Selamat Datang di Indonesia

By Morgan Pettersson.

Greetings from Jakarta Indonesia.
Nama Saya Morgan.
Saya orang Australia.

That is the limit of my current Bahasa Indonesian skills, hopefully with 40 hours of tuition and immersion they will improve.

I am in the crazy, hectic city of Jakarta, my home for the next six weeks.

A local Warung seller near my Kos

I am here to complete an internship at a radio station as well as take language classes and learn more about Australia’s closest neighbour.

I came here originally excited to be able to intern here and with zero expectations about the city itself.

I thought it would be just your normal big, dirty, South East Asian capital city.

It has completely surprised me in every way.

Yes it is busy, yes it is dirty, but it has a charm that you don’t have to go layers deep to initially find.

The people are some of the friendliest I have ever met on my travels, and I know people always say that, but here it is true.

Where else can you go where people openly welcome you in the streets, not to sell you anything, but just to say hello and wish you a good day.

There is nothing threatening about it, even when a bus driver who is crossing a four-way intersection and talking on his mobile phone leans out the window to shout “hello miss how are you!?”.

For example just tonight whilst walking home from dinner at one of the street markets with my flat mate, we stopped to admire a mint condition Mini sitting outside a house.

Suddenly the owner bounced out of the house onto the street excited to meet English-speaking foreigners and before we knew what was happening we were inside his house drinking and eating whilst he tried to coerce us to teach his son English.

The driving is not as terrible as I thought it would be either, as there is an organised chaos about the peak hour traffic.

Whilst there is a large problem with pollution there is also so much greenery every where, grass along the road sides, pot plants and trees on the foot paths.

The area that my Kos, or boarding house, is in is so lovely and I feel so safe here and there is such a good vibe in the streets.

The houses are all so well maintained and painted bright colours, with pot plants spilling onto the road from their front verandas.

I have to say I am really excited to be here.

Although I was one of the first to pick up the local souvenir, being sick.

K Rudd

I am much better now though which is lucky as I was fortunate enough to be able to lunch with the former Australian Prime Minister and current Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd!

He dropped by the University I am studying at because he was in town and was interested in the program.

I also made in onto his YouTube channel when he randomly started recording a video message with me off to the right of the frame.

I have also purchased the Batik, which is the traditional printed fabrics which the locals wear on Fridays, so I am all ready to look like a local come Friday!

Jakarta as a city really comes to life after dark, with the streets lighting up with Warung stalls on the road sides and the locals relaxing, socialising and enjoying life after a hard days work.

Every one I have met who is here on the same program are so nice and such like-minded people.

I have stuck with tradition on this trip so far and purchased a pot plant for my room like I did in Greece to make it feel more homely, except this time it is not my only initial friend.

I have also discovered the game of ‘Futsal’ which seems to be like indoor soccer?

I almost couldn’t breathe the other night playing with all of the pollution in the air, but I scored a goal and had so much fun so the exercise is good.

I have also stuck with tradition this trip and accumulated a new name.


Apparently both Morgan and Morgana were not Indonesian, so my language teacher devised a new name, and with it has come a new character.

Mimi is a little bit crazy, a little bit of a comedian and a little bit seedy.

Saya suka Mimi!


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