Jakarta Bound is a travelogue about life in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in South East Asia.
If you’re an expat in Indonesia you will usually get overcharged for accommodation, so before we went to view the Mediterania 2 apartment Suki told me not to say a word and let her do all the talking.
We met the apartment owner Vivi in the lobby of Mediterania 2 block J and she took us up to the 29th floor (which is really the 25th). When we entered the apartment the décor was much more simple and a lot more modern than the menagerie of kitsch that welcomed you as you walked into Belgian Jeff’s place. It had cable TV, which included Fox Sports and the HBO Channel. It also had an internet connection and two pools in the complex, one of which was 50 metres in length, which from the balcony looked like a glorious place for an early morning swim. Vivi spoke good English. She also seemed quite professional and had a trustworthy air about her.
Ideally I would have preferred a one-bedroom apartment, which would have been cheaper, but at this stage I didn’t have too many options. I had tried to find a place by myself, but everywhere wanted twelve months rent in advance, which was longer than I wanted to commit to. However, I still had time to make a decision, so I asked Vivi to give me a week or two to confirm either way. This gave me the option to continue looking for something a little cheaper with one bedroom. However, now that my working timetable had started, I was pretty exhausted by all the extra-curricular messing about that I was having to do. Searching for accommodation and trying to get things back at home sorted out – not to mention the fact that I was still at the Grand Prix Inn, which was situated in the middle of nowhere – meant that I had to try and get everything done in the time I was in Mallville. All I wanted was to find a decent place to live – how hard did it have to be!? I felt beaten and was more or less resigned to the fact that I would have to go over budget and take what was on offer. I really didn’t want to pay more than 4,000,000 a month for my accommodation – 5,000,000 at the very maximum – yet I was running out of time and had no other solid options. But there was still the slim possibility of sharing the costs of Vivi’s place with Simon. Whilst we were drinking the night before he had hinted that it might be cool if he and I shared a place together. Although I didn’t know him, I was open to the idea of sharing with someone who I could at least hang out with. However, Simon’s suggestion was dependent on whether his boss was coming over at the end of September or not. There was also the option of taking a room in Belgian Jeff’s place, but there was no way I was going to move into a place where at any given time some random person who I’ve never met before could turn up to stay in the other room. If I could only get my shit sorted out back at home and get some extra money coming in then that would cover the additional cost of renting Vivi’s place on my own. But if I could get Simon to commit to sharing that would mean that my rent would be even lower than I had budgeted for. I had arranged to meet him later in the night at Loewy’s so I would try to convince him whilst we were there. If I could get him to share with me – provided he was okay to live with – I would be sorted.