The Trials of Life in Jakarta

I’m home again! Pakistani food, sleeping in and speaking English – it’s amazing!

And so weird after being in Sumba and Bali and having to do everything by myself…

Like remembering to carry an umbrella when dog walking.

I went for a walk the other day with Pele (our black lab) and was halfway round the park, Pele already having pooed in front of a group of teenagers, when the heavens opened and water started lashing down from the sky. And then, just as I was completely soaked through, the gorgeous guard from the gate (of our house – perks of Baba’s job) appeared in the distance carrying an umbrella. Cue the swooning.

Maybe I should explain a little bit more about the high life I live here in Jakarta. Most people already know but my dad works for the British Embassy. That means guards, houses with swimming pools, drivers, a cook and generally living a typical ex-patriate life. Weird. Especially when you consider how we used to have to do everything in England. I haven’t cooked for myself in ages! It’s even weirder coming back from six weeks living cheap in Bali and Sumba.

Now I follow Mummy around to all her events – like a coffee, cake and handbags morning for Rusi, Mum’s friend, at our house. People were spending £450 on a bag without even thinking about it – I think I was in shock. I also tagged along to the BWA (British Women’s Association) Christmas Bazaar. It was great… And delicious. There were actually tasters for once. Which means that I ended up buying way more food than I should have – including a whole tray of cinnamon buns (eaten all by myself – it’s ok, I lost 3 kilos while I was away).

Not that I didn’t eat in Sumba. There was great food at the party in my last week – rice, vegetables, sate (I thought it was chicken and eagerly stuffed them down – it turned out to be pork. Not my finest moment). And of course, as is expected with nuns and parties, great music. Especially when I sang ‘For the Beauty’ with the aspiring sisters in my lovely out of tune voice. There was also dancing – a Sumbanese version of line dancing in which I ended up bumping in to other people more than I perfected the steps.

So my time in Sumba was amazing. I miss it so much now I’m back in Jakarta. Here I lie in until 8.00am and then sit around for hours just reading. It’s so weird waking up and having nothing that I have to do. I’ve ended up begging Amaala to let me tutor her – intellectual stimulation and money. But most of the time I sit around and plan to tidy my room and then laugh at myself when it’s dinnertime and I still haven’t moved from my spot on the sofa. Not that I haven’t been doing things – following the mother around is just one example. I’ve also met up with the few friends I still have left in Jaks, done a fair bit of shopping, put up our christmas tree and gone to see the Hunger Games.

Now that is something worth talking about. As I’m sure you know if you know me, I’ve been looking forward to Mockingjay Part 2 since the first film came out all those years ago. It was my favourite book – so raw and terrifying and the themes slightly too real to be comfortable. And of course, everyone dies which will always make me cry. But I didn’t shed one tear the whole way through the movie.  I sat there, with stinging eyes but no actual crying. I feel cheated – eight hours of Hunger Games films and I wasn’t even given the emotional release I was expecting. Maybe I had built it up to be too good in my head or maybe I have finally grown out of movies and books being my reality. I never thought this day would come. That being said, the film was really good. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as per usual and I did end up screaming and jumping every few seconds with fear.

And maybe I am jumping the gun a bit. I can’t have grown up too much if chick flicks are still my favourite thing. We watched Crazy, Stupid Love on Saturday and yes please, Ryan Gosling is just the bomb.

So, what else? This week brings a charity high tea, being paid to scan photos and more tutoring sessions with Amaala. And of course, dreaming of what I’m going to wear in England – WE’RE COMING BACK FOR CHRISTMAS!!! Exciting times. So look out for my next post. Hopefully I’ll churn it out quicker than it’s taken me on this one…

Sampai jumpa.


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