Tag Archives: Jakarta

Pop Sent Prayers to Indonesia Flood Victims – Jakarta Snapshoot

jakarta flood 2013 army rescue baby, worst flood in indonesia, flodd in jakarta indonesia

What a week in the flooded Jakarta! Even Pope Benedict XVI is alerted and has offered his prayers to the victims of floods in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Pope said “no one should go without the necessary aid.”

As we heard, every 5 years, there is a huge flood in Jakarta. Last year, we were lucky. This year the flood has affected a total of 74 urban wards in 31 sub-districts in Jakarta’s five municipalities. More than 97,000 houses as well as some of Jakarta’s main roadways were flooded.

Let’s see the Indonesia ordinary people affected by the Jakarta Flood in our Jakarta Snapshoots.

jakarta flood 2013 army rescue old man


jakarta flood 2013 woman with bag on head, jakarta flood, worst flood in Indonesia


jakarta flood 2013 old woman on boat, jakarta flood, worst flood in indonesia



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Education and Schools in Jakarta – An article we wrote last year

jakarta schools, jakarta students, jakarta education system, Bogar local students

Good morning, as promised, here is the article we wrote for ExpatArrivals website about Indonesia education and school system. To read the article on ExpatArrival, click here.

But as our dear readers, of course you get to read it from our own midnightvisitor website.

What do you think? Hope it can bring you a somewhat complete picture about schools in Jakarta and we will be very delighted if it helps you in your school selection process if you are an upcoming expat to our great city of Jakarta.

Education and Schools in Jakarta

For Indonesians, compulsory education lasts for a total of nine years. This includes six years of primary school education, known as Sekolah Dasar, which begins when a child is six or seven. This is followed by three years of secondary school education, SMP or Sekolah Menengah Pertama, which begins at the age of 12 or 13.

After that students have a choice to either enrol in high school, SMA or Sekolah Menengah Ata, for another three years. Alternativley, some children choose to find a job and start work.

In general, students who have graduated from SMA will go directly to university, Universitas. However, due to either financial constraints or academic stress, some students drop out and opt for pre-university or associate degrees.

Within the Indonesian local compulsory education system, there are two kinds of schools: national schools and national plus schools.

National schools in Indonesia

In national schools the teaching language used is Indonesian. Every subject is taught in the Indonesian language by Indonesian teachers. Even English itself is taught by Indonesian teachers who speak English.

No dialects such as Javanese are offered in any of the schools in Indonesia, at least not in big cities like Jakarta.

These local languages are still used in remote parts of the country. The language barrier is one of the main reasons why expat children do not attend national schools in Indonesia.

National plus schools in Indonesia

National plus schools in Indonesia offer some international curricula and classes are generally in English rather than Indonesian.

The majority of these schools cater for Indonesian students with expatriate students often making up only a small proportion of the school’s student population. They do however accept expat children and are a good alternative for expats who work for companies that do not cover education fees.

International schools in Indonesia

Most expats in Indonesia send their children to international schools. This is the best option for those working for a company that makes a provision for school fees within an expat employment package.

There are many good international schools in Jakarta. The most popular international schools include Jakarta International School (JIS), the Australian International School (AIS) and the British International School (BIS).

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Over 9,000 Evacuated due to Heavy Downfall in Jakarta

idonesia flood 2103, JAKARTA FLOOD, jakarta evacuate, heavy rain in jakarta

It has been raining, raining, and raining.

This year’s wet season in Jakarta is a monster.

So far, over 9,000 people have been forced out of their homes in Jakarta. Some have lost their lives.

idonesia flood 2013 thousands fleed home

The place we stay, south Jakarta is safer. But the center of the city, and the northern Jakarta areas are hard hit. Even the Presidential Palace is flooded.

idonesia flood woman in deep water

We feel so sorry for the local Jakartarans, especially the kids.

idonesia flood 2013, kids in jakarta flood, people leaving home jakarta flood

Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Rain, please go away.

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A Piece of Jakarta eBook is Completed!

A Piece of Jakarta book cover new

Last day before we fly out to China, we haven’t packed yet. And why we are still typing here?!

Because we are so excited, our first e-baby:

‘A Piece of Jakarta – 31 Days in Jakarta’

is now officially completed!

A big thank you to Miss D, who worked till 10pm last night to help out with the final editing, without you, the eBook won’t be as beautiful. You are a star!!!

You might have noticed that we changed the eBook cover a bit. Is it better this way? We like it because now that it suits the contents better. You will see what we mean if you read our eBook.

Most of the photos in this eBook is actually taken by Miss D. Even the photo on our eBook cover is taken by Miss D. We love it. How good is that! Plus she has a few articles there, too. We love the ‘5 Peculiar Things in Jakarta’ she wrote, which is included in the eBook.

Actually, while editing, Miss D came up with another great idea.

Miss D has been working in her Grade Ambassador Club in the past semester, and has grown a keen interest in organising events and activities.

We were thinking of launching our new eBook on a new website. But Miss D got a better idea: she wants to do a fundraiser at her school and give out the eBook for free. There are lots of unfortunate kids in Jakarta, and hopefully our eBook can help a good cause.

So after our holidays, she will talk to her adviser in school and see if she can do this. So excited! Maybe we will just throw in A Hat Day at her school, what do you think?

Wish Miss D luck!

Love. D

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How much do they charge a black plum? – Reveal

blonde girl and fruit price, jakarta fruit price for expats, jakarta price check

Prices in Jakarta can be ridiculous if you are an expat. Locals charge you higher, special expat prices. Sometimes, they will even charge you a blonde price, if you look that good.

Guess how much these two imported black plums that are not even fresh will cost you?

 black plum with price tag

Surprised? Wait till you see the two avocados below:

avocado with price tag

Yes, you are not wrong. They charge you more than USD8 for two imported avocados. Guess that’s OK, when we pay AUD2-3 for one avocado in Sydney. Petrol, fuel cost are increasing by the day, inflation, inflation…

Wait, we have even more surprises for you. Guess how much this bunch of bananas cost you? You will never guess right. So we will tell you now.

banana price jakarta

RP440. How did this happen?

No idea.

We were in a rush and grabbed these bananas in the supermarket. We ended up paying RP440 for these, that’s USD 5 cents. Have you ever paid 5 cents for  a bunch of bananas like these? Anywhere in the world? We would be surprised if you do.

Upon checking, we figure this is a one off human error. Someone happened to put the wrong price tag on these bananas. If you check closely, we were actually paying for some baby sweet oranges (jeruks).

But the price still didn’t look right even if they were baby oranges. Baby oranges still cost much more than USD 5 cents.

Oh, well, guess that’s one of the benefits of living in Jakarta. Very confused,  but somehow benefiting from it?

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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate – Jakarta snapshoots through D’s camera

From the food and recipes we put out on Midnightvisitor, you would agree that we don’t believe in diets or restricting ourselves in the D house. We love our chocolates, cakes, and anything yummy. But don’t get us wrong, we do believe in a balanced diet (or to a broader extend – a balanced life) so to speak.

We are so looking forward to Christmas, and one of our priorities for this Christmas is to eat all the decadent treats we crave! Think chocolate brownies, chocolate mousse, chocolate cookies, chocolate fudges…

Oh, my, our mouths are watering the moment we write this. How about a Jakarta Chocolate Roadshow for today? We can’t wait.

Of course, we will do some high impact cardio, a hot yoga and a soothing swim after this. That’s the secret why we can keep on eating this Christmas. 😀

Jakarta is not a sleepy fishing village any more. Those years are long gone. Jakarta is in fact a big metropolitan city today, and it has all the Chocolates in the world.

This week, the D’s camera is going to show case some of the best Chocolates that Jakarta is on offer.


chocolate cakes

So many chocolate cakes, which one to pick? So hard, yet so tempting…

chocolate brochure, chocolate cakes, chocolate

How about checking out the brochures first? That’ll get us going.

Cheese cake we bought.

chocolate cheese cake

Smaller but better chocolate cheese cake!

We love our cheese cakes. And a chocolate cheese cake? That’s even better. This is the same cheese cake as we bought for Miss D. The only difference is it is topped with chocolate filling and laced with white meringue.

And the price? It is RP11,500 for the smallest 20x10cm cake, and runs up to RP1,220,000 for the biggest 60x40cm cake. (1USD = RP9,600)

How did we miss that the last time we went shopping? We love the topping! One more reason to go back.

chocolate slice and hot chocolate

Another great chocolate cake, tiny but great. We always enjoy dark chocolate. The bitterness keeps us want more. Enjoy a great cuppa after this. We will add some coco on top, just for you.

chocolate ice creams

How about some chocolate ice-cream? Actually, any kind of ice-cream will be fine for us. After all, it is always hot in Jakarta, and ice-cream is so popular here. We won’t mind a truck load of it, in fact.

chocolate cup cake chocolate red velvet

Wait, we not only have chocolate ice-creams in Jakarta, we also have chocolate  cup cakes. They are smaller but taste as great as their bigger chocolate buddies. Why not give them a go? You might like them, too. Besides, the sales girls in Jakarta are super nice. We don’t want to disappoint them, do we?

chocolate royce jakarta

You won’t think that we would leave you empty handed after all these, would you? We can’t do that. Chocolate is for everyone, so here it goes, the shops where we normally get our chocolates and cakes in Jakarta. You’ll find them at the end of this article.

royce chocolate jakarta

Still, this is only the tip of the iceberg. We guarantee that Jakarta has much more chocolates on offer: in fancy restaurants, hotels, cake shops, chocolate shops…

If you really, really want more, you have to come over and see for yourself. And God knows, we might even put up a few more of our favorite chocolate shows before Christmas. After all, this is the holiday season, what more excuses do we need to enjoy Chocolate?

The chocolate/cakes shops we frequent:

The harvest

Jl. Arteri Pondok Indah, No.38E, Jakarta Selatan



Royce Chocolates Indonesia

Pondok Indah Mall 1

Awfully chocolate Jakarta

Plaza Indonesia
Level LB#31 Jalan M.H Thamrin Kav.
28-30 Jakarta,10350
T: (62) 21 3199 0205
F: (62) 21 3199 0208

Open 10am – 10pm daily

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Jakarta Weather Station

jakarta blue sky and white clouds

We might as well change our name from MidnightVisitor to Jakarta Weather Station!

Yep, you got it, it rained again this afternoon here in Jakarta. Some places were flooded soon enough after 10 minutes of heavy down pour.

