Q&A With An Expat Living in Jakarta

I was emailed by an expat living in Jakarta who has written articles on my site about Indonesian girls, I asked if he would like to do a Q&A about living in Jakarta and he agreed, so here it is.

You can find his blog by clicking here.

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What made you move to Thailand?

I first came out backpacking in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia for three months in 2007. I eventually ran out of funds but by the time I got home I was already plotting a way back. I absolutely loved the place and knew I was moving out permanently as soon as possible. When I got home I did a one month TEFL course and found a job in Indonesia. I took it without hesitation.

What I really liked about Asia (and still do) was that it’s really possible to enjoy life here on very little. There’s so much natural beauty easily accessible, the weather is always great, the women are gorgeous, friendly and fun, and it can all be enjoyed at a fraction of the price back West.

What was it like teaching English in Jakarta? Have you had any other jobs?

Teaching in Asia was alright for a year or two but by the end of four years I was really getting pissed off with it. Teaching adults is good fun, but teaching kids is not for a young man. The money is OK if you want to live an extended uni life, but if you actually want to get anywhere in life, forget teaching long term. It’s a good stepping stone to get out here but most people eventually transition into something more lucrative.

I have had other jobs – luckily during my fourth year in Indonesia I had a lucky break through some contacts and got on offshore oil rigs. That’s what I do to this current day, spending one month on the rigs in Australia and one month off in Indonesia. This will be my last month in Indonesia after which I will relocate to The Philippines with my wife.

Which do you prefer, Bangkok or Jakarta?

I’d have to say Jakarta. I spent a good amount of time in Bangkok but to be honest it’s full of hippy expats and middle class wannabe drifters trying to find themselves. I once was one of those but I grew out of it fast. Bangkok is a fun city, but I much prefer Jakarta probably just because it has been my home for seven years and I know it like the back of my hand, plus all my mates are here.

Both cities will melt your head in various ways like the traffic, but they both reward you with all kinds of delights too.

What was your experiences with Indonesian women?

Honestly the majority of my experiences with short term hookups have been fantastic, while the majority of trying to have relationships with them have been a disaster. I have to say honestly and from my heart I’ve never met a single honest one amongst them, all have multiple boyfriends, lie naturally and won’t think twice about ditching you when they have a better earner.

, Q&A With An Expat Living in Jakarta

I’m not racist for saying that, the vast majority of Indonesian people are very nice, but as far as love goes you will be fucked over 90% of the time. As a Westerner, you are a walking, talking ATM machine and will attract that kind ofwoman by default, especially when you are “green” or new to the country and haven’t sussed it out yet.

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Would you say Indonesia is a uncovered country for western men?

Yes and no. There are lot’s of parts I would say are uncovered but the major tourists places like Bali and The Gili Islands are saturated with Western backpackers. Jakarta has a fair amount of expats too but there are so many Indonesian living there we are outnumbered 100-1 in beautiful girls-eligible westerner terms.

If you go outside these places to more rural areas you will literally be treated like a celebrity with people stopping you to take photos with you and all that stuff.

If a reader was coming to Jakarta for a few days, what would you suggest to them?

I’d suggest going to the bars and clubs in Kemang for beer and hookups, if you’re looking for night life head to X2 or Stadium (if it is currently open as it gets raided and shut down often) and if you’re looking for no strings attached pay for play fun that is what it is, head to Blok M where you can cut all the BS and just pick up a girl for “taxi money”. Top Gun and Everest are good bars in Blok M.

As far as touristy stuff goes forget it. Jakarta is an unattractive pit of a place that takes a long time to grow on you. If you’re only there for a few days to party and have fun, you will enjoy it. If you’re looking for beautiful sights and buildings etc, you’re in for a big disappointment.

How did you meet your wife?

I met my wife through a mutual friend who introduced us while having some drinks after work on a Friday night. She vouched that she was a woman of good character and it turned out to be so. If you’re looking for a long term girl in Jakarta and want to save yourself all the hassle and bullshit of scams, tricks and hookers in disguise, this is the best way to do it. Make friends you trust, then let them introduce you to people.

