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Indonesian Expat is Finally Launched! Desember 2, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Uncategorized.
to connect with other Indonesians around the world
Finally, after several months delay, we proudly announce the launch of Indonesian Expat site, which mission is to inspire your success living in a foreign country by providing you this website to share stories, network globally, and find the best resources which hopefully will help your journey overseas.
Mind you we are still in the soft launching phase, there are lots of to add, fix, repair, and change, so please bear with us. However please do not hesitate to contact me at finallywoken@finally-woken.com if you have any ideas, comments, suggestions, or complains.

Important Notes to All of Our Members

We need you to go to the site and register your blog by yourself. I sincerely apologise that I cannot do this for you since you have to submit your own details there.

Hope to see you there!

Culture Crossing Juni 26, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Uncategorized.
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Culture Crossing is a place where you could learn about other countries’ culture, custom and etiquettes. Its founder came across my original blog and asked if I could help them filling the blanks in Indonesia or Scotland’s section.

The website consists of 3 parts: basic, business, and students. In each section we would learn to understand how to greet men or women, how to dress properly according the occasion, how to distribute our business cards, what’s considered taboo, and so on. (lebih…)

Philippine Visa – On Arrival April 9, 2008

Posted by Jun in Uncategorized.
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Not that I am an expert on Philippine or anything, but it is the only country I am exposed to right now. I really hate beareaucratic platform of foreign relation and immigration relation. They are really not my favourite kind of people, seriously. I shuddered whenever I think of what I and D (my husband) go through each month when he was living here in Medan with me. Anyway, that is another story for another time.

I was off to the Philippine feeling very confident that I would not need visa of anykind. Well, guess again. The visa on arrival is indeed free but only lasted for 21 days. So I needed a Visa Waiver that would entitled me to stay for 59 days for PHP 3,030 (around USD 75). The waiver can be obtained in any travel agencies or local rep of Bureau of Immigration. You just need to fill up two forms and they will stamp the passport for you. Very easy, the whole process took me less than 15 minutes to complete. I would say the country is very friendly to people who want to stay longer there.

Now I am back in the country to work on the spouse visa which has to be picked up outside of the country. Again, another story for another time.

Whale Shark Watching April 9, 2008

Posted by Jun in Uncategorized.
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The only internationally renowned tourism attraction in this part of the Philippines is the Whale Shark watching (or Butanding for locals, in Bicol). Donsol – a seaside town – one hour drive away from Legazpi City. The whale sharks can be seen in the bordering seas, is the largest number of recorded sightings of whale sharks anywhere in the world. This largest fish can be seen around February to March each year. Swimming with whale sharks was featured in Time Magazine as the “Best Animal Encounter in Asia” in 2004.


Our shark encounter adventure was last weekend. We drove to one of the many resorts, next to Donsol Tourism Office for tourists. We were required to register personal information and stated which of the attraction we were going to do. Butanding interaction or Butanding sightseeing. We teamed up with other couples – so the whole experience cost about USD 130 for a boat, a guide and some crews. Excluding the rental of snorkeling equipment such as mask, snorkle and fins

Donsol Tourism Office

About 6 boats set out to the sea, each boat has one spotter who stands at the top of the sail searching for the shark. It is as big as a house, so very easy to be sighted. He said he was only looking for a moving shadow on the sea. When one spotter see one, all the boats will close in and swimmers will jump off the boat and start swimming towards the shark.

the glimpse of the Shark that I saw – once only

As a coward as I am, and also no snorkeling and flipper handling experience whatsoever, I freaked quite a number of times and the guide had to stay by me most of the time. I only saw the shark once, when the guide pulled me under the water and made me see one who swam right beneath us. It was gigantic. Thankfully, they are plankton-eating fish. There was like more than 20 dives only in 3 hours’ time. Very busy. At the end of the trip, I was one of the crew of the boat, helping people got on to the boat. D had seen more than 5 sharks, and the other Australian couple actually dived and swam alongside the sharks.

