Highlights are easy to write about, but they don’t often tell you the reality of life abroad. Especially in a developing country like Indonesia, and a urban megacity like Jakarta. I don’t think I even understood the word “megacity” until living here. So this a new series about my life. Part one – where I’m staying.

I’m staying in a Kost here in Jakarta. The closest english translation is boarding house, though we don’t have nearly as many boarding houses as they have kosts here. It’s basically a small, hotel room like lodging, for longer-term stays, maid service, bottled water, and more. My room is a little dull – the walls are white, and I can hear, faintly, the street traffic from busy two lane road outside my room.

It’s a nice place to stay, but the lack of a kitchen makes it tough. There is a communal fridge, and a stove-top, but not nearly enough. I’ve noticed the only people who use it, besides me, are the maids.

There are several others staying in my kost, including other westerners (bule) – but I’ve yet to meet any of them. They leave before I do, taking a car or a taxi to work, and seem slither into their rooms in the evening, quietly. They are as inconspicuous as the geckos and lizards that run across the walls.

It’s ultra convenient, though, because I can walk to work in about 10 minutes, which means I can avoid the rush hour chaos that is Jakarta traffic, some of the worst traffic in the world. However, going out in the evenings becomes tough – there is a single bus from here to Blok M I(I’ll have an upcoming post on the microcosm that is Blok M) that connects to the Busway. But, I can’t really complain.

I wish I had a real kitchen though.

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