Ken’s selfies – Indonesia Act 1


First off, Indonesia was never on my map. In my research, despite the low cst of living, I was put off by the heavy Muslim influence, as well as the 30-day restriction on visas. My entry into the country was purely by, I don’t know, whatever.

During my stays/visits in Costa Rica, Croatia and Sicily, I had continually looked on the internet for possible real jobs. Then one popped up with this very lengthy description. I applied, was interviewed for five minutes via Skype, and was on the next appropriate plane to Singapore. and then a ferry ride to Batam, Indonesia, my home for most of the next four years.

To say my perceptions of Asia and, in particular, Indonesia, were changed by my time in Batam would be fair. The Muslims I interacted with were very nice, normal people. Anyway, lots of good times.

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I pretty much could order what I wanted at Goodies in Batam as part of my compensation, sometimes I would go outside for some authentic. Here I’m enjoying nasi ayem (chicken and rice – the sauce is what makes it special).

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Another perk I had was 24/7 access to the complex’s pool. It was great for rehab after my knee injury in Malaysia.

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Borabudur in Yogjarkarta. These students stopped me to have their picture taken with me, Amazing temple.

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I took a local guide tour outside Yogjarkarta, and at some point we ended up at this perch above a valley. He told me he had plans to open up his own tour business featuring local bike tours and local village immersion. He followed his dream and is doing very well. We stay in touch.

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During my first 21/2 years on Batam, I made trips to Bali, the U.S. and Malaysia. This was taken in a butterfly farm in Penang, Malaysia.

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Three islands south of Batam island, along a road and across several island-hopping bridges, you will find the Vietnam village. This is where hundreds of thousands of Vietname came when the U.S left Vietnam in 1975, This is one of the boats they used on the open seas.

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I’m always looking for a fishing opportunity, so whe someone said ‘let’s go’, I was ready /we went out on an open boat with full sun, caught a few small ones, attended an Indonesian wedding resption, and had a great time.

The Interlude

All good things must end, someone said. After 21/2 years at Smiling Hill/Goodies, my services were no longer needed. No hard feelings, it was a nice run.

As it turned out (and partly because of anticipating the coming change), I somehow managed to secure another job on a weekly newspaper in the Caribbean, on the islands of St. Kitts & Nevis, I was based on Nevis, a small volcanic cone with no real reason for being.

The job turned out t be bogus, I was ready to depart within two weeks, and had the foresight to book a return flight to Singapore for a month after I arrived in St. Kitts. I took tha flight back to Singapore, and Batam.

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NEXT: Indonesia Act 2

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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2 Responses to Ken’s selfies – Indonesia Act 1

  1. 2bagsandapack says:

    Life is good and you’re a big help.

  2. Hey Dad, I’ve been trying to catch up on your blog and the first one’s to read are your Indo/Thai selfies. Loving it. You look really happy now, happier than before. Just wanted to tell you that. And thank you for everything. I surely miss you. But also happy for you. The Dottir

    On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:21 PM, 2 Bags and a Pack wrote:

    > 2bagsandapack posted: “First off, Indonesia was never on my map. In my > research, despite the low cst of living, I was put off by the heavy Muslim > influence, as well as the 30-day restriction on visas. My entry into the > country was purely by, I don’t know, whatever. During my s” >

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