Can you imagine it is all started with this:

jakarta blue sky and white clouds with yellow girls

Blue skies, white clouds, nice flow traffic (oops, actually no traffic in this picture! Well done, Jakarta, you amazed us again). Satu Lagi (means AGAIN in Indonesia Language. :D)

Mrs. D got really frustrated in the car stuck in the traffic on her way home after a lovely lunch in Pacific Place (a fancy shopping mall in central Jakarta). All the happiness from earlier of the day was slowly winding away.

She’s got a kid to take out of school and she was running late. There was nothing she can do, not even with a driver who knows all the short-cuts in South Jakarta. She was rather anxious. She really didn’t want to be late.


Until she saw this man:

jakarta rubbish colletor braving heavy rain

A rubbish man braving the wind and rain, treading in the flood, and just kept on going.

What’s going through his mind? Was he frustrated like us?

jakarta rubbish colletor braving rain

We would never know.

Unlike Paris Hilton, Mrs. D would never stop her car and talk to a total stranger. Not in circumstances like this. Everyone has his own dignity. Who are we to judge? After all, it was not a street beggar she had seen.

Anyway, Mrs. D was much calmer and relaxed after this. No way she was going to turn herself into a banker’s wife, that’s Mr. D’s job. 😀

Happiness, isn’t it a strange thing? Have you figured out yours yet?

Love. D

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How much do they charge a black plum?

We have not done a price check in Jakarta for a while now. Too busy doing other things in life. But we have to ask you a new price quiz this week in MidnightVisitor Quiz after we saw these babies:

black plums price quiz

Two black plums, imported, and by the look of them, they aren’t even fresh any more. Being on the road for too long? Where are you guys from, black plums? You look a bit worn out to us.

Hope you won’t be surprised if you know how much these black plums cost in Jakarta. We won’t buy these for sure.

This week’s MidnightVisitor Quiz is this:

What is the price for these two imported black plums?

Be ambitious and guess high. They won’t disappoint you.

As usual, the Time to Reveal will be published next Monday.

Have fun.

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Jakarta Factory Outlet – How to identify genuin clothes

One of the benefits of living in Jakarta is there are many factory outlets here. Every now and then, we will go there and do some treasure hunt. It is fun.

You would think we have paid the original prices for our winter clothes below:

jakarta factory outlet hoodie

Hack no, we won’t buy any winter clothes without checking out the many Jakarta factory outlets.

As we have said before, shopping in the factory outlets can be a hit and miss. There are lots of fake products in these factory outlets. So have we bought the authentic products?

Check out the actual hoodies and see the labels, textures, and feelings. What do you think?

outlet junk foodoutlet manufacturing dateoutlet price comparison

Are these genuine branded garments or not? We think they are. Our guess is these are current season genuine export clothes. For whatever reason, they are left behind and are now sold in the many factory outlets in Jakarta.

And this is what we paid:

A pale white coloured hoodie by Junk Food. On sale for USD 40, down from USD 80. Bought for RP99,000 (1 USD = RP9,600)

A grey hoodie by Aerie for American Eagle. USD 49.99. Bought for RP89,000.

A grey turtle neck long sleeve top . On sale for USD 19,99, down from USD 39.99. Bought for RP79,000.

Here is the picture of our grey hoodie from the AE website. It is called Aerie boyfriend sweat shirt:

AE Boyfriend sweat shirt

Upon close look, we have actually figured out why our sweat shirt ends up in the Jakarta factory outlet: it’s missing the tie at the bottom of the sweat shirt. Oh, well, guess we can live with that.

We have even seen the cover girl fur collared sweater below as well. It is on sale for RP99,000. But we don’t like the fur collar, and have passed it on.

hoodies and tops for winter American Eagle

Happy shopping.

Best Hot Woman In A Swimming Pool?

We have just reinforced that MidnightVisitor is a family blog, and we are quite sensible in not showing any not kids friendly stuff here. The next thing we know, we have landed ourselves in hot water, again.

How does this happen?

Well, after a day’s hard work, we are enjoying our peace and quiet and doing a bit maintenance on our blog. Guess what we found? Some strangers have landed on our blog via this:

If you not already know, this is a screen shoot of who’s who in the blog sphere. Basically it tells you how people find you using what search terms. Amazingly, someone found us through the term ‘best hot woman in a swimming pool’, among our Christmas lyrics and Christmas ornament and crafts.

How did this happen?

Being curious souls like us, we frantically put the term on Google. We love Google, right? Google sure will not fail us.

Guess we are wrong, yet again.

We searched and searched, but among the millions of pictures shown up, we cannot find anything that belongs to us.

To love, or not to love, that is the question. Now we are utterly destroyed. Our hearts are broken. If we can’t trust Google, who else can we trust?!

Since we are heart broken, we need to see a doctor. But, it’s already too late here in Jakarta. What to do?

We love jokes and we believe laughter is the best medicine. So instead of finding our ‘best hot woman in the swimming pool’, we have found someone else’s hot lady: in the swimming pool and naked, via our great trusty friend Google:

Don’t believe your eyes? Why not Google yourself? Put in our title for this article, and see how you fare. Google might as well surprise you. You might have some pool side fun along the way. You never know…

Who said we can trust Google?

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An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse – 31 Days In Jakarta

We have just published our eBook cover for our ‘A piece of Jakarta – 31 Days In Jakarta’ yesterday. And then we found out this week all the bloggers are writing about ‘An offer I couldn’t refuse’!

Amazing. God send. Just the offer we need for our brand new eBook!

We love you, and thank you, God (aka the publishers at wordpress :D). You must have heard our prayers for reaching out our eBook to a wider audience, have you?

So here goes our ten minute:

Our eBook ‘A piece of Jakarta’ is due out next month, right before Christmas. This is our gift and souvenir for everyone who loves Jakarta, the city we are currently living in.

You can read our daily lives in Jakarta, our happiness and occasional frustration. Check out the itineraries, recipes, restaurants in Jakarta and Indonesia. We have plenty information there. Interested? Check out our draft content page for the eBook here.

How about a bit of exotic life sound? Life in Jakarta is different, exotic to a certain extend for sure. It surprises us every now and then, it will certainly amaze you. Please come and read our eBook. It is free and full of fun.

OK, thank you for your topic for this week. Hope you enjoyed our take on this one. A great 10 minutes we have had. Happy reading.


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Jakarta Snapshot Through D’s Camera – Who Is The Boss

jakarta boss

Went to the Jakarta Immigration Office today to sort out the visa for the family. The Jakarta Immigration Office has moved to Kemang which is quite far from where we live.

We raised early this morning to make this important trip and boy it took 1 and 1/2 hours just to get there. Funny thing is, guess how long it took to come back? Half an hour!

Tells you a lot about Jakarta traffic, doesn’t it?

The trip was less boring thanks to the D’s camera. We got chances to be stopped in the traffic, and snap away! Well, it was a lot of fun in the beginning, but it petered out after this looonnnng trip. Miss D almost felt car sick at the end of the trip.

What we do to earn a living in this city.

Price to pay, friends.

Price to pay…

Anyways, we had some great shots, and the weather was on our side as well. Blue skies and white clouds. What a change from the crazy stormy weather yesterday.

jakarta blue sky, jakata coconut tree

Love today’s Jakarta blue sky, not the ugly power lines though. Coconut tree is forever a street scene here in Jakarta.

So beautiful.

jakarta unique house decoration

Miss D was fascinated by this house. Look at the rooftop. Was it telling us a story?

Better be a good one.

The trip had just started, and we have 1 and 1/2 hours to go. (although we didn’t know at this stage, lucky or not?)

jakarta man with stall

How about some breakfast before we get started? It is a long trip after all.

And our very first man in action. This is what Jakarta’s breakfast shop look like. They only appear in the Jakarta streets in the morning or late afternoon. Maybe it’s just too hot during the day?

jakarta bus

Now that our tummies happy. We need to get going.

How about a bus trip?

It is crowded but it gets you to places. Besides, the service is superb. We will stop right in the middle of the famous Jakarta traffic, just for you.

Forget about bus stops, or traffic lights. Raise your hand now, that’s what locals do. And we will stop the traffic, no kidding, alright? RP 3,000 please, that will get you anywhere in Jakarta ( 1 USD = RP 9,600).

jakarta traffic becak

Don’t like the bus? How about a taxi? Our very own version of Jakarta taxi, that is. Look at them, the becaks. So flashy and bright. They get Jakarta very polluted as well.

jakarta motorist man delivery, jakarta traffic

The conventional way to get to work is, of course, by motorbikes. And guys, you already are late. See the delivery man? This is his 3rd round this morning.

Early birds get worms.

jakarta street stall, jakarta man at work

A very relaxing seller amid the whole traffic chaos. How can he be so calm?

jakarta graffiti man

Love this wall. Great graffiti! And another man in action.

Where are you going, mate?

jakarta blind begger

A blind beggar, yet smiling. Must be because of the good weather.

No rain, no pain.

jakarta motorist with snack

And just when we start to think we know Jakarta traffic by now.

What is this thing?

Snacks galore, on a motorbike?

Call Circus De Soliel now. This man is who they need. How good is that balancing act? Definitely has taken the whole jiggling action into another level.

Truly amazing.

jakarta rubbish dump

Yet another amazing scene to show you. The famous garbage dumps of Jakarta. What legends are made of. True Jakarta style.

Haven’t seen anything like this before. Honest.

jakarta vote

But we ain’t seen no boss yet, mama?

Where do you think we live, son?

The moon?

It’s Jakarta we’re talking about.  Bosses are faceless man, anonymous.

OK, let’s show you some politicians. They’re bosses, too. And if you vote for us, we will throw in a good, old massage, just for you.

jakarta fancy shoes for man

We can’t show you any bosses. Sorry about that. To make it up to you, let’s show you one secret, OK?

Do you know why the bosses in Jakarta are so powerful? Well, obviously, they get help from a secret weapon.

Look at these shoes, they’ll empower any man, anytime. ‘Take you to any place you wanna be’, literally.

Seven centimeters? What?! They must be kidding! We went straight to our doctors after we seen this.

No, there is nothing wrong with our feet, or legs. We did check our eyes though. Some things are just too good to be true.

Remember: buy some shoes next time you are in Jakarta. They will ‘take you to the place you wanna be’, any place, hopefully. And shhhhh … don’t tell your bosses. That’ll get them very upset. 😀


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Jakarta Ghost Story One

Good evening, dear readers. How are you today?

Have just finished ‘Jakarta Ghost Story One’. So happy! This will be our very first ghost story and will be included in our upcoming eBook: ‘A piece of Jakarta – 31 days in Jakarta’, remember?

This is a really interesting one, and definitely ghostly. It starts something like this:

One dark, stormy day…

Sounds scary already, isn’t it? Well, we wrote it this way partly because today is a dark, stormy day here in Jakarta. Not only dark and stormy, but also with lightning and thunders.

