TOURISM

Indonesia compared to Thailand is a country that still have most of it's part saved from tourism. If your objective is to go where locals never saw a foreigner in their life, there won't be anything more easy, just rent up a motorbike, go in any small city and avoid tourism places ( mainly Bali - Lombok ). Traditional indonesian are peaceful people, so the language barrer will not be a big problem, and they will probably help you the best way they can ( sometimes they do that for money tho ) In the photo section you will see pictures of places I have seen there. Some places I have been are not easily reachable, the best would be to have a local friend to help you !

CULTURE SHOCK

If you plan to live for some time in Indonesia and come from an occidental country, you will probably get in many aspect a cultural shock. You will be the witness a type of society that work in a way really different from yours. When I came there I was very enthusiastic and I was so glad to discover all this news things. But I have to confess that after 6 months living there ( I stayed 14 months ) you get tired of the differences when you don't understand why the things are this way. And finally you will know why people act like that, as you will understand the global picture, and you will start to think that the things are the best they can be according to the situation.
This differences are classified by topic : pauverty, corruption, beliefs, education, people relationships, values, activities, place of work in life, money and environnement. As you can see it cover a lot of things. If you are going to live there one year, you will understand all this differences and that will make you a better person with a whole new open-mind.

RELIGION

Religion have a important role in the society as you need to select a religion in the ID card. In Indonesia you will find 75% of muslim people 20% of Catholic Chinese people and other minorities. I am a non believer, and I have the feeling that the church is there for the people, a way to gather, teach to everyone the values of respect and life and the trust in the future that the people need. It is also a place where I believe people lose their power to choose their destiny as God "have a plan for you" and for this reason, it is useless to take any initiatives, learn things at school or fight to survive. I believe that this is creating passive and inactive lazy people that should, as the church says so, get married before 24 years old. This people are then supposed to and make a lot of kids that they can not afford. With the church blessing, the leak of financial anticipation and capabilities, the leak of contraception, everything will create big families that will not be able to feed nor educate their kids that will be even poorer than their parents. That is the beginning of poverty..

EDUCATION

There is an Indonesian expression, that is "MALAS BRO!" that can be translated by "I am lazy now my friend". The difference is that this expression have a connotation almost good and it justify many things in life. For this reason, do not expect a great implication not from the students but neither from the teacher and that does apply for the employee as well. Many Indonesians became professionals to make the agendas and rules very flexible. It's a country where the culture is oriented to avoid the conflicts, none will never want to tell you "don't do that" or denouce an act of corruption. This behaviour leads to the creation of lazy young people that will only get easy, open-book exams were student doesn't even hide to cheat. If cheating the young age is to easy and almost promoted, it will make great ravages in the adult age where the corruption is seen as a normal way to get extra-money ! The tips are calculated in the budgets to create bridges, and people doesn't even know anymore what corruption means. They is even an to explain them what are acceptable business behaviors.

RELATIONSHIP POVERTY

Poverty, education, religion and corruption are the main cause that influence individuals behavior in the society. The relational culture of the society will evolve according to this characteristics and define what can be, or not be done. In the Indonesian culture, family and its extension, the friends are the most important thing. They will find support and happiness with them. This behaviour will result in the creation of a group responsability. When some mistake is made, it will be very unlikely to find the real responsible but more facing a group uncomfortable moment when everyone protect everyone. There is something in Indonesia that is terrible, it's the "losing face" fear ( when you scream at someone with his pairs ). A contrario, you should speak positively facing group of people and if you may need to speak to someone about a mistake he has made, you should be alone with him and walk-around the subject to make him understand what you really means. This situation will make stronger the position of weak people that will be able to escape problems easier than other culture, but in other hands, that will also give them a second chance. In a nutshell, I would say that there are two extremes, in one hand pauverty made Indonesian have "bad" behaviour when you want to make business with them as a white guy because they will be more likely to protect each other while subject to corruption and laziness. But in the other hand, the Friendship you get in Indonesia can be extraordinary because they would be so happy having a foreigner friend. For this reason I advice you to make friend before starting any business there

ACTIVITES

After some weeks in Indonesia, I felt kind of bored because from my point if view there was nothing to do. So I asked the people in my university, the locals to know what they do during their free time, the answer was terrible to me. They simply answered me that if they aren't spending time in their home with their family, they would just go to the shopping mall, do some shopping, watch a movie and come back shopping. The only explication I found that would make the mall so attractive is the free air-conditionned there and not having the parents saying what they should or not do. To sum up, they don't like so much sports and heat outside is a problem for many activities. They do not like do travel in far places, but can make exception for a great restaurant as far as 3 hours driving.

