a larger more useful tab, so not much!!!