Well we’ve been in Jakarta for a couple of weeks now. We are staying in Kuningan at the moment, the area they call the Golden Triangle, presumably because of the glitzy shopping malls and luxury apartments and hotels including the J W Marriott and the Ritz Carlton – eek! Less than five minutes walk away the side streets (or jalan tikus – mouse streets, what a sweet name!) are lined with the usual run down, ramshackle, don’t-know-they-make-a-living shops crowded with kids and motorbikes and smiles and â€œhello mistersâ€. The juxtapositions of SE Asia always amaze me!
I’m just looking out of the window of our apartment. From up here on the 22nd floor it’s a view of a big city sprawlling out in every direction, tower blocks of offices and apartments sticking up from a mire of red terracotta tile roofs and rusty tin shacks. The domes and minarets of the mosques are the only thing of beauty in the grey, angular cityscape. At night it comes alive with zillions of lights, red lights filling the roads as people trying to get home, white and yellow lights illuminating the offices of those who haven’t yet braved the traffic. Reflections off the glass buildings amplify the brightness making the city look even more crowded!
The monsoon is really gathering force at the moment, in the last couple of days we’ve had some torrential rain storms. Everyone is expecting floods soon which will make walking to work interesting, maybe I should buy a canoe! Sometimes in the mornings a mist hangs over the city – or is it just smog?! – I’m not sure but Neil captured it quite beautifully in one of his paintings.
I’m really enjoying the job. It’s great working in a small company like Lundin. You’re never quite sure what each week will bring and just when you think you’re going to have a quiet day something lands on your desk and keeps you there late into the evening. There are about thirty people in the office – I feel like I’ve been there for weeks and am already part of the family.
We had a trip to Kuala Lumpur this week. I was attending a symposium for a couple of days and we managed to catch up with some old Brunei friends which was great. Neil’s enjoying life here, I think he’s just about over scouting out the local area and has started researching which businesses are here and what they’re doing with a view to doing some consultancy. Early days yet . . .
Suzy and Neil