There were boats with Asian tourists (Japanese and Taiwanese, I presumed). The passengers looked as scared as I was, stayed put in the boat with life jackets on. Never once got off the boat. They were just observers. When the western tourists like my husband and his friends were jumping on and off the boats like maniacs chasing the sharks here and there. That was too funny!

D in the water – first from left – false alarm and the neighbouring boat full of divers

So tips for other wild-life fanatics before going on the trip :

Learn to snorkle properly. Wear decent swimwear. Bikinis are not cool. Lots of sun block. Bring some snack and water on board. Bring water resistant camera (we bought one of those disposable ones – not yet developed) . Rental equipments are quite dodgy, if possible bring your own.

It will so worth it.

Is There Any Indonesian Expat Male Bloggers Out There? April 3, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Uncategorized.

I have been consistently blogwalking everyday, trying to find Indonesian bloggers who live abroad or have ever lived overseas, to list them in our Expat Blog section. One thing I notice, while it is very easy to find Indonesian female expat bloggers, male bloggers are like a rare gem: you know it’s there, you can see the glitz, but you can’t reach it. It feels like they live in a different parallel universe!

Since I never list people’s blog without their prior authorization, I usually leave comment or send email to the blog owner. Female bloggers are usually very responsive and positively support the idea, and quickly say yes to my proposal. I don’t have such luck with male bloggers though. They’re difficult to find, and seldom to respond my query.

Not that it matters so much, though. Some people choose to remain anonymous and by their pseudonyms we couldn’t guess whether they are male or female. But glancing at this growing expat blog list, I begin to wonder: Is there any Indonesian expat male bloggers out there?

Let me know if you know one!

Greetings from Legazpi City Februari 19, 2008

Posted by Jun in Uncategorized.
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I arrived in Legazpi City ten days ago. It is the capital of province of Albay, southern tip of Luzon, Philippines. I am here as my husband is here. He is posted as a part of emergency relief to build houses for people who lost theirs from the typhoon attack a couple of years ago. I will only be here for a month or so since he is leaving in April too.

It is a very small city with population only less than 200,000. The terrain is hilly and the weather is nice. The Mayon is the volcano overshadowing the city. It is practically surrounded by hills.

It is a pretty little city with low rise houses and a lot of greenery – I suspect the earth is very fertile because of the mineral traces from the volcanic ashes. From the first glance of the map, I was thrilled that because it is a coastal town, there must be beautiful beaches in the bay area. Yeah it’s not. The whole coast is barricaded by sea wall. The resorts build small stairs for tourists who wants to take a dip or a swim. But it’s not really beach vacation I had in mind.


Looking For Contributors Around The World Januari 21, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Uncategorized.
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Hello everyone,

You are probably wondering why I decide to start this forum.

When I moved to Scotland over 6 months a go, I was not well informed about the city’s what, who, where, when, and how. I had (still have) to work hard to find my own surroundings, build my own network, and find new friends. Yes, I start meeting new people and have found that there are at least 100 Indonesians living in Aberdeen. But this effort took months and I could say that I’ve found Indonesian fellows by accidents.

Feeling how hard it was to start a new life here in a foreign city with no one to turn to, I have tried to find Indonesian Expatriates Association, anywhere in the world, but couldn’t find any. There are several organizations dedicated to mixed-marriage couples, most of them are based in Indonesia, and mostly their mission is to share information and overcome any issues about the mix Indonesian and non-Indonesian marriage. There are many student associations, work’s outpost communities, and religious communities, but of course the membership would be solely, exclusively to their fellow friends.


Hello world! Januari 20, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Uncategorized.

Welcome to Indonesian Expatriates Forum – a forum designed to help all Indonesians living outside of our home country. Whether this is your first experience living overseas, you are a seasoned or a returned expat, or you are about to embark on your big adventure, we welcome you to share your experience and connect with other Indonesians living abroad here!