First days in Jakarta

I am slowly settling in Jakarta. Due to traffic here, I don’t get done as much as I want to.

Monday: girls went to school after 4 hours of sleep. I would be so nervous if I were them as everybody would be new to me. Drop off went very smoothly. No cry, no separation fear, they just joined their group. Husband I went to the other campus to get our parents ID done. One thing that made us laugh is this facial recognition. I am identified as middle age and husband as young??? Obviously, the machine is malfunctioning. hahaha.

then we went to local IKEA to buy girls bed. Husband was not feeling well and waited on the chair as I explored alone. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the beds in stock, so I bought few essentials only and went home. After a short stop at home to unload, we went to pick up the girls. I was nervous to hear what girls will tell me. What if they say they hate their new school and want to go back to Manila?

When I saw Sofia, she was with another girl who she introduced me is her new friend, from korea, super nice, and wanted to befriend with her right away. Then Sofia told me: I never want to leave here!!! OMG!!! That was fast!

What a relief. Lizzy also had a good day but not as enthusiastic as Sofia as she hasn’t found a “close” friend yet. After picking them up, we went to do groceries, a store that is 1 min away from our place.

As our new helper Sri unloaded things, I took the girls to explore our new building facilities. They were very happy to see two pools, indoor and outdoor playground, and the cinema.

Dinner was at the shopping mall downstairs (yes, we have a mall attached to the building).

7pm I was really tired and decided to go to bed early. Sweet bed!!!

Tuesday: after a solid 8 hours sleep with Sofia and Lizzy in the same room as me as they still don’t have beds, and husband slept on the couch.

Girls put on their new school uniform and excited to go to school.

I had a work meeting so went to the office first. After the meeting, I went to another IKEA, determined to get their beds. Unfortunately, still no stock so I ordered online for Saturday delivery, and bought the mattresses home.

I got home almost 4pm. Girls were at the playroom, husband taking a nap as he was still not feeling well. He had fever the first two days and then upset stomach. I joked that how come that he’s so fragile??? hahaha…

I ordered takeout for dinner while I had a meeting. After I finished dinner, I told the family that I really need a family meal the next day. Eating out so much makes me feel sick.

We facetime with grandma and went to bed early again. Exhaustion is real as I try to settle the family and make our new home homey.


I went to the gym!!! That felt getting back to normalcy. I did 25 min treadmill and 20 min strength training with very little weight as I haven’t done any for over 4 months. It did feel good to workout again and the gym is SUPER!!!

We went to get the SIM card for local phone, then to buy a microwave, groceries, lunch, and then I went to work. After husband picked up the girls we went to take passport pictures to process visa, then I went back to office to continue for few more hours.

I worked until 5pm and decided to walk back home to see how long it takes. It took 15 min door to door in a very nice area, so I think I will do that every evening as part of unwind routine after work.

I still have a lot of things to do to settle the family including finding mandarin, piano tutors for the girls, enroll them in soccer and swimming, and start organizing playdates for them. At this point, building new friendships is key priority. Also, I am spending more time before bed to chat with them about their day, hear their stories, and share mine, so they have a space to talk and express their concerns as we transition to this new life.

Few things that I like so far:

  • our new helper seems very good. Proactive, efficient, and kind.
  • our rented car and the driver is okay too. He arrives on time and speaks some english.
  • our building is super nice with modern facilities that I hope to find time to enjoy more.
  • walk distance to office is a big plus, best decision about our move to choose this condo. My colleagues spend at least an hour commuting one way in a good traffic day.
  • new colleagues that are super helpful providing local information for life such as where to buy things, share contact of their tutors, and inviting us to visit them
  • the shower in our condo is sooooo good. I know this is such a minor thing but compared to our old house and temporary place, our new showers are much better.
  • more varieties of fruits at reasonable price
  • food selection is vast, a lot to explore

that’s all for now. I hope our bumpy move is behind us, and we can transition to the new life smoothly going forward.

3 thoughts on “First days in Jakarta

  1. It sounds like things are going well – there is just so much to adjust to! I’m so impressed that you’re able to focus on the great things too…like a short commute and a nice shower. I LOVE my showers, so I can appreciate how important that is.
    Hope your husband is feeling better soon. And, apparently, the IKEA shortages are a world-wide issue. I couldn’t believe how many things were out of stock when I was at IKEA a few weeks ago…


  2. You are going to end up having really resilient kids as a result of moving around! It sounds like they are adjusting really well to the change and it’s great that one made a friend sooo fast! I’m looking forward to hearing about your new job. I thought of you this week when I had dinner with a friend as one friend’s husband just got back from a long business trip. He was in Seoul, Cibu, and a few other places. He’s an engineer in the microchip industry so tends to travel to that region quite a bit. I think you vacationed in Cibu this year, so I thought of you when she mentioned the places he traveled to on this 3-week trip.


  3. So exciting!! You seem to have a lot of support through your employer? In that there is an international school available, and did they help connect you with helpers and drivers and all of that?? I feel like just moving to Indonesia would feel so overwhelming to me, but you make it sound like a piece of cake! Haha.


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