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Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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expatriate information for Indonesia

  • listen to Paul Simon, Gypsy Kings, or (bah!) 'world music'
  • adopt an Indonesian name like Jaja (just stay John)
  • say "I don't care about money"
  • make a demonstrative big deal out of liking sambal (chili sauce) or durian
  • work in a development agency or non governmental organization
  • say "Ugh . . . sitcoms!"
  • blame anything and everything on the government
  • are a vegetarian
  • say "I hate McDonald's."
  • think anything from South Africa is cool
  • get turned on by Paul Simon's Graceland'
  • wear sandals as a political statement
  • study traditional Indonesian dance or musical instruments
  • say "I don't care about how I look."
  • complain about people treating you based on how you look
  • have rattan furniture in your house
  • say "I don't watch TV."
  • pretend you can't remember how to eat with a knife and fork
  • always wear batik drawstring trousers, regardless of appropriateness
  • read books by Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or anything with a political turmoil as a backdrop
  • watch movies by Roland Joffe, Chen Kaige, or anything with a political turmoil as a backdrop
  • snicker at anything on the bestseller lists (yet have barely literate Sarong Party Girlfriends)
  • think that the "little people" are little simply because of government oppression

This piece was originally found by one of this site's visitors on the soc.culture.indonesia newsgroup -- who termed it "a cynical but humorous look at politically conscious expats from an Indonesian point of view".

It was written by written by Adrian Darmono and has since been included in Jakarta Inside Out.

Mini glossary:

Bule a derogative term used by Indonesians for foreigners. Correct translation of the term is albino.

Sambal This spicy, hot sauce made with chili peppers, tomatoes, onion and other spices is a vital condiment for most Indonesian dishes.

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Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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