Salamat Natal dan Tahun Baru
Three NZ graduating young journos are in Jakarta for an international reporting practicum scholarships sponsored by the Asia: NZ Foundation and Pacific Media Centre at AUT. They are Aroha Treacher and Dylan Quinnell (pictured) from AUT's School of Communication Studies and Will Robertson from Massey University. A brief email update from Dylan:
This is an amazing place reminds me a lot of new SA, just chaos everywhere. On the road there appear to be almost no rules, apart form a few traffic lights, you turn when you want or cross main roads and people just slow down to let you do so. motor bikes are buzzing in and out of traffic all over the place, and everyone hoots a lot but not to express anger rather say "hey, buddy just swerving past up you right side".
A lot of stuff is amazingly cheap with taxis costing a few dollars and meals the same. Gotta watch the chilli tho, damn hot and burns going in and out. The people are really friendly when you greet them and the language learning is coming on well. I played some soccer with little kids down one of the tiny alley streets, and got some good pics near where I'm staying with a classmate from NZ in his cousin's house.
They have six full time staff including three maids on at any one time, a driver on call and a security guard. Back yard looks a bit like Africa with barbed wire on the top of a massive concrete wall. They also have a pool, very comfortable but strange getting used to having people doing everything for you, friendly tho.
Today I move into the hotel with my two new room mates and stay for a while till I can find a kos or little apartment where you rent a room off someone for about $150 a month often with breakfast and washing thrown in. Learning the language is going well as the maids are very willing teachers who find my attempts so funny; they thought it was hilarious when I asked one to teach me how she folds the washing so well.