I’m leaving for Jakarta, Indonesia in a day and I’m not completely ready yet.
The people I’ve told about my new job are immensely proud and tell me it’s an excellent opportunity. I don’t argue.
Also, they keep telling me it’s a great chance to “get a regional perspective.” Up to now I haven’t wrapped my head around what that means. I’m sure it will come to me after a few months, like typhoid. Or my parents.
I’ve read up on the country and it’s fascinating. With a wealthy economy and thriving democracy, it’s one of the most exciting places to cover news today.
I’m still hung up on the minor details, though, that I suspect will get me through the day. Like how they want their bills crisp and in mint condition (can you iron out money?) or how you can get mugged in an unlocked taxi (we have that here too! Point of commonality!).
On the flipside, I’d love to see Bali. And a Komodo dragon. And the little Indonesian baby that smokes like a drug lord.
I’d also like to learn the local language because I would be missing out on the whole experience. Thanks to a free language lesson on a Singapore airlines flight, I know a few Bahasa words.
My favorite is “susu”, which means milk, and “tujuh” which means seven. It can come in pretty handy if I want to order 7 milk cartons.
It’s pretty nerve-wracking trying to figure out every contingency. Do kosts come with bedspreads? Will I be convicted if I smuggle in a box of Advil? How much rupiah should I bring around in my wallet?
I’m about 60% ready for Jakarta. Now all that’s left is to get there, work there and survive. Game on.