Today is a perfect day to tell a ghost story. God sent. And no, we won’t publish it here. You have to download our eBook to read that one. Haha. 😀

Just a clue, don’t tell anyone, alright:

This ghost story has something to do with Elevators. Not any elevators, but the Elevators in Jakarta shopping malls…

We love it.

Today is such a great day, with lots of traffic jams thanks to the heavy rain. We finally get the chance to take some great pictures.

Want to see some flood in Jakarta? Here we go.

flood in jakarta, car in heavy rain in jakarta

Cars driving in heavy rain.

See the flood? Jakarta cannot cope with the rainy season, a 10 minute heavy rain and road is already like this.

car in flood jakarta, flood in jakarta, heavy rain in jakarta

More cars braving the heavy rain.

motorbike in flood in jakarta, flood in jakarta, heavy rain in jakarta

Motorists, too. Poor guys.

Some of the motorists actually stopped and hid under crossing bridges where they got some shelters from the heavy rain.

Jakarta flood, jakarta heavy rain

After all these, we deserve some ice creams, don’t you think? The best kind please.

We love Haagen-Dars. A truck load would really be nice.

What’s the weather like in your city today? Hope you have a nice day.

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Interview With The D Family

phone interview

Just got the email from Catherine at ExpatArrivals. We did an interview with Catherine earlier this month and she advised us that the interview is now published. To see a link, click here.

We are so happy. We are going to share the whole interview with you right here this moment. We have to, there is no other choice. So why wait. Here is the interview in its full glory.

Hopefully, you get to know us and Jakarta better after you read this.

Interview with the D family – Australian expats living in Indonesia

Sarah and John from the D family are Australian expats living in Indonesia. They moved to Jakarta with their 10-year-old daughter, Miss D, when John was transferred there with his company. Although they miss their friends and family back in Sydney, they enjoy sharing their experiences and keeping them informed about their life in Jakarta through their blog, Midnight Visitor.

About you

Q: Where are you originally from? 
A: We are from Sydney, Australia. We love Sydney. We have so many fond memories about Sydney. Summer is the best time in Sydney for us. We go camping all the time. We love the beaches, the blue skies and the fresh air. Looking back, it is a luxury to have these.
Q: Where are you living now? 
A:  Pondok Indah, Jakarta, Indonesia
Q: How long have you lived in Jakarta? 
A:  One and half years.
Q: Did you move with a spouse/children?
A:  We moved to Jakarta as a family, a couple with one girl (10 years old when we first moved to Jakarta).
Q: Why did you move; what do you do?
A:  We moved to Jakarta because of Mr D’s work. Initially, Mr D worked on a few projects in Indonesia in 2010. This kept on for about half a year, and had taken its toll on our family life. Then there was an opportunity coming up for Mr D to work full-time in Jakarta and we took it up.
Besides, we thought it’s a good cultural experience for our daughter. Not every 10 year old got the chance to study in a foreign country and got to travel overseas three to four times a year. We hope our decision to move to Jakarta would enrich her life in a positive way and inspire her to live life to the full.

About Jakarta

Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home? 
A:  We miss most about Sydney is our families and friends. One of the reasons to start our blog was to keep in touch with them. Miss D was doing a monthly update email to her friends prior to the blog and all her friends, teachers and our family, neighbours loved it. So we gradually formed the idea of setting up a blog.
Our daughter loves writing and our blog name is from one of her winning articles in the Young Writer’s Award 2012. We want to keep her on the track to continue to write well.
Q: Is the Jakarta safe? Are there any areas expats should avoid?
A:  We were concerned about the safety side prior to moving to Jakarta. Bali bombing was headline news in Australia. The fact about drug smuggling Australians being sentenced to death here didn’t help either.
However, Mr D’s flying in and out experience told a different story. The city is actually quite safe and local people are very friendly. Hope it keeps this way. Touch wood.
Q: How would you rate the public transport in Jakarta? What are the different options? Do you need to own a car? 
A: We don’t use public transport in Jakarta. We don’t drive either. Expats are not recommended to drive here in Jakarta. Jakarta traffic is the second worst in the world according to a worldwide survey we read.
We have a company car and a driver. The driver speaks reasonable English and we are happy with the arrangement.
If we ever need to take a taxi, we would opt for Blue Bird or Silver Bird Taxi Company. These two taxi companies are reputable here in Jakarta.
Q: How would you rate the healthcare in Jakarta?
A:  We are covered by company health insurance and have been taken care of in this respect. Our doctors are trained in Western countries, speak good English and are fairly experienced in their trained field.
We are also quite lucky in that we haven’t been sick other than the occasional flu or cold. Other expats who got serious sickness or having babies actually can fly to Singapore and see the doctors there.
In fact, a lot of local rich Indonesians do the same. They fly to Singapore to see their doctors. It is a very common practice here in Jakarta.
About living in Indonesia
Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in Jakarta as an expat?
A:  There are two popular areas that expats live in Jakarta: the city, and South Jakarta.
Q: How do you rate the standard of housing in Jakarta?
A:  Jakarta is a city of vast difference in terms of housing. On one side, we have million dollar mansions in secluded suburbs (what we call gated compounds). These are way better than a standard three-bedroom house in Sydney.
On the other side, we have rubbish dumps where poor people with families living in. It was a culture shock for us to see the living situation of those people. We have a few pictures of these on our blog if you are interested.
Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A:  Overall, the cost of living in Indonesia is cheaper in Jakarta, especially on manpower. Local people were paid so little, it is shocking. For a newly college graduate, the starting salary could be as low as USD 100- 200 per month. No wonder all the young people want to move to Singapore or other countries to work. It is not fair.
However, anything imported can be very expensive. Actually they are usually more expensive than they are in their home country. We have a few price comparisons of Australia food prices vs Indonesia prices on our blog. You might be interested to check it out.
Q: What are the locals like; do you mix mainly with other expats?
A:  Locals are very friendly. But we mingle mainly with other expats due to language barriers etc.
Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends in Jakarta?
A: We don’t have many local Indonesian friends. The places we go to tend to be full of expats. Local people stare at us, are very friendly, and we might exchange a few words either in English or Bahasa Indonesia. But that’s about it. We haven’t made many true lasting local friends yet.

About working in Jakarta

Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit for Indonesia?
A:  No. Mr D’s company used agents to help us get our visas. All we needed to do is show up, take the photos, and sign a few documents.
In fact, we jumped the queue thanks to the agents. All the other people who don’t have an agent have to wait for a long time.
Q: What’s the economic climate like in Jakarta, is there plenty of work?
A: On one hand, there are lots of investments and money coming into Indonesia. The economy is booming. Indonesia outperformed many other Asian countries in the 2009 economic meltdown. Indonesia also has very solid GDP growth in 2010 (6.1%) and 2011 (6.4%). For an expat, it is actually a good place to be in considering Europe and USA’s economic problems.
On the other hand, Indonesia has its own share of poverty and unemployment. Corruption is headline news almost every other day. Its traffic is notoriously bad, and the gap between rich and poor is astonishing.
Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A:  Indonesians are not born hard working people. Has this got something to do with the hot weather? They are contended with their work but they don’t take it to the next step to make things better. This country needs a great leader to get rid of corruption and shape up the government.
Q: Did a relocation company help you with your move? 
A:  Yes.

Family and children

Q: Did your spouse or partner have problems adjusting to their new home?
A:  No.
Q: Did your children settle in easily?
A:  Yes.
Q: What are the schools like in Jakarta, any particular suggestions?
A:  There are many international schools in Jakarta. The American school, the British school, the Australian school, and the Singapore school, just to name a few. They follow their home country curriculums. No problem for kids from any countries to settle down here. Most likely you can find an international school that suits your needs.
But be prepared to pay the school fees, they are as high as any good private schools back in Sydney.

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals?
A:  Take your time to settle down. Living in a new country is not easy, especially moving from a developed country to a developing one like Indonesia. Look after your family, stay together and be strong. Keep a bit of sense of humour, that’s the best medicine.
Make friends through kid’s school, or church or an expat community. Read a few blogs. We learned a lot of things about Indonesia from blogs. It is one of our inspirations to actually start our own blog.

Most importantly, enjoy the experience. We won’t stay here all our life. We are mere passers-by in Jakarta. Someday, we will be back in our home country. Hopefully, our blog can help us to preserve the memories of our adventure in Jakarta.

~ Interviewed November 2012

Red Bean Restaurant – Indonesia Restaurant

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We have found a new restaurant in Jakarta – The Red Bean Restaurant recently. You might like the Red Bean Restaurant.

Well, technically, Red Bean Restaurant is not a new restaurant. We have seen its branches in many shopping malls in Jakarta. Just we haven’t tried this particular Red Bean Restaurant before.

The Red Bean Restaurant we go to is in Poins Square, a locally shopping mall in south Jakarta. It is not a very fancy shopping mall so to speak and is always crowded.

But the good thing about this Red Bean Restaurant is it was newly opened last year, and is quite bright, clean and modem. It is located on the top floor of the Poins Square shopping mall and has less customers. Lucky for us as we always try to avoid  crowded places. Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. Crowd avoiding is an art here. 😀

red bean restaurant, jakarta

Banner at the entrance of Red Bean Restaurant. They serve Oriental / Fusion dishes.

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Nice ambiance. No smoking is what we like when we go out with Miss D. Quite family (kids) friendly, don’t you think?

red bean restaurant, jakarta; inside the red bean restaurant

Customers are mostly local Indonesians and families. So many babies in this photo, but it didn’t feel very noisy that day. Not at all. Something to do with the ambiance?The lights and walls might have a magical calming factor on the babies?

Food served is fast, and prices are very reasonable, within reach of the local people.

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Wall features. A lot more similar ones on the walls. Nice touch.

These are what we ordered:

Chicken Red Bean Restaurant, Jakarta

Guong Bao Ayam (Chinese Sichuan style chilli chicken)

IDR 38,500 (1 USD = IDR 9,600)

fried prawn, red bean restaurant, jakarta

Udang goreng mayonnaise (Fried prawn with mayonnaise)

IDR 43,900 (1 USD = IDR 9,600)

mixed vegetable, stir fried vegetable, red bean restaurant, jakarta

Cap Cap – Mixed veggetables

IDR 28,500 ( 1USD = IDR 9,600)

Mapo Tahu Red Bean Jakarta, Mapo Tofu, restaurant jakarta

Mapo Tahu ( Tofu in chilli sauce)

IDR 35,900 ( 1 USD = IDR 9,600)

Red Bean Restaurant Jakarta

Pocai Cah Bawang Putih (Stir Fried Veggie with garlic)

IDR 26,900 ( 1 USD = IDR 9,600)

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Deep purple cranberry juice

IDR 19,900 ( 1 USD = IDR 9,600)

drink, red bean restaurant, jakarta

Ice Lemon Tea

Easiest drink to order. Served in all Indonesia restaurants. When we run out of ideas to order drinks, we just order the good, old Ice Lemon Tea. Can’t go wrong most of the time.

