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“Wanna work in Jakarta?”

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Whether it was contemplating over coffee shifting from “wants” to “needs” and becoming open to anything, catching up with a terrific ex-colleague in Bangkok at Terminal 21 or merely willing the universe to send something interesting my way, I find myself unexpectedly flying to Jakarta this weekend to kick-off a four month assignment in Indonesia.

Welcome to Jakarta Airport (photo: Carissa Hickling)

Welcome to Jakarta Airport (photo: Carissa Hickling)

Not only is the opportunity well-timed to combat my shrinking bank balance, it is with a gang of guys I adore! At 43, I’m the “baby” in the bunch and the only “broad.” If past experience is any indicator, we will work like maniacs and have an uproariously good time too!

In a delicious turn of fate, this rag-tag team of veteran consultants from the UK to Australia (loosely linked together by our ex-boss) beat our ex-company to win the contract – “Take that oh previous employer!” Naturally we have a ridiculously ambitious schedule to meet and there will be all sorts of unexpected twists and turns along the way, however I’m looking forward to the project on many levels.

Beyond the professional learnings, it is a chance to explore a fascinating country for few months. While I have worked across Asia and even spent a fabulous week last year in Jakarta, it has been many years since I actually “lived” outside of either India or Canada. I’m super lucky to already know a few folks in Jakarta: a great gal pal who has worked in India, Singapore and is back “home” in Indonesia, a fellow University of Manitoba graduate and several ex colleagues from various companies who are either from Indonesia or settled there longer term.

For me, a place is about people, moments together, music, food and finding common connects and new discoveries and I think I have a solid start on this aspect. Work schedules permitting, I plan to shamelessly ask my local friends to be tourists in their own home – in the best possible of ways!

That being said, I’m going to miss my partner like crazy and am most grateful that our client will fly me “home” to Mumbai once a month. There is even a chance, film-shoot schedule permitting, to fly my partner to Jakarta too. While I hope both he and our collective friends do not disown me for spending so much time away, I welcome this new adventure!

Anyone spent time or work in Jakarta? Any tips and recommendations?

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18 Comments

  1. Congrats! Looking forward to posts from Jakarta 🙂

  2. pollyheath says:

    I can’t wait to see pictures of Jakarta!

  3. gkm2011 says:

    Never been, so can’t give travel tips. Do have a good friend who has been there almost a year though. Drop me a note and I will connect you.

  4. annie tran says:

    Congrats Carissa! Have a great time!

  5. I lived in Jakarta a few years ago, and have been back a few times since. Affable locals help ease my way into the…brumous, traffic-choked metropolis that the Indonesian capital is,

    If trying new foods and/or aimless wandering are priorities, I can help guide you. Otherwise, the name of the game is malls, malls, malls.

    • I have already hit 3 malls however trying new foods and aimless wanderings are absolutely a priority! Do pass on any recommendations. Especially anything that might still be happening during this period of mass exodus from the capital!

  6. jharahul says:

    You should go to bali and chill at kuta beach. Jakarta is too crowded and populous to be enjoyed. And this city is obsessed with malls!!

  7. Jakartass says:

    Hi Carissa.

    Welcome to Jakarta.

    You ask:> “Anyone spent time or work in Jakarta? Any tips and recommendations?”

    – Q1.
    I’ve been here for 25+ years so that’s a ‘yes’.

    – Q2. No apologies for an unashamed plug, but you’ll probably find ‘Culture Shock! Jakarta’ useful. (The US Embassy here recommends it: “A thorough, relevant, and highly entertaining introduction to life in Jakarta, aimed at newcomers..” )
    http://photos.state.gov/libraries/indonesia/890636/clo/130624-clo_pre-arrival_jul12.pdf

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