Do you think most girls in Asia are racist in general? 

It depends how you define racism. If by racism you mean they hate us, then no, I don’t think that at all. In fact the opposite, they are often positively biased towards white men. The black dudes, however, have a harder time with Asian girls. I have a lot of black friends who would be top of the dating food chain in the UK, but have a hard job getting Asian girls.

That being said – they do hold racial stereotypes about white men. It is assumed you have pockets full of gold and a large cock. I’m happy to be discriminated against in those ways though! lol

Are you from Australia? How hard is it for others to find a job like yours?

I’m from the UK. It isn’t easy to get into oil and gas, I won’t lie. I got in through sheer networking and nepotism combined with an incredible stroke of luck. The good thing about it is you don’t have to have any formal qualifications, if you work hard and shovel shit willingly, and know the right people, you will find an opportunity eventually.

Can you break down your monthly living costs in Jakarta as an expat?

Life as an expat in Jakarta can vary from expat teachers who live on $800 a month to oil and gas executives who spend 8k+.

My personal expenses are as follows:

Studio apartment with kitchen and bathroom, swimming pool and gym, $300 usd.
Taxis around town for a month $100-$150.

A meal out for me and the wife with a couple of drinks – $40-$50. That’s at a nice Italian with two or three courses including taxis. If we just head to the mall for fish and chips or a rice/meat bowl, maybe $15 for both of us., Q&A With An Expat Living in Jakarta

Entertainment – $100/week.

Your expenses may be much less or much more than this depending on your lifestyle. I’m a gym rat who drinks once a week max and my wife and I enjoy blasting out entire TV series in a weekend and the cinema more than any of the more expensive habits like drinking, clubbing and weekends in Bali.

Have you been played, scammed or tricked by a girl before?

I haven’t been scammed for money that I know of, but I have been majorly played twice by Indonesian women. Once my girl of two years fucked a “mate” of mine while I was in the UK laying the groundwork for her to come over, the second time I was seeing this woman from another city when i was off work from time to time, then a friend of mine discovered she had a husband the whole time! I found that funny though, after I calmed down a bit.

Funny story – I was hooking up with a nice girl I knew for ages who was seeing this guy in Bali sometimes, we were hanging out for a weekend in a hotel and she was texting this guy in Bali. It turned out this little chick I was seeing was with him in Bali at the time I was with his girl in Jakarta! Of course, the girl I was seeing who was with this guy in Bali told me she was at work.

This should give you an idea how fucked up the Jakarta dating scene is. I stay away completely from it now.

Do you think the best way to finding a good girl in Asia is through friends?

Yes 90% of the time unless you luck out. The bars, clubs and places expats hang out are just jam packed full of gold diggers and ladies of the night. There’s no nice way to put it, if you want to find a decent woman you need to have friends you trust vouch for her character. Even that’s still a gamble to be honest, but it worked out OK for me.

What are the 3 things you enjoy and hate most about Jakarta?

Enjoy – the big city feeling of anything is possible if you just hustle and connect with people, the fact that I have never once felt threatened or intimidated by the Indonesian people who are some of the friendliest people in the world, and the fact that since it’s such a big city there are endless entertainment options.

Hate – Number one is traffic. It takes an hour or two to get somewhere that should take ten minutes. That spoils a lot of the fun of life. I also hate being seen as a money pinyata everyone wants to have a crack at, but hey it’s a third world country and people are just trying to survive. The last thing I hate is how corrupt the place is. You literally can’t even trust a doctor or a policeman not to trick or scam you in some way.

I’ll say this as a closing statement – if Indonesia got it’s shit together and rid itself of the corruption and extreme nationalism, it could really rule Asia. It’s so rich and diverse with so much potential, but it just squanders it to feed a few corrupt pricks, It’s a fun, exciting and cool place, but it is heavy and not for the amateur traveler looking for an easy and breezy experience.

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