47: Chaos Theory

Jakarta Bound is a travelogue about life in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in South East Asia.


It had been a little over three weeks since I had arrived in Jakarta, but it had felt like three months. Eventful for mainly the wrong reasons, apart from my trip to Jogja, my time so far had been pretty unsatisfying and frustrating to say the least.

Of course, niggling little issues are to be expected when moving to a new country, especially when moving from a European country like Britain to a mega city in a developing country in Asia. But the huge cultural changes weren’t too much of problem. The disorientation of being in an unfamiliar place and the unfamiliarity of everything was actually one of the things that excited me. No, it was simply not having the anchored security of my own place to live.

This was the first time in my life I didn’t have my place. A place that I could call my home. A place from where I could manage all the little obstacles that are part of daily life. I was confident that I would meet people and build a social life with other expats. I was confident that the estate agent back in Manchester would eventually find a tenant to rent my house. And despite the relatively humble income I would be getting for teaching at EF, I was pretty confident that I would manage to live fairly comfortably during my time in Jakarta. But until I had a decent place to live, all of that confidence was on hold and every issue seemed like a mini-mountain to conquer. And the fact that sheer misfortune had thrown itself in my way just as I was on the cusp of resolving my housing issue made me feel like my bold adventure was destined to be a disaster. This feeling was wrestling with my determination to remain optimistic.

I didn’t want to be negative, because negativity breeds negativity, but come on! Did such a fun night out really have to turn into such a fucking calamity? Did the first guy I befriend really have to be such an irresponsible letch? Am I simply a magnet for chaos? Had I travelled half way across the world in search of a paradigm change in my life only to realise that the chaos I was trying to escape was actually an insidious part of my own destiny? Or was I just overreacting? I had my health after all, which is priceless. Time would tell; or was it already telling!? Fuck! Fuck, fuckity, fuck!!!


3 thoughts on “47: Chaos Theory

  1. I remember looking forward to culture shock. I mean, what’s the point in going somewhere different if it doesn’t unsettle you, right? But I was also more or less homeless for the first few months and I didn’t like it at all. I had a place to stay, but it wasn’t mine in any sense of the word. I think, if I had managed to get a real place of my own, my whole experience would have been different and probably, so would have been the outcome. I think what both of us underestimated was how much MONEY we would need to get set up into a place to live. I know I was desperately underfunded. In almost 9 years, I never quite caught up.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s