Location of the Red Bean Restaurant we went to:

Red Bean Restaurant

Poins Square, Lt 1

Jakarta Selatan

Tel: 75921199


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A Piece of Jakarta

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Good afternoon, dear readers. How are you today?

We are working on our eBook ‘A Piece of Jakarta – 31 Days In Jakarta’ at the moment. We are busy writing a few more articles to add into the eBook. Do you want to have a peek of them? These are fantastic, brand new articles that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. Promise.

Daily Musing

In the Daily Musing sector, we will add a few more pieces, the ones we are working on now are as below:

Jakarta Ghost Story 1 or

Jakarta Love Story 1

(We will only put one of these into the eBook, which one do you like more? And yes, these will be the first article of a new series on our blog, we will make sure to write story 2, story 3 etc on our blog :D)

The Technician and the light bulb (Yep, a very funny story which will make you laugh, Miss D can’t wait to show you this one!)

A Conspiracy Theory (A real life story in true Jakarta style, you will love it!)

Restaurant Find Jakarta

In the Restaurant Find Jakarta section, we will add a few new restaurant reviews. Maybe two?

Indonesia Recipe

In this section, if time allows, we will share a few more authentic Indonesia Recipes. But we are running out of time. So not sure about this one yet.

Jakarta Traveler’s Kit

Finally, we will add a brand new section, Jakarta Traveler’s Kit, with many useful, hand picked advises for traveling to Jakarta.

Hope you enjoy our ‘A Piece of Jakarta’ eBook.

Have a lovely day and see you soon.

Welcome To Jakarta

Jakarta must see, Jakarta must eat, must see Jakarta

31 days in Jakarta Day 31

Phew, one month passes so quickly! Can you believe it? Today is the last day of October already. And the fun has just started.

Welcome to Jakarta!

There are so many things to write about Jakarta. So much so that 31 days is not enough. In fact, this is just a snapshot of Jakarta. There are much more to see, to hear, to experience and to enjoy. Why not come to Jakarta and experience everything for yourself?!

Do come back and visit us often. We love you all, and we love to share our life’s adventure with you.

On a final note to end this ’31 Days in Jakarta’ serial, we are going to combine these little gems during the past 31 days into a book, an eBook to be exact:

‘A Piece of Jakarta – 31 Days in Jakarta’.

Soon, you will be able to find this eBook via the ‘Free’ button at the top of our homepage. This is our gift to you. You can download it, and read it when you have a moment. Check out the itineraries, the recipes, the daily musings; our happiness, and our occasional frustration. The list is endless! Feel free to send it to your families and friends. If anyone can benefit from what the book offers, we will be very happy.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy writing it.

Welcome to Jakarta. Our journey has just begun.

Selamat Datang ke Jakarta

Willkommen in Jakarta


Bienvenue à Jakarta



Bienvenido a Yakarta

Bye for now. See you tomorrow at the MidNightVisitor’s blog. 😀


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Hello From The Australian Embassy

Australian Embassy Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 30

Gosh, only 2 days left before the end of our ‘31 Days In Jakarta’. There are still so much to talk about this exotic city of ours. Have you fallen in love with Jakarta yet? Ours is a hate and love relationship.

Have to say hello to all our Australian readers out there.

Dear families, neighbors, friends, and workmates.

Miss D’s friends, teachers, sports coaches and singing buddies.

Shop owners at the corner of our house.  Thank you for the fresh milk we got everyday while we were in Sydney.

Your readership and support are what kept us going. 😀

‘The 31 Days In Jakarta’ won’t be completed without a trip to the Australian Embassy here in Jakarta. That’s literally our second home, a home away from home, right?

So let’s take you on a tour of our Embassy in Jakarta, shall we?

Well, actually we don’t think the Australian Embassy is open to public. It’s not the White House where you get to go in for a tour.

Unfortunately, we are no personal friends with our dear ambassador either. Not yet, but we are working on it. 😀

What you see is a glimpse of what a normal person gets to see while inside the Australian Embassy, OK?

Australian Embassy Jakarta, Jakarta Australian Embassy

First thing we saw was this portable Police Station upon arrival at the Jakarta Australian Embassy. These handsome policemen almost became our friends when we finished our business inside the Jakarta Australian Embassy.

Why? Because the traffic was so heavy that we had to wait for over 20 minutes for our car. During that time, one of the policeman chatted to us in simple English, and ended up offering us seats inside their tent, and some mineral water. Really, really nice.

Jakarta Australian Embassy

We had to walk along this way about 25 meters to get to the gate of Jakarta Australian Embassy. And trust us, you aren’t see nothing yet. Going inside Jakarta Australian Embassy was like going inside a jail. It took at least 4 security checks and gates just to get in.

Guess it was the same as all the other Embassies here in Jakarta. Security is of the top most priority.

Jakarta Australian Embassy was bombed 10 years ago right outside this gate. The security guards died so as some of the people inside this building.

Australian Embassy Jakarta, Jakarta Australian Embassy

Met some local office workers walking along this side way at Jakarta Australian Embassy. See the badge she was wearing. That’s what needed to go inside the Jakarta Australian Embassy.

Jakarta Australian Embassy

Once inside Jakarta Australian Embassy, we saw this memorial plaque. Sad story. Courageous people.

Jakarta Australian Embassy

Some familiar faces: Julia Gillard (Australia Prime Minister), Bob Carr (FOREIGN Affairs Minister) etc, etc.

Australian Embassy Jakarta, Jakarta Australian Embassy

Opening Hours of the Australian Embassy.

Jakarta Australian Embassy

Brochures for free. Take one if you want to know more about traveling outside Australia or visiting Jakarta in particular.

Traveling smart, traveling well, travelling for families, travelling for seniors…

Jakarta Australian Embassy

Reception area. Take a seat while we security check you! 😀

Our visit had to stop here for you. We have to kill you if we tell you what happened inside these offices. Top secret. Concerning National Security.

But, can we have one last picture please? Pretty, please.

OK, one last picture, just for you.

Some every day building maintenance was also happening here in Jakarta Australian Embassy.

After all, we were only Human.

Jakarta Australian Embassy

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What is inside this Bamboo Wrapping? – Reveal

Thank you for all the dear readers who put in the answer for last week’s Quiz.

Readers below got the answer right:

Doggy’s Style, Dorothy, Karron, and renxkyoko.

Send us your addresses and your Christmas cards will be on their way! 😀

Now, the reveal:

Inside this bamboo wrapping is: Boiled Rice!

Its Indonesia name is Ketupat. Ketupat also means the shape Diamond in Indonesia Language. So we figure its name referred to its shape.

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Actually we realized that our question is not totally right. Because it is actually not Bamboo wrapping! It is palm leaves or some other kind of leaves! Sorry, that’s what in a foreign country does to us. Sometimes, we thought we knew, while in reality, we might not.

Below is what we got from Wikipedia about Ketupat:

It is made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch and boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed. This method of cooking gives the ketupat its characteristic form and texture of a rice dumpling. Ketupat is usually eaten with rendang or served as an accompaniment to satay(chicken or beef or lamb in skewers) or gado-gado (mixed vegetables with peanut sauce).

Local stories passed down through the generations have attributed the creation of this style of rice preparation to the seafarers’ need to keep cooked rice from spoiling during long sea voyages. The coco leaves used in wrapping the rice are always shaped into a triangular form and stored hanging in bunches in the open air. The shape of the package facilitates moisture to drip away from the cooked rice while the coco leaves allow the rice to be aerated and at the same time prevent flies and insects from touching it.

So there you go, what a learning curve! Open your eyes, and everyday life can be very fascinating. Enjoy your ride!

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Jakarta 7 day itinerary

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 27

Good morning, our dear readers. How are you today?

Hope Saturday puts a smile on your face.

Well, we have certainly enjoyed our Jakarta Itineraries so far.

How about a 7 day itinerary? Actually how about a 7 – 10 day itinerary? Spend a bit more time in this exotic Metropolitan City, or pay a visit to a nearby town such as Yogyakarta?

Our journey will begin on Day 6, picking up from where we left before. If you want to read the Jakarta 1 Day Itinerary, click here. For Jakarta 3-5 Day Itinerary, click here.

Day 6

Visit Tangkuban Prahu crater and Ciater hot spring.

Indonesia volcano, Tangkuban Prahu crater

Indonesia volcano,  Tangkuban Prahu crater, volcano indonesia

Are you brave enough to hike down a volcano with sulfur fumes emitting continuously? If yes, Tangkuban Perahu is for you. Don’t worry, Tangkuban Perahu is a non active volcano and won’t eat you up.

Tangkuban Perahu is about 2-3 hours drive from Jakarta and it offers an astonishing mountain view. It is the only crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim. Wear a mask if you are allergic to the sulfur fumes.

Some of the fun activities down in the centre of the crater are egg boiling (where the hot spring boils an egg in a few minutes) or having a mud message by the locals. Gee, who would bring an egg with them? Don’t worry, the friendly locals will sell you a dozen or two if you’re gaming enough.

How about some hot spring bath after visiting the Tangkuban Prahu crater? Go visit Ciater hot spring. You will be fully energized after a hot bath.

Day 7

Depart to Jogjakarta by airplane. Settle down in one of the many Hotels in Jogjakarta. Explore the city or go visit a few shops for batik or silverware. They are very famous in Jogjakarta. Some shops offer workshops for making batik or silverware as well.

Day 8

Explore the Borobudur complex and Prambanan temple. Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust us, these sites deserve a whole day’s explore.

English: The main Stupa crowning the Borobudur...


Day 9

Explore the Royal Palace and Jogjakarta city. Return to Jakarta by airplane at night.

Day 10

Go buy a souvenir or two. Indonesia is famous for its Batik, coffee and local antiques among other things.  Alun Alun, Batik Keris, Pasaraya and Sarinah Department Store are a few good places to start. You can see interesting local fashion as well.

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After shopping, why not relax and treat yourself with a genuine Balinese massage? Jakarta has some of the best massage and spar parlous on offer. Enjoy the pleasant natural ambiance, with soothing music, skilful therapists, and the freshest materials. Get pampered. Those soured legs deserve it! They would love you for the massage.

Jakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do Jakarta

Jakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do JakartaJakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do Jakarta

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The Stomach Knows

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 25

OK, since this week’s quiz is about Indonesia street food, why not do a ‘Restaurant Find Jakarta’ about Indonesia street food?

As soon as we arrived in Jakarta, we were told that there are two kinds of expats here:

One who never tries street food.

One who enjoys street food and has it all the time.

Well, guess we are none of these. We’re sort of in the middle. We want to enjoy local food. ‘While in Rome, do what the Romans do’. Right? But we are not gaming enough to try the street, street food. Maybe occasionally, on an impulse, we might buy a few street food here and there, but that’s kind of rare for us.

Our favorite food is always our home country food, wherever we are. The stomach knows where the home is. That’s what we think.

What meals do you eat while you are overseas?  Not for a short trip, but for serious living for an extended period of time?

So today’s restaurant review is about a street food place in the shopping mall. In some of the shopping malls in Jakarta, they have street food corners that show case the ‘real’ street food in their original presentation:

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Mie Kocok Bandung. Noodle from Bandung.

Jakarta street food

Siomay Bandung. A dim sum from Bandung.

Jakarta street food

Tahu Tek Tek. Selling some kind of noodle together with tofu? Not sure.

Jakarta street food

Our food is great! See all those local food on this poster. Very inviting.

Jakarta street food

Local vegetable. Lots of them. All different kinds.

Jakarta street food

Fried eel? Not sure. Looks interesting.

What we had that day.

Jakarta street food

Chicken with tofu and rice.

Jakarta street food

The chicken looks great. Miss D enjoyed it.

Jakarta street food

Rice noodle soup. Some kind of soup with fish balls and rice noodle. Quite nice.

Jakarta street food

Special Indonesia soup.

Jakarta street food

Pickles. Very refreshing. Love the color.

Jakarta street food

Chilli sauce. Always, always accompanied with chilli sauce.

Jakarta street food

Menu. One of the menus we saw. There were many more.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. You have to try some of the wonderful street food that Jakarta offers if you are ever here.

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Halloween Is Truly Here

Halloween, Jakarta Halloween, Halloween craft, Halloween costume, Halloween party, Halloween DIY, Halloween bats, Halloween Jakarta

Went shopping today and realized that Halloween is well and truly here in Jakarta. All the shops have some Halloween decorations and also have Halloween merchandise for sale.

Miss D’s Haughted House will go live next Friday Night. She can’t wait for the big night.

Are you Halloween ready?

We sure are!

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Pirate season starts here for Halloween! Arggggg, me hearties!

Receptionist wearing Halloween Pirate Hat. Handsome boy. Lovely smile.

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How big is this pumpkin? Ginormous! Wonder how many tummies this can fill!

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More pumpkins! That’s the spirit!

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AHHH!! Spiders… Get them out of the house! This one’s working hard, getting ready for some SPOOKINESS!

Halloween, Jakarta Halloween, Halloween craft, Halloween costume, Halloween party, Halloween DIY, Halloween bats, Halloween Jakarta

BOO!!! Did I scare you?

Halloween, Jakarta Halloween, Halloween craft, Halloween costume, Halloween party, Halloween DIY, Halloween bats, Halloween Jakarta

Watch out! The black cat is in town.

Sure don’t want to be stalked by that… bad luck…

Ready for a joke? We are so Halloween ready that we’re telling jokes about black cats! (Wait… is that bad luck too? Find out in the joke!)

Q: If a black cat is following you, is it bad luck?

A: Well, it depends if you are a human or a mouse!

Miss D finds this joke perfect for Halloween! Do you have any Halloween jokes in stall? If so, post a comment or send us a quick email!

Happy Halloween my dear friends! Don’t forget to trick ‘n’ treat!

Article credit: Miss D
Photo credit: Miss D

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What is inside this Bamboo Wrapping?

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 24

MidNightVisitor Quiz

Jakarta street food is a scene in itself. You don’t see many of the street food stalls during the day. From what we observe, these stalls come out twice a day. Once in the morning so people buy their breakfast. Then again in the late afternoon and last till mid night selling dinner.

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Street food stall galore. These stalls sell all kinds of Indonesia food. Many we have never seen or heard before.

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Es Podeng stall. Es means ice. So this is an ice-cream stall, we think. Never tried though. Hope it’s yummy. Looks like they serve all kinds of toppings here. Nice indeed.

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Sate Padang stall. They sell beef satay from an Indonesia place called Padang. Padang food is very famous in Indonesia.

Jakarta street food

Drink stall. They sell all kinds of bottled or canned drinks. Mineral water, tea, orange juice, soft drinks, etc, etc. See all the motorbikes? These are the everyday transport people use to get to places.

One thing about Indonesia food is, they use lots of organic wrappings, such as banana leaves and bamboo leaves. The food looks somehow more inviting this way.

We really like the weaving bamboo wrapping of this food. So this week’s MidNightVisitor’s Quiz is:

What is inside this bamboo wrapping?

Jakarta street food

We are sure lots of our readers in Jakarta or southeast Asia know it as soon as they see the picture.

Have fun and good luck!

The answer will be revealed as usual next Monday.

Bye for now.

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Gado Gado – Indonesia Vegetable Salad

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 23

We love to learn new dishes. Gado-gado is one of the first Indonesia dishes we tried in Jakarta and we love it. If you love salad, and peanut butter, then this Gado-gado recipe is for you.

Gado-gado is delicious and very satisfying. It is a traditional Indonesian home cooked dish. Many Indonesians have Gado-gado alone as lunch.  We sometimes make it in our house and everyone loves it.

Gado-gado means “mix mix” in Indonesia. It is basically a combination of raw and slightly cooked vegetables and soybean products, mixed together in yummy peanut sauce.

There are many variations of Gado-gado and this is our very own MidNightVisitor’s Gado-gado.


  • Boiled vegetables 2 cups (use any leafy veggie you like, spinach, KangKong; or try cauliflower, long beans, carrots, bean sprouts and potato)
  • Chinese cabbage raw 1/8, very finely shredded
  • Cucumber raw 1/2pc, cubed
  • Boiled eggs 1pc, wedged
  • Fried tempe 1/8pc , cubed (this a special Indonesia soy product, not sure if you can get it outside Indonesia. Optional)
  • Fried tofu 1/8pc, cubed
  • Fried shallot ( for decoration, you can find these in Asia grocery stores. Optional)
  • Prawn crackers (optional)

Gado-gado peanut sauce:

  • Oil 2 tsp
  • Garlic 4 cloves, chopped
  • Shallot 1pc, peeled and chopped
  • 150 g fried peanuts (or simply use crunchy peanut butter)
  • Red chillies 2pcs, discard the seed and chopped
  • Palm sugar 1pc (about 65 grams or brown sugar if palm sugar is not available)
  • A small amount of water
  1. Pour oil to heated frying pan (medium heat)
  2. Add shallots and garlic,  fry for 2-3 min or until aromatic.
  3. Pour above into a blender
  4. Add rest of the ingredients, add water and blend until smooth
  5. Add water gradually, until the mixture has the consistency of double cream

To serve, place boiled vegetables, fried tempe and tofu on plate. Pour peanut sauce over, garnish with egg, prawn crackers, and fried shallot.

Gado gado is pretty cheap in Jakarta. So if you are here, you might simply buy it from the shops instead of making it. There are street food vendors selling it for IDR 8,000 per portion. In the restaurants, it is IDR 20,000 to IDR 40,000 per dish.

So why not give Gado gado a go the next time you are in Jakarta?

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Let’s Talk About The Maid

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 22

Time To Reveal – How many maids does one household need in Jakarta?

Mrs D has worked all her adult life prior to our arrival in Jakarta. She is pretty happy in her career and is actually quiet enjoying her work.

Of course, ever since we have Miss D, every now and then, it crosses Mrs D’s mind, ‘Won’t it be nice to spend more time with the little one?’

Be a mom.

Be a wife.

Slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

Somewhere, there must be a god who listened. Now that we are in Jakarta, Mrs D can work no more due to visa constrictions. She became Ibu D (aka Mrs D), a stay at home mom.

We, the expats, are really been pampered in Jakarta. We live in mansions and have staff members.

It turns out maids are a necessity in Jakarta. Most families (people with professional careers) have maids and babysitters.Wondering around shopping malls in Jakarta, we always see Babysitters in uniforms everywhere.

We were shocked when we knew that our next door neighbor has 15 maids in their house. They are a family of 5 and their son is actually in one of Miss D’s classes last year. A pretty normal boy. No way you can tell he’s got 15 maids, 12 cars, and 5 drivers plus god knows how many gardeners, guards, maintenance people at his house! Read here for the survey we did recently about maids.

Holy cow, why on earth do they need 15 maids?

Anyway, have a maid can be a nice thing, but managing maid is another story. We hear people telling horrible stories about their maids every now and then. So don’t be too carried away when thinking about having a maid. 😀

Jakarta 3 Day Itinerary

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 21

Dear readers,

How are you today? It is a cloudy day here in Jakarta. The raining season has truly kicked in. How is the weather like in your city? We hope you have a relaxed Sunday.

Okay, we understand that our love for Jakarta is growing and one day trip is not nearly enough for this city. We get that.

So below we present our very own MidNightVisitor’s 3 day itinerary for Jakarta.

We hope you enjoy it.

Day 1

Please refer to Jakarta 1 Day Itinerary here.

But when think about it, actually, if you plan to stay in Jakarta for 3 days, you might want to give Taman Mini a chance. Spend one whole day there so that you do not have to rush yourself. It deserves one day as there are also Bird Park, Reptile Park, Water Park and other attractions in Taman Mini. There are live performances at certain time of the day or week as well.

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Day 2

Now we have two options here,

A) On the second day, you might want to go to Taman Mini and spend a whole day there.

Taman Mini, Jakarta, Indonesia

You can hold a huge snake in the Reptile Park here if you’re brave enough. More on this later.

Taman Mini Reptile Park, Jakarta, Indonesia


B) Even better, go to Taman Safari.

This is a must visit attraction. We have been there many times and Miss D really likes it. In fact, all of her friends like it. Of course, the most fun part is you get to hand feed the animals from your car window. How good is that?

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Taman Safari is an open range zoo featuring a live drive by into the safari itself. It is located in the middle between Jakarta and Bandung, takes 1-3 hours to go there, depending on your luck on the traffic :D.

Go on a weekday if your schedule allow as the traffic can be really bad during weekends or holidays.

Oh, riding elephants is second best to actually hand feeding deers. Miss D loved it.

