Exotic Jakarta is culture shock for newly-arrived expats

Exotic Jakarta is culture shock for newly-arrived expats

Exotic Jakarta is culture shock for newly-arrived expats

For expats moving to Indonesia, Jakarta is the experience of a lifetime.

The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is densely populated, sprawling, vibrant and totally fascinating for new expat arrivals. Over 10 million people live and work in its metropolitan area, and the city itself is home to everything from luxury mansions, soaring apartment developments, grand buildings, shanty towns and downright slums. The saying ‘all human life is here’ could well be applied to this mega-city with its hectic, endlessly busy streets and crowded transportation.

It’s also the economic and cultural heart of Indonesia, home to a thriving expatriate community spread across its central districts as well as in family-friendly housing complexes and high-end luxury developments. Newly arrived expatriates are advised to find accommodation close to their places of work, as traffic and local transportation are hell during rush hours. As regards the cost of living, it’s all down to lifestyle choices such as choosing to only eat Western foods.

If you or your family love shopping malls, Jakarta’s massive, world-class examples are lifestyle centres providing all needs at all prices. As with most Asian mega-malls, they include movie theatres, grooming centres, gyms, beauty salons and international cuisine as well as fast foods joints and local eateries. The city’s nightlife scene varies from traditional to European-style, with something for everyone including upscale nightclubs.

Although the city may not seem safe to new arrivals, it’s generally considered a secure place to live provided common sense is used. Keeping a close eye on belongings, taking care when walking alone and not wearing flashy accessories should be enough for most expats, but females should avoid walking alone after dark and expats in general are advised to watch out for scams.

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