Some friends asked me why I’m still staying in Jakarta instead of moving to another country. Well, I admit that the thought to move to other country did cross my mind every now and then. But I don’t really have the motivation to move, because, I’m in a kind of love and hate relationship with Jakarta.
I was born, grew up, live and work in Jakarta. For me, there are three things that need to be improved to make it more livable:
- Traffic Jam. So far this is the worse thing I can find in Jakarta. In fact, I wrote a lot of thing about commuting in Jakarta. If you can hack the traffic, then you can survive in Jakarta.
- Pollution. Unfortunately, nothing much can be done about it. Just cope with it. Millions of people live in Jakarta, so the air is not lethal. In fact, many people still exercise outdoor in Jakarta.
- Flood. This is a seasonal thing. The key to cope with flood in Jakarta is to know which area get flooded, which one that is practically dry and safe.
Given the challenges above, what make Jakarta very much enjoyable to live at?
- Food. As the capital of the nation with 12 million people, not only international food available in Jakarta, but also the most authentic food around Indonesia.
- Opportunity. Indonesia, in general, despite of the red tape, still have a lot of opportunity for business. Jakarta, especially, has a lot of opportunity for business and career person.
- Entertainment. From shopping mall to beach and park, Jakarta has a lot of entertainment to offer. Jakarta has one of the best shopping malls in the region.
- Affordable convenience. Need someone to clean up the house? Or hire someone to drive you around? Or 2 nanny to take care of your son? All of them is very much affordable. I know an American Executive living in Jakarta, who employ 7 people in the house: driver, 2 maids, 1 nanny, gardener, and few security. His comment is that, even with his executive salary, there are no way he can afford such luxury back home