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Life for a woman in Indonesia

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  • Life for a woman in Indonesia

    Hi all,

    I'm going to move to Jakarta in a couple of months and I'm interested to now how life is there for a woman?
    Is it safe to go out by yourself? or maybe take a taxi? Is it some kind of dresscode?

    I've been there twice but never been outside Central Park alone.

    Kind regards
    Elina

  • #2
    Hi Elina,

    As far as I'm concerned, as a local, the city is safe for women. There are a couple of cases but if you scream loud enough to get attention, the person who is trying to harass you would get themselves in trouble. well, that was the case with me.

    The dress code is tricky. as long as you don't show too much cleavage and legs, I think you'll be safe. Once you're settled and you see how the local ladies dress up, then you can make up your mind about what you're wearing.
    [COLOR=black]
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    • #3
      Early welcome to Indonesia then.

      Here are some threads that will help answer your questions:
      - http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...nly-to-muslims
      - http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...afe-in-jakarta
      - http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...s-of-questions
      - http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...rom-California

      In a nutshell:
      - Yes it's safe to go out by yourself but it depends where you go and at what time. If you do the usual stuff such as going to the mall, to the restaurant and other tourist attractions, you'll be fine.
      - With regards to transportation, I would recommend you to use taxis to begin with. Stick to reputable taxi companies such as Bluebird or Express to avoid any headaches both from a safety and practicality point of view. Theses companies train their drivers well and they consistently use the fare meter. As for public transports, it's not impossible but you need to know your routes, your fares and how they work. Best to leave this until you've gained confidence living here.
      - As for dress code, it's up to you how much attention you are comfortable with. A foreign woman will definitely attract attention on her own (as do males) and some revealing outfits common in the West may not be that common here which could exacerbate the looks you get. On the other hand, as a foreigner you can get away with much more than a local would.

      All in all, most people who live here feel safer than in the West but like everywhere else when you are in an unknown environment you must keep aware of your surroundings and local sensitivities.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your answer!
        Those times I´ve been in Jakarta (Central Park) I couldn´t see the dresscode. Some of the people in the area are wearing short shorts with a basic top and some people have veil but I like it, It´s like it´s up to you nobody cares. But when I'm wearing shorts and a top people are watching so I just had to ask somebody. Is it because they can see that I'm not a local?

        I tried to speak with the local people but they have difficult to understand english. How do you make friends in Indonesia without seeming weird? Do you have any tips?

        Thanks again!

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        • #5
          Thanks for answering and the good tips!

          Comment


          • #6
            Elina,

            " But when I'm wearing shorts and a top people are watching so I just had to ask somebody. Is it because they can see that I'm not a local" Mind you, Indonesians in general are busybodies, so bear it a bit. Plus, if you're completely fair with blonde hair and light coloured eyes, yeah. You'll get noticed even if you're wearing a completely modest clothes. When I was a student in Yogya, people didn't really care about my Caucasian classmates and friends. But around the same time in Jakarta, the sight of white bule (that's what we call foreigners here) can get everyone in the neighbourhood out to see the person.
            That was what happen when the first time my-then-bf-now-husband came to my mom's house in the outskirt of Jakarta. That was completely embarrassing. After sometime and after several visits, they got used to him and we're now treated like he's a local.

            Anyway, about how to make friends without seeming weird.... hmmm.... tricky. One way, join meetup.com channel for new in Jakarta. it was set up by a lovely English lady when she was about to follow her husband to Jakarta. I happen to be a member of it too and the main requirement to join the group is that one speaks English fluently. Try it.
            [COLOR=black]
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            • #7
              I get sick of the stares...and they are quite pointed and lengthy. I'm assuming (maybe incorrectly) that it is because I am white. (I hate the term "bule".) I wonder if these people ever consider what it is like to BE stared at ...
              Things happen for a reason...

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              • #8
                Elina, you shouldn't worry too much. just be yourself. you wont be running naked at the street in swedia rite? so as long as you are not running naked in public area that should be fine. if someone is looking at you just think it's because you are different in terms of skin color and features. just smile at them.. they wont bite.
                I have met your hubby too ... and they starred at him too and asked for some help for school project ( which we declined as we were hungry ) don't worry .. just try to enjoy yourself while you are here
                dont judge a book by it cover. judge it by it price. good books are expensive

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just remember, Indonesian boys are tough from a very early age that if they see a Female's shoulders or legs they will get sexually excited. It is the Females fault for showing it. Ah, the brainwashing of youth. Just think how different this country would be if they were taught to be accepting of everyone and respect the human body because like it or not, they all have one and depending on the sex, all come with the same parts.
                  [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sweetmaria View Post
                    Elina,

                    " But when I'm wearing shorts and a top people are watching so I just had to ask somebody. Is it because they can see that I'm not a local" Mind you, Indonesians in general are busybodies, so bear it a bit. Plus, if you're completely fair with blonde hair and light coloured eyes, yeah. You'll get noticed even if you're wearing a completely modest clothes. When I was a student in Yogya, people didn't really care about my Caucasian classmates and friends. But around the same time in Jakarta, the sight of white bule (that's what we call foreigners here) can get everyone in the neighbourhood out to see the person.
                    That was what happen when the first time my-then-bf-now-husband came to my mom's house in the outskirt of Jakarta. That was completely embarrassing. After sometime and after several visits, they got used to him and we're now treated like he's a local.

                    Anyway, about how to make friends without seeming weird.... hmmm.... tricky. One way, join meetup.com channel for new in Jakarta. it was set up by a lovely English lady when she was about to follow her husband to Jakarta. I happen to be a member of it too and the main requirement to join the group is that one speaks English fluently. Try it.

                    Thanks for sharing! Were is your husband from? and were in Jakarta do you live?
                    oh, really? I will try it!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by naughtygab View Post
                      Elina, you shouldn't worry too much. just be yourself. you wont be running naked at the street in swedia rite? so as long as you are not running naked in public area that should be fine. if someone is looking at you just think it's because you are different in terms of skin color and features. just smile at them.. they wont bite.
                      I have met your hubby too ... and they starred at him too and asked for some help for school project ( which we declined as we were hungry ) don't worry .. just try to enjoy yourself while you are here

                      no, that´s right haha yeah, you find the apartment in Central Park for him right..
                      I will enjoy! Thanks for the tips!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michelle O'Brien View Post
                        I get sick of the stares...and they are quite pointed and lengthy. I'm assuming (maybe incorrectly) that it is because I am white. (I hate the term "bule".) I wonder if these people ever consider what it is like to BE stared at ...
                        yeah, me too! And I really hate that I can't hang out by the pool without people starring!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fastpitch17 View Post
                          Just remember, Indonesian boys are tough from a very early age that if they see a Female's shoulders or legs they will get sexually excited. It is the Females fault for showing it. Ah, the brainwashing of youth. Just think how different this country would be if they were taught to be accepting of everyone and respect the human body because like it or not, they all have one and depending on the sex, all come with the same parts.

                          Ohh no! .. In Sweden the boys don´t even care about what you are wearing, it´s so usual here.. They don´t even look at you!
                          But hopefully that will develop in Indonesia in the future..

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                          • #14
                            Some places you get stared at. I've been to countries where it's much worse. I had 100+ people following me Nepal a few years back.
                            Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elina.D View Post
                              Ohh no! .. In Sweden the boys don´t even care about what you are wearing, it´s so usual here.. They don´t even look at you!
                              But hopefully that will develop in Indonesia in the future..
                              That thought will escape from your mind after you arrive. Unfortunate but true.
                              [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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