Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates

Check out What's New on the Expat Web Site
Information for foreigners moving to Indonesia

Home » Practical Information » Expat Stories

You May Be A Resident of A Large City in SE Asia if...

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Translate this Page

Bookmark and Share
Links to hundreds of articles giving practical information for expats moving to Indonesia
Post your questions or communicate with other expats in Indonesia on the Expat Forum
Looking for a place to stay in Indonesia - check out the Housing Forum
Looking for a weekend or holiday getaway ... visit some of Indonesia's Great Escapes
Advice and resources for conducting business in Indonesia
Info on expatriate community organizations in Indonesia
Shops, Products and Services
Links to other useful Indonesian or expat-related web sites
Expat Humor - spread the joys of Living in Indonesia through e-postcards
Site Map
Return to the Home Page
expatriate information for Indonesia

  • You now purchase cigarettes singly, not by the pack.
  • On the street you avoid running over cats when previously they were the target.
  • You can no longer reverse a car without the parking man's assistance.
  • You charge your mother-in-law transport money to take her to a place you were already going to.
  • Your most prized possession is a plastic whistle.
  • You want to import a metal whistle.
  • You take your shoes off in the office and put on flip-flops.
  • When you arrive at work you clock in then go out to buy and eat breakfast.
  • You spend an extra 2 hours in traffic per day to avoid paying Rp 3,000 in toll charges.
  • You spell everything phonetically.
  • Your children have to earn their own pocket money on a street corner singing.
  • You can't drive without sounding the horn.
  • You no longer pay any attention to someone sounding the car horn.
  • You laugh at the local humor on television.
  • You charge your housemaid 10% interest per month on any loans.
  • You think it is normal for a household of 5 people to use 45 kg of sugar per month.
  • When another expat talks to you in English you answer in Bahasa Indonesia.
  • You understand Indonesian politics.
  • You go to morning prayers.
  • You need to set the alarm to wake up for morning prayers.
  • You want to study Arabic.
  • You prefer to eat spicy instant noodles for breakfast instead of cereal and milk
  • You put chili sauce on your pizza
  • You have occasionally bought a week's worth of shampoo in single use packets
  • You have a favorite Lux soap commercial (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
  • You get on a public bus that has a clearly marked sign "near or far, Rp 700" and you try to haggle the fare down to Rp 500 on the grounds that you aren't going very far-all to save yourself 2 cents.
  • When dressing up to go to a wedding, you reach for your silk batik shirt instead of your suit and tie.
  • Your favorite restaurant is a table covered with a plastic tarp by the side of the road.
  • You need to ask your babysitter what your child is saying, because you aren't sure if it's meaningless baby talk or Javanese.
  • You can identify the food sold by each passing food vendor--without getting out of your chair--by the different noise the vendor is tapping noises they make as they wander through your neighborhood.
  • You swear each morning that no death is too good for the roti man
  • You think nothing of asking complete strangers how much their watch costs
  • You can't understand why your Mum doesn't want your new recipe for fish head curry
  • You know exactly which pair of flip-flop sandals is yours from the 75 pairs outside your door
  • You still think Mrs. Walker is the landlady at the Rover's Return
  • You apply to be a contestant on "Famili 100" because winning a box of Supermie and a tin of paint would be cool
  • You can filter the black sludge in the bottom of your kopi tubruk through your lips until it's dry, without getting a single grain in your mouth (or your lips wet)
  • You are embarrassed to ask whether meat-free soya Bacon Bits are halal
  • You buy cabe rawit by the kilo, and beras by pallet-load
  • You think the guy in the white coat on the Vegeta commercial is a real doctor
  • You own more than three articles of Mickey Mouse clothing
  • You try to bargain a discount off the price of your cinema tickets
  • You wonder what you ever used to see in the Rolling Stones
  • You think the air smells funny in Singapore
  • You no longer get mad at the maid for leaving the mosquito door open, even though you told her 17 times a day for four years to "SHUT THE F****** DOOR!!!!"
  • You think filter cigarettes are girly
  • It no longer puzzles you why the maid buys 3 different kinds of coffee - one for you, one for visitors and one for the driver
  • When someone gives you a present on your birthday, you thank them and open it a couple of days later
  • You always pay your water, telephone and electricity bills at the post office, but you have no idea where the post office is
  • You think "Femina" magazine borders on the pornographic
  • When your fellow foreign friends come over, you turn on the AC and wear two sweaters
  • Every door, cupboard and cabinet in your house has a lock, and is kept locked.
  • You think it is waaayyyyy cool to put Winnie the Pooh stickers on a 500SL
  • Your hair is jet black, and always will be.
  • Your daughter thinks skin whitening cream will turn her into Britney Spears
  • Your passport/ID photos are twenty five years old
  • You feel the safest place to store your car is in the front room, locked and with the alarm activated.
  • Everyone on your TV set carries a microphone
  • Every other programme/advert features a precocious brat with woolen headwear
  • The rest feature overweight pre-pubescent girls
  • Your favourite TV programmes all feature the dialogue "Uh. Ooof . . uh uh UH uh UH . . nyeehah".
  • Co-incidentally, so do your favourite movies
  • You think it. s cool to smoke in a swimming pool
  • You think it looks waaaayyyyy cool flicking the fag end into the pool
  • You find nothing wrong at all with throwing bottles out of car windows
  • You think Michael Learns to Rock are innovative
  • You wonder why no one has ever heard of them outside of Indonesia
  • Your hopes and aspirations in life all revolve around Nokia
  • You are willing to pay a fortune to get your fat, talentless kid on TV
  • You have no idea at all what this is about

Humorous insights to life in Indonesia contributed by Dave Cook, Tungin Cik, MS, and Austasia

© Held by Contributors

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Practical Information |  Expat Forum |  Site Map  |  Search |  Home Page |  Contact

Return to top

Copyright © 1997-2018, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.