Originally from New Delhi, Nidhi is an Indian expat living in Jakarta with her husband and enjoying a new phase of life. After a few initial drifts, she is now very well settled in Indonesia and looking out to new avenues as life unfolds. Indian fashion is close to her heart, and she sometimes misses it, but she enjoys the nightlife and quality of life in Jakarta.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: New Delhi, India
Q: Where are you living now?
A: Jakarta – DKI, Indonesia
Q: How long have you lived in Indonesia?
A: Seven months
Q: Did you move with a spouse/children?
Q: Why did you move to Indonesia? What do you do?
A: We moved here as Jakarta offered a good work opportunity to my hubby. This place has its own charm that is awesome. Previously I was working in India. Now in Jakarta, I have started writing blogs/articles. Moreover, I’m devoting time to a community page on Facebook named Jakarta Indians as co-admin.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Jakarta? How’s the quality of life?
A: Beaches, moderate climate, humble and friendly people. With its vibrant nightlife, Indonesia is also a paradise for seafood lovers.
Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home?
A: Long traffic jams and lack of public transport connectivity annoys. People in Indonesia understand limited English language.
I really miss the vibrant Indian traditional dresses and the variety of Indian food.
Q: Is Jakarta safe?
A: Yes, it is safe to roam around in Jakarta. But it is important to have a good idea about the routes; else, you can be misguided by cab drivers.
About living in Indonesia
Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in Jakarta as an expat?
A: Kemang raya, Kunningan are good places. You find most things quite easily here. Malls and markets are nearby, and also you can find many expat communities.
Q: How do you rate the standard of accommodation in Jakarta?
A: You can find very well fully furnished apartments according to your budget. Accommodations vary from good to lavish.
Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A: It depends on what commodity you are comparing. Overall, it’s equally expensive in comparison to India. Also, there are street shops/markets. Choice lies entirely on the individual. Electronic goods are cheaper.
Q: What are the locals like? Do you mix mainly with other expats?
A: The locals are friendly and helpful. Understanding the local language enhances the comfort levels. Yes, as it’s a mix of people, expats too are cooperative.
Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends?
A: Yes. Various community and expat groups are available here and easily accessible.
Q: How would you rate the healthcare in Indonesia?
A: Healthcare in Jakarta is not up to the mark. It is important to have feedback about the particular consultant before approaching. Better would be better to have a recommendation from a friend about a hospital/doctor rather than using hit-and-trial method.
About working in Indonesia
Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit for Indonesia?
A: I am on a dependent visa, but for my husband, it was a smooth process to have a work permit; his organisation arranged everything well in advance for us.
Q: What’s the economic climate like in Jakarta, is there plenty of work?
A: Though it’s a developing country, the jobs are still majorly in the coal mining and palm oil production sectors. But yes, if you believe experts, there are many jobs available, but for middle and top management levels.
Q: Did a relocation company help you with your move?
A: No, however, we were guided by the company, who have employed my husband.
Q: Is there any other advice you like to offer new expat arrivals?
A: To know the language well. Also, get well acquainted with the routes and directions.
► Interviewed June 2012