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From Sacramento to Jakarta: On Moving and Radio Stardom

Why the Beatles song? Well, besides being across the world from my normal universe, I was interviewed on a Beatles themed radio show the other night (awesome, I know). Two weeks ago I was in the ladies room at a mall and a woman approached me. She asked me if I was an expat living in Jakarta (just look at me, one of these things is not like the others). I said “yes” and then she asked me if I would be a guest on her radio show where they do a segment about foreigners living in Jakarta. My philosophy for this Princeton in Asia year has been “why not?” So, I said “yes” again and gave her my email to get more details.

So last night Bianca and Budi interviewed me in four (maybe five?) five to 10 minute segments on their show “Beatle Juice” on DFM Radio, 103.4 FM Jakarta for the “Across the Universe” segment. We talked about Sacramento and San Francisco (Budi has been there) as well as my experiences here: food, people, traffic. Like most people, they were amused that I regularly eat and like Indonesian food – this topic always makes people smile. The last question they asked me was what my one wish for Jakarta is. My answer: I wish every day in Jakarta could be like the twice monthly car-free Sundays when there are fewer cars on the road, people ride bikes and are generally much happier, and did I mention how much better the air quality gets? They laughed and said that was their wish too. So, it was fun to be interviewed (it is always the other way around) and get one step closer to becoming a celebrity in Indonesia. I’ve been promised an MP3 will be available soon, so stay tuned.

Speaking of moving across the universe, I now have a new view:

After about three months of living in a kost, a guest house, and eating out, I had had enough. I wanted my own kitchen and I knew that for what I was paying, I could have a lot more. Apartment hunting in Jakarta is a tricky business because a lot of unit owners will only rent out for six or 12 month periods. I really don’t understand this, because I don’t know how many Indonesians have that much money lying around that they can put up, or, for that matter, recent American college graduates. But, one of my co-workers has a friend who is an agent and she showed us an apartment that my co-worker Emily and I really liked. For a little bit more a month, we were able to rent for three months at a time, which is perfect because I have nine months left in Jakarta. I was pretty proud of myself, figuring all of this out and finding someone who does contracts in English. And, did I mention there is a pool with a restaurant and a tennis court? A pool is so essential here.

We are high up so we have a view of other skyscrapers and the endless construction that is Jakarta. I’m not technically sure what floor we are on because in the elevator there is no 4th or 13th floor because these numbers are considered unlucky.

There is a nice size living room and kitchen and the bedrooms are a good size too.

There are several mosques around and being high up means there is an incredible surround sound call to prayer. A happy day to you all – I am going to cook!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kirstin #

    You’re gonna be a superstar, Lydia!!!!! I can’t believe you only have nine months left.

    I hope your next blog concerns the food that you made.

    October 4, 2011
  2. Anya #

    Does this mean you now have an oven???

    October 4, 2011
  3. Zoë #

    Oh man, living in style. I am jealous of your swimming pool. And is four unlucky because of a Chinese influence or some other reason? (If you know.)

    October 4, 2011
  4. Lydia #

    @Anya, an oven in Indonesia, or at least in the realtor’s mind, is a giant toaster oven that does have a high heat – we’ll see how it works.

    @Zoe, not 100% sure on the reasoning, I assumed Chinese influence. The skyscraper I work in also is missing the number 4.

    October 5, 2011

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