Taman Safari, Taman Safari Jakarta, Indonesia, Bogor, Bandang, Taman Safari trip

Day 3

Why not go to Ancol, the beach side of Jakarta? It will certainly take a whole day and it is actually closer to the airport. There is a maritime museum in Ancol and some nice beach walks. Ancol is also the home of Dunia Fantasi (meaning Dreamland in Indonesian), a theme park with lots of carousel, roller-coasters, and some extreme ride. It is a really big place and make sure you carry a map if you visit. Beware, it can be really hot if you spend the whole day there.

If Ancol is not the best choice for you, why not spend some time on the museums in Jakarta. Like many other metropolitan cities, Jakarta has many museums on offer, such as the National Museum of Jakarta, Jakarta History Museum, Jakarta Fine Arts Museum and many more.

The former Stadhuis of Batavia, the seat of th...

(Jakarta History Museum)

The National Museum of Jakarta is our pick. It is in the center of the city opposite the Monas. The National Museum of Jakarta is an archaeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum. The museum has a very good collection of artefacts from all parts of Indonesia, and the displays all have informative explanations. There are free tours in English but we missed it the last time we visit as the tour guide didn’t show up. But, it is for free, so you might try your luck and let us know if the free tour is good.

Jakarta horse carriage, Jakarta tourist spot, Jakarta tour, Jakarta trip, Day trip Jakarta

Still got energy after the museum? You might want to go to Glodok (the China town), the older part of Jakarta for a quick visit. If you want to feel the hustle and bustle of an older part of Jakarta, this is the place. The sights and the smells will linger long in your memory. Be aware of the pickpockets, though. Go visit Café Batavia in China town and chill out. Lots of expats go there at least once during their stay in Jakarta.

You can get cheap electronics in Glodok. But bargain hard as the prices on offer is very inflated when you are not a local.

We also bought our turtle, Indah, in Glodok. They sell all kinds of animals on the street of Glodok, from rabbits, birds, mice, to monkeys. You can easily spot them along the main street of Glodok.

Want something quieter than Glodok? If you happen to be in Jakarta on the weekend, you might like to try many of the buffets that Jakarta’s 5 star hotels offer either for lunch or dinner. These are real value for money and a must have if you love to eat like we do. Try the buffets at Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, and Marriott. They all range at around IDR 288,000 per person (++ meaning add about 25% on top of the price for taxes and fees) with free flow soft drinks. If you enjoy free flow wine or alcohol, the price starts at IDR 488,000 (++, 1 USD = IDR 9,600)

For some of our readers, 3 days is totally not enough. Actually, this 3 day itinerary is so fully packed that you can easily extend it into a 5 day itinerary. So should we call this Jakarta 3 – 5 day itinerary?

Still not enough? Don’t worry, we will do a 7 – 10 day itinerary for Jakarta and beyond soon. These are also must visits for Jakarta and Indonesia.  So stay tuned.

Restaurant Find Jakarta – Pizza Marzano

good restaurant Jakarta, Jakarta good restaurant, Jakarta must eat, must eat Jakarta, Jakarta must visit, must visit Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 19

Do you know? They serve nice, yummy chocolate brownies in Pizza Marzano in Jakarta. Dessert after pizza, that’ll certainly put a few more kilos on our tummy!

We went to eat at Pizza Marzano because Miss D wanted Pizza. We have to have pizza once in a while, especially now that we are on holidays. What do you think?

Pizza Marzano, pizza, Indonesia pizza, pizza shop, PIM, Pondok Indah Mal

Entrance at Pizza Marzano at PIM (Pondok Indah Mall), one of the fancy shopping malls in south Jakarta. Many people ate there the day we went and we had to wait for 30 minutes for a table. That said something about this pizza shop, right? Or, was it because the promotion sign of 50% discount by using credit card? Everyone loves a bargain, no matter which country we were. That’s the universal truth we learned over the years.

But hey this is a great promotion, especially when we saw that some other restaurants were almost empty while we need to wait for our pizza. Well, Miss D wanted pizza, what can we do?

pizza, making pizza, Pizza Marzano, PIM, Pondok Indah Mall, Jakarta shopping mall, Jakarta pizza

We didn’t waste our time while waiting. We loved watching the live pizza making at Pizza Mazarno. Also loved the stripped T-shirt by the way. Nothing beats a freshly made pizza dough.

Talking about that, ever since we bought our bread-maker, we have been making our own pizza dough at home. The pizzas we made are heavenly. Have to show you some of our own home-made pizza soon.

Pizza of the month: Indonesian Beef Rendang Pizza. Beef rendang is a classic Indonesia dish, very flavorful and spicy. We wondered what it tasted like but didn’t gather enough courage to try.

As always and the same as all other Indonesia restaurants, the good old chilli flakes and chilli sauce were served in Pizza Mazarno. Supposedly, we should dazzle our pizzas with these goody and make them super yummy. Again, we didn’t try. Maybe we haven’t stayed long enough in Jakarta yet? Would you put chilli flakes on your pizzas?

We were also given forks and knifes to eat our pizzas. Nice. But we prefer the conventional way to just eat use our bare hands.

This was what we ordered at Pizza Marzano. Note prices this time were from memories, as Mrs D lost the receipt 😀

Pizza Mazarno

The American Pizza.

(IDR 89,000. Pepperoni, mozzarella, tomatoes.)

Pizza Marzano Pizza Romana Pollo Pancetta

The Romana Pollo Pancetta Pizza

(IDR 85.000. Chicken, yellow peppers, crispy beef bacon, peperonata sauce.)

The Four Seasons Pizza

( IDR69,000 , mushrooms, pepperoni, anchovies & capers, mozzarella, olives)

For drinks, we all had coke (IDR 20,000 each). That’s what we always have while eating pizza. We might try other soft drinks occasionally, but we go back to coke eventually. How about you? What’s your favorite drink while eating pizza?

For dessert, Miss D shared the chocolate brownie with Mrs D. (About IDR 30,000?)

Pizza Marzano also serve Italian starters and sides, salad, pasta, deserts and many kinds of drinks. We would like to try their pasta next time we come.

We had to Wait for the cashier before we leave Pizza Marzano. Very warm welcoming wall color and nice golden framed paintings.

Pizza Marzano has many outlets in Jakarta:

must eat Jakarta, Jakarta must visit, Jakarta restaurant, good Jakarta restaurant

Overall, we enjoyed our pizzas, and would love to come back to Pizza Marzano every now and then.

The Pizza Marzano we went to:
Pizza Marzano PIM 2 
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah
South Jakarta
Tel: 75920990

Related articles:

Restaurant Find Jakarta – May Star

Restaurant Find Jakarta – Fish & Co.

Nasi Goreng – Indonesia Fried Rice

Jus alpukat

搜寻雅加达餐厅 – Pizza Marzano


你知道吗?在雅加达的Pizza Marzano有美味的巧克力布朗尼。吃完比萨饼,再吃甜品,我们的肚子一定会多长几公斤的!

我们去Pizza Marzano吃饭,因为D小姐想吃比萨。每过一段时间我们就必须吃一次比萨,特别是现在,我们是在假期, 就更要吃比萨了。你怎么想?

Pizza Marzano, pizza, Indonesia pizza, pizza shop, PIM, Pondok Indah Mal

我们去的Pizza Marzano在PIM(Pondok Indah购物中心),这是一家在雅加达南部的豪华商场,看这是它的入口。我们去的那一天,有很多人在吃,我们不得不等了30分钟。这表示,这个比萨饼店的东西还不错,对不对?或者, 这是因为使用信用卡有50%的折扣的促销吗?每个人都喜欢便宜货,不管我们在哪个国家。这是我们多年的经验得出的普遍真理。


pizza, making pizza, Pizza Marzano, PIM, Pondok Indah Mall, Jakarta shopping mall, Jakarta pizza

等待的时候,我们并没有浪费我们的时间。我们喜欢看Pizza Marzano 的现场比萨制作。我们也很喜欢这件条纹T恤。没有什么比新鲜的手工比萨饼面团更好的了。


本月推荐比萨:印尼牛肉Rendang比萨。Rendang 牛肉是一个典型的印尼菜,非常可口,辛辣。我们想知道它的味道像什么,但没有聚集足够的勇气去尝试。

一如往常,和所有其他的印尼餐厅一样,Pizza Marzano 提供辣椒片,辣椒酱。据说,我们应该把这些好东西撒在比萨饼上,这样他们超好吃的。同样,我们没有尝试。也许我们并没有在雅加达停留足够长的时间?你把辣椒片撒在比萨饼上吗?


这就是我们在Pizza Marzano 点的比萨。注意这次的价格只是我们记得的价格,因为D太太把收据弄丢了。:D

Pizza Mazarno

(IDR89,000。1 USD = 9,600 IDR. 辣肉肠,奶酪,西红柿。)

Pizza Marzano Pizza Romana Pollo Pancetta

(IDR85.000。1 USD = 9,600 IDR. 鸡,黄色的辣椒,香酥牛肉培根,peperonata酱;。)

(IDR69,000,1 USD= 9,600 IDR。蘑菇,香肠,凤尾鱼和酸豆,奶酪,橄榄)


D小姐和D太太共享甜点,巧克力布朗尼.(约30,000 IDR?)

Pizza Marzano也提供意大利前菜,沙拉,意大利面,甜点和多种饮料。下次来的时候,我们想试试面食。


Pizza Marzano 在雅加达有很多个:

整体而言,我们喜欢我们的比萨饼,我们会再回来的,Pizza Marzano。

我们去了的Pizza Marzano的地址:

Pizza Marzano PIM 2 
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah
South Jakarta
Tel: 75920990


  • 餐厅搜寻雅加达 – 5月之星
  • 餐厅寻找雅加达 – Fish & Co
  • Nasi Goreng – 印尼炒饭
  • 牛油果果汁


Kids book, children's book, fun book, reading books, best-sellers, best-selling books









D小姐喜欢书,其实她是一个出书的专家。去年,为她的社会科学课的作业,她写了一本关于她太爷爷的书。这次的作业做的很出色, 是一个全A的功课。她的老师很喜欢。您可以在YouTube上观看根据她的书做的视频


children book, kids book, fun book, book cover


book by Miss D, books, children's books, ebook







下面是我们想出来的一些标题。请花一些时间来考虑和投票选出一个你喜欢的。这将是一本书,一本我们会珍藏一辈子的书。因此,您的投票是很重要的。 (OK,现在我们已经让你害怕的要逃开了,有没有?)





  •    深夜访客测验(midnightvisitor.wordpress.com)
  •     这是什么 – 英达问?
  •     在雅加达这要多少钱?
  •    在雅加达 一个家庭需要多少女佣?

