Life Lately-Jakarta First Thoughts

Hello from the other side of the world! If you’re keeping tabs on me or are following us on Instagram you might know that I’ve moved! Temporarily at least… I’ve found myself with an internship for the summer in Jakarta, Indonesia of all places. Things clearly have changed a bit for me so I figured the best possible post for this week is a life update. I also love reading these type of posts because you really get to know the writer better so…enjoy!

I’ve been “gone” from DC for exactly a week. However, because timezones are super weird, I’ve only been in Jakarta for about 5 days. I’ll be living and working here until early August at a US-based international development agency on their health and nutrition team. It’s honestly a bit of a dream come true because I am finally working on a project that I really enjoy.

Jakarta is unlike any other city I have ever been to. Sure the roads are just as crazy and completely lack any organization. Crosswalks exist, but rarely are they used and never are they the only way to cross. In fact, you basically have to walk without fear and stick your arm out to say “stop driving”. The craziest part is that it actually works. Cars, motorbikes and people all share the road with amazing simplicity. Yet, because of this, the pollution is absolutely killer. I don’t know how people live in this city long term. It’s not pretty and is in fact quite dirty- so apologies in advance for the severe lack of photos.

While English is not widely spoken, I’ve been able to make do. Many thanks go out to my roommate. She is interning with me and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia so she speaks the local language. Thanks to her I’ve managed to get a SIM card, buy groceries and even take my first motorbike ride.

Let me tell you guys…Uber has a service in Jakarta for motorbikes aptly named UberMotor and it is AMAZING. I have never ridden on the back of a motorbike before, let alone in a city as crazy as Jakarta or where I can’t hold on to the driver without seriously violating any cultural rules. It is the most fun I’ve had while I’ve been here. There is something so incredibly freeing about being on the back of a bike. Yes, mom they do give you a helmet to wear. In fact, one of my drivers pulled out a poncho for me when it started to rain. Real gentlemen he was.

I have another week of work and then I have a full week off to celebrate the end of Ramadan. I’m booking it out of Jakarta and I cannot wait. I’ll be in Bali for a full week. The sun, the clean air, the water, the beaches, the hiking, all of it. I cannot wait. I’ll post pictures as much as I can so follow us on every social media we’ve got and prepare to feel like you’re sitting next to me on the beach.

If you’ve got any suggestions for me to do while I’m here, let me know! I’ll be here until August 4th before I head to San Diego for a wedding! Shaping up to be quite a fun summer, don’t you think?

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