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Why is this forum so quiet??

Why is this forum so quiet??

Old Feb 1st 2020, 12:32 am
  #1  
JDW
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Location: Sanur, Bali
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Default Why is this forum so quiet??

Have expats given up on living in Indonesia?? Even in Bali where I am now?

Are there fewer of us here than there were, say, two or three years ago, when I visited Kuta and Sanur for the first time in a fair while, and found the place hopping with expats??

Or are we just too busy to bother with posting??

This surely is a mystery...

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Old Feb 9th 2020, 4:26 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: Why is this forum so quiet??

Originally Posted by JDW View Post
Have expats given up on living in Indonesia?? Even in Bali where I am now?

Are there fewer of us here than there were, say, two or three years ago, when I visited Kuta and Sanur for the first time in a fair while, and found the place hopping with expats??

Or are we just too busy to bother with posting??

This surely is a mystery...
There are still some UK expats in Jakarta like me but the fun isn't the same as before.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 3:24 am
  #3  
JDW
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Default Re: Why is this forum so quiet??

Agree. Either the fun isn't the same, or we aren't the same. Or likely, a combination of the two. I know I'm not what I was, that is if I ever was. I thought I was. But!

All the expats now seem to be residing in Jakarta or Bandung. Very few anywhere else. Twenty years ago, Semarang, Yogya, Surabaya, Malang, even Solo were awash with bulehs. Now, very few. Many expat teachers, young, some very arrogant and elitist. Usually they don't last beyond a year. Language schools open and close. Now the Australian universities plan to open new campuses around the country. I wish them the very best of luck. A few expat academics may liven up the place a bit.

In 2006 I spent a fair amount of that year in Bali (mostly in Sanur, where I am now) and there were expats everywhere. We would meet in some of the lesser known bars and cafes and greet one another over cold beers in the late afternoons and early evenings. Pleasant, enjoyable, often very educational as we all shared experiences and tips on good places to see, eat and drink in.

Fast-track fourteen years. Now I see a few Aussies, mostly older men, hanging out in the somewhat seedy bars in the northern part of the town (places I prefer to stay out of), drinking beer before noon and watching sports on the plasma TV mega-screens. No younger baby dolls hanging on to them as in the days of old. No friendliness, not even eye contact, nobody cares to talk.

Oh, well. At times I feel like a relic from the Jurassic Age.

Have we become so hard-wired to our mobile phones that we no longer enjoy conversation?? Or have the expats been replaced by a new generation of same-age but increasingly antisocial tourists trying to avoid the busier tourist places along the Kuta-Kerobokan strip??

I no longer bother much with Jakarta except to occasionally fly in and out, but some years ago when I did I always found it much friendlier there, but largely Indonesians making social contact with foreigners. After three years in Bandung, I moved on to Surabaya for a year, and now Bali, finding mostly everyone (Asians and Westerners alike) to be progressively less friendly the further east we traveled. Nowadays in Bali, until recently the place was crawling with mainland Chinese moving about in large groups, seemingly oblivious of anyone other than themselves and their fellow tour-groupies and sadly mereft of even basic good manners. Peasants with money but not worldly.

Now in Bali, I'm fast getting to the stage of thinking that, if a local wants to be friendly, I suspect money or a scam is the primary motive - call me cynical, but I've seen enough tourists having their pockets picked by genial smiling locals to be very savvy about what is going on around me. The same for Surabaya where for the 14 months I lived there, I quickly figured out that inevitably any friendly approach would lead to some sort of "asking without asking" for a gift of free money or something else. Locals far better dressed than I was would race across busy streets to hold out the hand for a handout. In Sanur the begging takes on entirely another form - almost everyone I meet wants to "guide me around Bali" (usually at 2-5 times the price the travel agencies want for a better service from an informed guide), but then one expects that from a tourist economy where the hucksters wait for you at the airport...

Time passes, things change. The world and the people in it move on. Most things in Indonesia are most definitely not as they were. There are many good Indonesians - I just wish I could meet more of them.

As for the expats, nowhere are they to be seen. The country clubs once so popular in the Asian ex-colonial countries in the '70s and '80s are no longer around - replaced by large international hotels and shopping mega malls. Even the cheap dives of Surabaya have all fallen to the developers' wrecking balls.

But I do miss the not-so-long-ago GODs when we were friendly because we wanted to be and we liked other people...
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