A Field Trip In Bogor

Jakarta must visit, Jakarta good tourist spot, Jakarta 2 day trip, best Jakarta trip,Bali dancers, Jakarta field trip, traditional bali dance, must see Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 17

What is a field trip like in Jakarta? It is Different!

Have you ever planted rice in a rice field with the help of a carted cow? Have you danced a Javanese or Balinese dance in the full glory of the traditional Javanese or Balinese costume? Or have you made a beautiful batik bag and took it home as a souvenir? How about a Wayang Golek? Hand painted and all dressed up in traditional batik dress.

Well, that’s what a field trip is like in Jakarta.

Miss D went on a field trip to Bogor, a place about 2 hours away from Jakarta. It was culture rich. The kids loved it.

boger field trip(planting rice in rice field)

(students watching planting rice in rice field)

Jakarta rice field, Jakarta field trip, Jakarta cow

(learn to drive the cow, tricky task)

planting rice in Bogar, Jakarta

(planting rice in rice field under Indonesia sun)

Balinese dance, bali dance, Jakarta field trip, Bogar field trip(Girls dancing)

bali dance, bali dancers, bali boy dancers, balinese dance, traditional balinese dance

(Boys watch dancing, your turn next, guys!)

(Students practicing Martial arts)

Bogar local students

(Meeting local students in Bogor, love the school uniform and smile, some of the girls are really shy)

painting wayang golek

(painting Wayang Golek, see the one Miss D painted here)

kayaking in Bogar, Jakarta

(love the kayaking, actually any water sports will do)

(Fun in the swimming pool, love the hair! How did she do that?!)

Jakarta must see, things must do in Jakarta, must see Jakarta

(Trekking along the rice field in Bogor, you can see the volcano mountain in the background)

Bye, Bogor, we love you and will be back soon.

Related posts:

What Are You Wearing Today?

MidNight Quiz – What Is This Indonesia Fruit?

Photo credit: dragontail

How many maids does one household need in Jakarta? Clarify

Just a quick note to clarify ONE thing about this Quiz:

How many maids does one household need in Jakarta?

We only ask for the number of maids in this household. Not drivers, gardeners, pool-man, tutors or any other service people. Yep, only maids!

OK, we might include nanny as a maid (i.e. a female employed in domestic service), because essentially nanny is part of the maid service. So, yeah, our quiz is:

How many maids/nannies does one household need in Jakarta?

Thank you for your participation. Have fun!

Jakarta One Day Itinerary

Jakarta one day itinary, Tamam Mini Jakarta, Street performers Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 15

So you are in Jakarta, for just One Day!

Maybe you are having a business meeting in Jakarta and have a bit of spare time. Or maybe you live in the next city or country, and come by for a quick visit. Whatever the reason, here you are, in Jakarta, for only ONE DAY.

How exciting! What’s your plan? Anything you must see or do so that you don’t miss out the best part that Jakarta can offer?

Here is MidNightVisitor’s Jakarta One Day Itinerary:

Most likely you will arrive at Jakarta via the Soekarno International Airport. It is about  90 minutes to the Jakarta city centre.  Some will take a DAMRI Shuttle Bus to the heart of Jakarta.  But for us, we will just ride a taxi with a mere IDR 100,000 (1 USD = 9,600 IDR) taxi fare. Very good value for money, we would think.

Why not indulge yourself and stay in one of the excellent hotels in Jakarta. We like the Hotel Mulia Senayan because many of our expat friends stay there.

Hotel Mulia Jakarta, 5 star hotel Jakarta, Jakarta hotels, Jakarta accommodation

But really any other 5 star hotels will do. Jakarta has most of the world’s renowned 5 star hotels. Try the Shangari-la, the Grand Hyatt, the Marriott, or the Mandarin Oriental. They all have complete amenities, pools, gyms, beautifully rooms, and most importantly excellent restaurants and services.

For one day, chances are you will stick to the centre of Jakarta. Not a bad idea, as the city has much to offer.

We recommend you start at Merdeka Square (Independent Square). The National Monument (aka the Monas) is in the centre of the Merdeka Square. It is a tower of 422 feet tall and has a 35kg 24 carat gold tip. You can’t miss that if you are in the center of Jakarta.

Monas (National Monument), Jakarta

From there, you can drive around and see the Istana Merdaka (the Presidential Palace), and the Istiqlal Mosque. The Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, and can hold as much as 120,000 people. It is a spectacular building. Well worth a visit.

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia (with the Jakarta Cathedral in the background)

After that, you can go shopping at one of the shopping malls in the city. Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place are the two shopping malls we frequently visit. But there are many more. That will cost you the rest of your day for sure. Watch out, credit card. Here we come!

Shopping is not for you? Then go to Taman Mini: Indonesia in a park. It is a huge park over 250 acres and show cases full sized Indonesia buildings from 26 provinces in Indonesia. We normally spend a whole day there. But for one day visitors like you, please allocate at least half a day in this park. Admission is IDR9,000 (1 USD = 9,600 IDR) last time we visit.

Indonesia Taman Mini, Indonesia miniature park, Jakarta park, Jakarta tourist spot

Dinner time. There are so many restaurants in Jakarta. You sure will have a delicious dinner in no time. Try some local food, or any of the Italian, French, Japanese and Fusion food available. You won’t be disappointed.  There are so many trendy restaurants where you can eat while enjoying the night lights of the Jakarta city. Have fun.

How many maids does one household need in Jakarta?

31 Days In Jakarta Day 14

MidNightVisitor Quiz

OK, this is a tricky one. We never had a maid when we were in Sydney. Nor did our neighbors.

Life is simple. We drive our own car, do our own laundry, cook our own meals.

Eat, love and be happy.

Not that simple in Jakarta, we can assure you that.

We drive no more, because driving takes to a whole different level.

Then we have maids.

Mrs D went home one day after running some errands. She saw a big truck in front of our neighbor’s house. People were unloading Indomie (A very famous Indonesia Instant Noodle), box after box.

‘Why do they need so many noodles?’ she asked our driver.

‘Oh, that’s for the maids.’ Replied our driver.

? ? ?

Why do they need so many boxes?!

How many maids do they have? An army?!

Our driver replied immediately, so we all know how many maids our neighbor have now. And that makes our jaw drop.

Just so that you know, our neighbor runs a very simple, quiet family. We saw their cars often but not the actual family. There are five people living there, a couple in their early 40s, plus 3 kids.

So this week’s MidNightVisitor’s Quiz is:

How many maids does our neighbor have in their house?

Be brave, and take your punt. We have done the hard work for you. Just press a button below, it’s that easy.

Enjoy your weekend with your loved ones. The answer will be revealed next week as usual in our Time to Reveal. We love you and can’t wait to reveal the answer. Bye for now.


Jakarta coconut stall, Jakarta fruit, Jakarta food, coconut








Indonesia guides, Indonesia people, Indonesia man



Green coconuts









Our Guard Abadi

Jakarta coconut stall, Jakarta fruit, Jakarta food, coconut

31 Days In Jakarta Day 12

We have just got a new guard yesterday, our old guard resigned.

This makes us think about our older guard, Abadi. He is quite special.

Abadi is a very happy Indonesia young man, about 1.8m tall, and is full of energy. He worked for us for about a year. Then one day he left.

‘Is he finding a new job?’ We asked our driver.

‘No, Abadi is going to be a businessman.’ replied our driver.

Ok, Abadi is young, tall, dark and handsome (now we regret we didn’t took a photo of him). But he is only a guard, how on earth can he do business?

Indonesia guides, Indonesia people, Indonesia man

(Indonesian Guards, who always smile)

Turns out Abadi is going to sell coconuts in Jogjakarta. Obviously it is a big business there. In fact, everyone drinks coconut in Indonesia. We like it, too.

Green coconuts

Besides, Abadi’s uncle knew people in the coconut business in Jogjakarta. That’s what makes all the difference.  ‘Relationship’ is the key in Indonesia, if you don’t already know.

And even better, Abadi is not selling coconuts in the streets. No way. He is going to be a wholesaler. He will be the provider of the coconuts to all the small coconut stalls, similar to the ones we see while we drive across Jakarta.

Now, that sound more exciting.

So whenever we drive pass a coconut stall like this, our minds will start to think, think about Abadi, that tall, dark, handsome young guard of ours.

Good luck, Abadi.

p.s Abadi means ‘A Long Life or eternity’ in Indonesia language. We really wish that holds true for our guard Abadi.

Related posts:

5 Peculiar Things About Jakarta (https://midnightvisitor.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/5-peculiar-things-about-jakarta/)

What do construction workers do while building a mansion in Jakarta

31 Days in Jakarta Day 12

Ok, this is a long title. But are you curious to know what Jakarta’s construction workers do while building a mansion like this:

Jakarta’s mansion can be huge. It is not our common 3 bedroom houses in Sydney. It sure takes forever to build, right?

The other day, Mrs D and Miss D took a morning walk. They walked inside a Golf Course Residence. The road there was leafy, wide and very quiet. A beautiful place. Many expats took morning walks there.

Then Miss D noticed a rooster, a happy, shiny, beautiful rooster.

Mrs D was curious, what was the rooster doing in a place like this? Was it someone’s pet?

Turned out the rooster was crossing the road.

The rooster crossed the road, then there, another rooster appeared.

There were actually many more roasters, hens, and chicks at this side of the road. They all started scurrying away because Miss D was now getting excited and started to follow them.

They arrived at this door, and one by one, the chicks went inside, the hens went inside…

Finally, the proud rooster went inside.

We had a look around, and found that this was a building site for a new mansion. It was all fenced up, so we cannot see much of the building itself. But obviously, someone was raising these chickens while building the mansion.

Not a bad idea, right?

We were really curious, and checked around and then we saw the place next to the building where the garden or pool supposed to be. We saw lots of corns, grew tall and proud. Aha, they were not only raise chickens, they were also planting plants. Maybe veggies, too? Self sustained with eggs, chicken meat, food and veggie. How green was that?! Who said Jakarta only got pollution, people here can be creative, too!

We stared at that empty door where the chickens went in. There were some good, hard working people living inside for sure. Next time, if we build our house in Sydney, we might raise some chickens as well? What do you think?

Related posts:

5 Peculiar Things about Jakarta

Instant Millionaire

Our Favorite Flower in Jakarta

Hotel Finds Jakarta – Kristal Hotel

hotel Kristal South Jakarta, Jakarta hotel

31 Days in Jakarta Day 8 – continue

MidNightVisitor Quiz

We lived in Kristal Hotel in South Jakarta when we first arrived in Jakarta. Kristal Hotel has a unique combination of hotel service and apartment accommodation. It offers 320 one, two and three bedroom suites and 8 penthouses.

