Moving to Indonesia...HELP!

Jun 9th, 2004, 12:11 AM
  #1  
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Moving to Indonesia...HELP!

My husband and I are American expats currently living in Kuwait. We'll be relocating to Duri, Indonesia in two months. Just curious if anyone out there in Fodorland is in a similar situation and can offer any insight as to what we're getting ourselves into.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 12:42 AM
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Melnq8, I'm an American who has lived in Jakarta for 10 years. I could go on at great length about Jakarta or Bali (significantly good) but Duri? That's a whole 'nother situation. I'm sure there are strong positives and negatives. If you and/or your husband are connected to one of the big oil concerns they most likely have PR people who can answer your questions or who can put you in touch with other Americans who are already there. I'd suggest that you insist on a visit before you make up your mind.

Indonesia is a wonderful country with some of the most profound natural beauty and most gracious culture that you'll find anywhere. Having said that Central Sumatra is fairly isolated -- a paradise for some and a prison for others. It depends on what you're looking for.
marmot is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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Marmot -

Thanks for your response. Yes, it's with an oil company. We're going next week for a pre-assignment visit so I'll no doubt be able to answer my own questions soon enough.

I think I'll take a look at some of your posts to get a better feel for the country as a whole.

Cheers.
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Jun 10th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Question to Marmot: I have been going to post this query at this site, but, since you've responded to Melnq8's message, I'll ask you: is Sumatra a good destination for a woman historian/professor who specializes in Asia, is interested in culture and history, and wants to travel independently this coming October? A few years ago, I traveled extensively elsewhere in Indonesia (Flores, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan, Java). I'm thinking of combining Sumatra with a visit to Singapore and Malaysia. ZZ
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Jun 10th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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My husband is an expat and we live in Jakarta. He has traveled to Duri a few times on business trips. It takes one hr and a half to fly from Jakarta to Pekanbaru, then 3 hrs by car into Duri. That stretch of road is one of the least safe in Asia, as described by our safety controller. There are small jets that fly from Pekanbaru to Duri, takes about 1/2 hr but they're not daily. All of our expats in Duri are either single men or their families stay in the States and the men travel back every 35 days or so. My husband hardly ever complains but the hotel he stayed at in Duri (the best one there) isn't nice at all. Constantly chasing away flies as you eat in the restaurant. Even local staff from the Jakarta office are reluctant to travel to Duri.
If you don't have a choice then I suggest you arrange for restocking trips as no doubt you'll need to buy supplies from Jakarta or Singapore. Negotiate for R&R trips. Hope you don't have to stay there too long. Good luck!
travelmug is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 10:14 PM
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Travelmug -

And just when I was getting used to the whole idea...

We'll be taking a helicopter into Duri, at least this time. I knew it was a long bus ride, but hadn't heard it was dangerous (!)

We'll be living on a camp, so hopefully your husband's experiences are limited to the village itself (a girl can hope, can't she?)

We'll be getting two R&Rs a year, plus home leave. There will also be opportunities to take the company plane to Singapore to do some shopping.

I've already begun to stockpile the goods I'll need to ship although I'm a bit overwhelmed at the sheer quanitity. The company no longer provides yearly shipments and we're looking at a 3-4 year assignment.

The whole thing has been a bit mind boggling, but we're seasoned expats, having lived in Saudi, Kuwait and Houston (ha, ha). Hubby also worked in Angola for three years doing a 28/28 rotation.

Thanks for your insight - wish me luck!
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Zambezi, Sorry I've not traveled in Sumatra enough to give you advice.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 07:07 AM
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Thank you, Marmot. It was just a stab in the dark (if this is an appropriate response) to ask you. ZZ
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Jun 12th, 2004, 07:07 AM
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Melnq8,

Hope I didn't sound too negative in my previous posting, but I wanted to give you all the facts. I figured you're seasoned expats since you're living in Kuwait. I've been an expat all my life, from when I was a kid and then with my husband, but I doubt I have what it takes to live in the places you did!

Just to clarify on the road that isn't so safe. It's not due to thieves, although they may come if your car breaks down, but more having to do with huge trucks speeding down the unpaved roads. I bet you know what I'm talking about.

Here's a link that maybe helpful to you - http://coldfusion.caswells-moms.com You can order online (meats, cheese, etc) and they'll deliver to Duri.

Sounds like you have everything under control. I wish you all the best!
travelmug is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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No worries, Travelmug - that's why I asked - I wanted to get as many opinions as possible.

Don't get me started on the horrific driving practices here in Q8. I try to limit my time on the roads because it's dangerous and downright scary.

I guess that prepares me somewhat for what lies ahead in Indonesia.

Thanks for the website - looks like I'll need all the resources I can get.
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