FOOD

For the food, the quick view have all the exteme. In a poor country where live so may people, you will find a bit of everything. Something to be aware of is that Indonesia isn't as industria as the western world, for this reason you may find there food and drink that have an higher quality. Nevertheless you should have some concern about the cleanness of the way they cook and the added ingredients in the recipe that may not be so good for your health. You have several types of Indonesian places to eat, they are easy to recognize because they have different size. It goes from the ultra light one that move on the street, to the very big old fashioned one. Kaki lima : Is the name of the ultra light model that use wheels and sell food with a quite low quality. I do not advice. Warung : That is something that is building everyday in the border of the street, could be with two or tree Kaki Lima, they have a very good quality/price and the food should be fine. Depot : Are similar to restaurants with strong walls and lightly less choices. Usually you can even command your food from the depot directly and they will ship it to your door.

PROBLEMS

As you can see, Indonesia is still facing many problem that are linked with poverty. We can mention the international pressure and investment that create layers of corruption that ruins the take off of the country. The leak of good education that is required to share the vision and the benefits from a corrupt-free country. The high born rate that doesn't let the infrastructure to follow the population growth and great inefficency and pollution in big cities. To finish with the religion that promote passivity and irresponsibility in their acts. The multi-religion policy of Indonesia is a great challenge as well, just as the conflicts between Chinese born Indonesian and Indonesians. Talking about religion, the multi-religion policy of Indonesia is a great challenge as well, just as the conflicts between Chinese born Indonesian and Indonesians. There are as well some natural disaster happening in Indonesia were some people are burning the forest in the north of Indonesia, that is not only killing a massive amount of animal to create soja soil plantation, but they are polluting the air in Singapore and the surrounding countries too.

BRIGHT SIDE

But this country can not only have all this problems, there should be some positif points and you may be right to think this way. Indeed, some natural resources are still very preserved from pollution and tourism and we will hope that this country will keep it this way.. The corruption and the flexibility of the law make everything possible in this country as the grey zone is very wide. Here almost no norms and only very basic rules to take care of, the business is not an exception. If I were you, I would take care of the relationship between you and the Indonesian that you will associate with, because you will not be allowed to start something alone. If you are an entrepreneur, just take your chance, scale the market, mesure your risk, and avoid all the scams that are awaiting the foreign investment there.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

As I have explained earlier, this country is still a developping one and there is still many things to do whenever you are a tourist or an entrepreneur. To enjoy completely your time there, and not be considered as a wallet on foot, I strongly advice you to join at the population and make yourself good friend that will not only help you to learn the language but could become some business partner in the future ! You should keep in mind when you arrive there, that you have to take the things are they are, and your culture won't change it. So keep your open-mind and open-arms to accept all the difference you will find and do your best to understand them. If there is something that Indonesia can teach you, it is that it's worthless living to work, and that humain connection are very importants.
If someone answer you "later" in Indonesia, you'd rather not expect he to do it.
Jakarta is drawning, the reason why is that they pumped all the water from underground and that makes the ground unstable.
Theoreme, if a foreigner and an Indonesian have an accident, it's always the Foreigner's fault, and he will need to pay all.
If you are walking around very remote part of Indonesia, they will know YOU are here.
The mosques are doing noise 5 times a day, and at 4 in the morning you won't sleep.
If you put plastic bag in the food you fry, it will become more crispy
They sometimes use products to brighten the airs to make the cooking oil clean again
DO no ever come on time in the class, if it's not your classmate, it's your teacher that will be late.
The foreigner are good, their money better, and their VISA even better
In Indonesia, the chicken live free in the open air and are so tasty !
Usually I was eating for 3$ a day a well furnished food.
Gold-Digging, is the national sport of english speaking Indonesian girl.
In the north, they burn whole forest to make soja soil plantations.
If the global warming didn't kill the corals in Indonesia, it's the fishers with their dynamit
I would prefer put my hand in the toilet of my home than the river inside a big Indonesian city.