We lived in the serviced apartment with kitchenette, refrigerator, water dispenser and standard guest amenities.

Krystle Hotel is very kids friendly. It has a playground, tennis court and swimming pool for outdoor activities for kids.

It also provides non-smoking floors which we really enjoy.

One thing puzzled us is the Arrow in the picture below. We saw one in the Kristal Hotel as well. It is a prominent arrow which sits inside the drawer of the desk of our hotel room. Do you know what it is?

So this week’s MidNightVisitor’s Quiz is:

What is the arrow in this drawer for?

Mecca, pray, daily prayer

We are pretty sure lots of our readers recognize it as soon as they see the picture. Please stay tuned, the answer will be revealed next Monday as usual.

Until then, have a lovely day and see you tomorrow in another ’31 Days in Jakarta’.

Photo credit: Hotel Kristal

Time to Reveal

31 Days In Jakarta Day 8

Good morning and how are you today? How’s your weekend? Hope you have enjoyed quality time with your loved ones.

Welcome to a brand new week. And next week will be school holidays here in Jakarta.

Can’t wait!

We hope you still remember the MidNightVisitor Quiz from last week. Come on, we have practically given away the answer! We are nice people, and the quiz is just for everyone to have some fun, not to wreck our brains.

So, without further ado, here is the name for the ‘Queen of the Tropical Fruit’:

The Jackfruit

Look at the picture above, the baby Jackfruit is so tiny. It is the size of an olive. But the grown Jackfruit is huge, bigger than an adult’s head.

Our beautiful reader abeautifulday has got it right. Congratulations, darling! Jackfruit is our official answer for this quiz.

Why did we say that? Because, actually, after a few clicks on google, we are not so sure about our answer. Obviously, the Agribusinessweek called another fruit the mangosteen (or maggis as the locals call it here) ‘The Queen of the Tropical Fruit’.

tropical fruit, queen of tropical fruit, manggis, mangosteen

So who is the real queen?

Do not ask us, we are no experts. Our driver told us that the Jackfruit is ‘The Queen of The Tropical Fruits’, and we are going to stand by him.:D

Oh, BTW, do you know what the ‘King of the Tropical Fruit’ is? It is Durian and we are 100% sure of that.

Have fun, and enjoy the rest of your day.

Our Favorite Flower in Jakarta

Frangipani; bali flower, jakarta flower

31 Days In Jakarta Day 7

A beautiful flower tree

in our back yard in Jakarta.

Branches hanging down

hugging our swimming pool.

Crystal clear dreamy water,

Vibrant yellow petals.

Heaven is where we are


This Moment.

Instant Millionaire

Indonesia Rupiah, money, Indonesia money

31 Days In Jakarta Day 6

Want to be a millionaire? Come to Jakarta then. Trust us, you’ll become a millionaire, as soon as you landed at the SOEKARNO airport!

We were confused by the money in Jakarta when we first arrived in Jakarta (Actually, we had quite a lot of confusions when we were first here, not only the money side, though).

One day, Mrs D took a taxi and at the end of her trip, she had to pay the fare. So out she grabbed her purse, and then she got confused.

Which note to give the driver?

She knew how much to pay thanks to the meter. But all those zeros and numbers, oh boy, she felt dizzy.

Indoneisa Rupia, Indonesia money, notes

Thanks to all these confusion, Mrs D ended up gave more than needed to the driver and made him one happy man. In fact the local people here are living a hard life and is short on cash, so give generously while we can.

Oh, and the feeling of an Instant Millionaire. Don’t you just love it?

5 Peculiar Things about Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 5

(Miss D is a brilliant writer and she contributes to this blog every now and then. No, we do not pay her to do so, if you ask. She does it for the fun of it. So here she goes. Happy reading!)

Happy Friday, everyone. Hope you enjoy my first post on MidNightVisitor. There will be many more to come. I am looking forward to meeting you here.

During our stay in Jakarta, the D family has found lots of peculiar things. And here’s a list of them…

1)      There are no dishwashers!

No matter how hard we tried, we can’t find any dishwashers! We tried every possible store we could find, but nothing. All there was, was washing machines, microwaves, vacuum machines, TVs… anything electronically possible. But no dishwashers! Now we regret not taking our dishwasher to Jakarta…

Why they don’t sell dishwashers in Jakarta? Well, we figured out but that’s just us. Do you know?

2)      No lawn mowers!

Do you know what people use to cut the grass? Scissors! Yes scissors. Or any hacking tool in this case.  Just take a knife from the kitchen and hack away!

Jakarta gardenere, gardener with edge trimmer, edge trimmer

(Gardener with edge trimmer)

Occasionally, we do see gardeners use Edge Trimmers, but guess what, they use that to mow the entire lawn, not just the edges!

3)      No toilet paper! (Eww…)

Well, of course in the shopping malls there is toilet paper, but in more local places or sometimes in tourist areas, THERE IS NO TOILET PAPER! And further, you have to pay Rp 1000 (about US 10 cents) just to pee!

4)      No bus stops!

Well, this isn’t actually true… Technically, there are bus stops, and proper ones too. But sometimes people are just running a little late or need to catch a ride, so… the bus stops in the middle of the road! In fact the bus drivers welcome people to catch the buses in the middle of the road (mainly to earn the ticket fare)!

Absurd, right?

Jakarta bus, Jakarta traffic, traffic jam, Jakarta traffic jam

(Jakarta bus, the door is always open, and it stops in the middle of the road whenever someone wants to take a ride)

If you think this is absurd, then wait till you see all the vendors with their toys, water bottles, newspapers, magazines, snacks amid all these traffic chaos.

Yes, here in Jakarta people inside their cars can stop and buy from these vendors while waiting for traffic lights. What a wonderful service!

Jakarta street, Jakarta toy seller

(Accessories seller on Jakarta street)

(Man selling snacks in middle of Jakarta road)

5)      Jumpers and Jackets

You might think, 30 degrees, who would want to wear a coat? Wrong. In Jakarta the average temperature is around 30 degrees (all year round). And people still wear coats!

Hmm… interesting, would you wear a winter coat in 30 degrees weather?

(Motorist in brown winter coat in 30 degree sun)

Jakarta traffic, motobike riders Jakarta, Jakarta family

(Family of 4 on one motorbike, this is quite normal here.)

Jakarta traffic, Jakarta motorist, Jakarta traffic jam

(Motorist with mask, also normal street scene)

There are heaps more fascinating things about Jakarta. Perhaps one day, we might increase this list. Stay tuned.

What is interesting about your country or city? We would love to know! Just send in a short comment or email. Thx. Miss D 😀

31 Days In Jakarta Day 2

fish and chips, Jakarta Fish and chips, yummy food, restraunt food Jakarta, Jakarta restraunts

Restaurant Find Jakarta – Fish & Co.

Went to Fish & Co. restaurant last week. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Jakarta. We really enjoy the fish and chips in Fish & Co.

Back in Sydney, we love to eat fish and chips every now and then. There is this corner fish and chips shop near where we live, and they serve the most amazing fish and chips in our area.

Can’t wait to go back!

Fish and chips, Jakarta fish and chips, Jakarta restaraunt, Jakarta food, Jakarta shopping mall, Fish & Co. Jakarta

Mr D checking out the famous Fish & Co. menu one more time.

Jakarta restaurant, fish and chips, Jakarta fish and chips, favorite restaurant, shopping mall Jakarta

Cute black board at the Fish & Co. entrance. BTW, Love the mermaids!

Fish & Co., Jakarta fish and chips, Jakarta shopping mall, Jakarta restaurant

Nice ambiance inside the Fish & Co. restaurant. Very friendly waiters, too.

Fish & Co., Jakarta Restaurant, Food, Fish and Chips, fishing season begins, restaurant, yummy food, western food, fast food

Fishing season begins… Let’s dig in!

Fish & Co, fish and chips, Jakarta fish and chips, Jakarta restaurant, Jakarta shopping mall

The Best Fish and Chips in Town

(Rp 69,000, 1 USD = 9500 RP)

fish and chips, Jakarta fish and chips, Jakarta restaurant, Jakarta Fish & Co., Jakarta shopping mall

New York Fish and Chips

(Rp 79,000, 1 USD = 9500 RP)

They have 7-8 kinds of fish and chips, and each one is slightly different. They serve flavours from around the world so anyone will enjoy these scrumptious meals!

Fish&Co, Jakarta fish and chips, fish and chips, Jakarta restaurant, Jakarta shopping mall

One huge Swordfish Collar! The meat is juicy, sweat and tender. But boy, it is big! And has a few bones, so you might pass on it.

(Rp 99,000, 1 USD = 9500 RP)

Fish & Co. also has grilled fish, baked fish and poached fish. They’re all served with chips or salads. Oh BTW, the soft drink is free flow. Miss D had a few glasses of coke and was really happy (not Mrs D though, sigh).

For variety, Fish & Co. serve fish bites, sea food plates, and a few Indonesia specialties.

Fish & Co. has branches in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, Philippines and Singapore. So if you are in these areas, you might want to check it out. Many of our friends like it.

Where we went:
Fish & Co. in Gandaria City

Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda
(Arteri Pondok Indah)
Kebayoran lama
Jakarta Selatan 12240

Tel: 021 – 29053205

Photo credits: Miss D 😀

31 Days In Jakarta Day 1

MidNight Quiz – What Is This Indonesia Fruit?

Good morning, dear readers.I am starting this 31 Days In Jakarta series from Oct 1, 2012.

Every day, I will write something about Jakarta, the city we live in. Do you like this idea?

Today is National Batik Day here in Indonesia. We love batik. It is such a nice cloth. It’s color scheme somewhat reminds us of the Aboriginal Art back in Australia.

How are you today? Is there any holiday coming up? We know it is China’s National Day holiday starting Oct 1. How about your country? We wish you have a lovely day wherever you are.

Every day we drive pass this Indonesia fruit tree. It is about 15 meters tall, with huge fruits hanging from the tree trunk.

We felt the fruits, they are very heavy.

We wondered what this fruit tree was when we first arrived in Jakarta. We have never seen a tree like this before. Do you know what it is?

So, this week’s MidNightVisitor‘s quiz is:

What is the name for this Indonesia Fruit Tree?

(Hint: this is the biggest and heaviest fruit in the world.)

Indonesia fruit tree, queen of tropical fruitWe have bought the fruit and eaten it many times since. Indonesians use the fruit to cook in curry dishes. In fact, this fruit tree is so famous that people call it the Queen of Tropical Fruit.

Good luck and we hope to hear from you soon.