The school, the house and beyond

It’s been two months now since we moved, and in so many ways the time has flown by. Sure, we’ve had our share of challenges and frustrations, but I think what has surprised us the most is how quickly our new house and school have felt like home. Our old house in Bogor was a lovely building, but B put it best when we moved out: “It felt like we just spent two years living in a hotel lobby.” Something about that place never fit with our lives – it was a bit barren, sterile, unloving, and the space just didn’t flow – maybe the feng chui was off, or it was built on some kind of indian burial ground, or something like that. Anyway, it was nice to be there, but we never really settled in.

Our new place just feels right. Sure, it’s a bit of an upgrade to the house itself: now with a pool, reliable hot water, bigger kitchen, plus we have friends living right next door. And the area is much improved, within walking distance of a big mall, lots of shops and restaurants. Of course that means we’re in a loud, hot, smoggy part of town, but the do evenings cool off and we aren’t bothered too much by the noise. But besides all that, the house feels more like us. Less pretentious? More comfortable? I don’t know. Here are some of my favorite spots in the new house:

The antique javanese cupboard we bought, showcasing our bottle collection in the sun
The antique javanese cupboard we bought, showcasing our bottle collection in the sun
The giant sofa that is perfect for everyone to nap on at once.
The giant sofa that is perfect for everyone to nap on at once.
The recycled oil drum bookshelf that our friend made - it matches the coffee table!
The recycled oil drum bookshelf that our friend made – it matches the coffee table!
The old lantern I found in the backyard
The old lantern I found in the backyard
The TV room that we accidentally decorated in a southwestern style
The TV room that we accidentally decorated in a southwestern style
Our entire front entrance, dedicated as a board game playing space, decorated with a photo taken by our friend Jim
Our entire front entrance, dedicated as a board game playing space, decorated with a photo taken by our friend Jim
The beanbag chair made out of recycled vinyl billboards we bought for the kids' reading corner
The beanbag chair made out of recycled vinyl billboards we bought for the kids’ reading corner

The only downside to the move is that now I commute about 3 hours a day. Most days it’s not so bad, and really, I rather like driving myself to and from work. It’s a good chance to unwind and be “off the grid” for a few hours. And so far, I’ve managed to get home within 2 hours of leaving the office. Except for the first night, when there was a freak flooding in our neighborhood and I got trapped for hours on the road. Hopefully that’s an uncommon occurrence…

On my first night driving home to the new house, I got caught in this... for *four* hours. I was seriously questioning life, the universe, and where my decisions had gone so teribly awry.
On my first night driving home to the new house, I got caught in this… for *four* hours. I was seriously questioning life, the universe, and where my decisions had gone so teribly awry.

Meanwhile, the kids have settled into their new school almost instantly. The teachers are all very supportive, and with a bigger school, we’re getting a lot more opportunities to try new activities and have a more varied curriculum.

In his first week at school, he was awarded a certificate for being a "risk-taker" and for being a good classroom helper.
In his first week at school, he was awarded a certificate for being a “risk-taker” and for being a good classroom helper.
His class went on a three-day trip to the safari to study animals. Fun times!
His class went on a three-day trip to the safari to study animals. Fun times!
Organizing 45 8-year-olds to get onto the tour bus at 6:30 am... not so fun times.
Organizing 45 eight-year-olds to get onto the tour bus at 6:30 am… not so fun times.
Kids walking home from school. Most days, B picks them up in cab, and this is the walk down the driveway to our house, after the cab drops them off.
Kids walking home from school. Most days, B picks them up in a cab, and this is the walk down the driveway to our house, after the cab drops them off.
New school, new activities: LittleB signed up for capoeira! J is taking swimming lessons and I think she is now officially part of the dolphin family rather than human.
New school, new activities: LittleB signed up for capoeira! J is taking swimming lessons and I think she is now officially part of the dolphin family rather than human.

As for B, he’s settling in too. Jakarta has a lot more to offer for foreigners, and I think he definitely feels more comfortable here.

Living in Jakarta gives B more social options - more specifically, more guys to play hockey with.
Living in Jakarta gives B more social options – more specifically, more guys to play hockey with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s