I am an expat


Latest Activity

Ubudian posted on the thread home schooling and bali schools on the Bali forum

"...the teachers salaries are also very nice."


How many teachers do you know in Bali?  I suspect not many, and for certain I don't know one who would say that their salary is "very nice."   

Indeed these schools operate as a business, as do most all private educational institutions world wide.  But, from our experience having three boys in one or more various private schools on Bali over the many years we've lived here, we have always found complete transparency, including full accounting being regularly provided. 

You are absolutely right though about the parental decisions concerning what schools to send your kids to...or to opt for home schooling.  That is a very personal decision taken by each and every parent, and I don't know one who doesn't consider all the aspects very thoroughly and with great concern. 

For us, part of our decision has always been that kids raised and educated in Bali are afforded an opportunity which far exceeds anything they would be able to experience "back home."  In other words, education in our view far exceeds that which is learned in the classroom.


Number one...bahasa Ingris, aka, English, is the language of this forum.  And, since the Indonesians who post here (and they are wonderfully plentiful) have to use it, you can be really sure that we guests must use it as well. 

Number two...you cannot "buy" land on Sumba, or anywhere else in Indonesia unless you are an Indonesian citizen.  So, what you are looking for is a long term lease.

Number three...Bali is not the right place to be looking for 10 are in Sumba.  Sumba is the place for that. 

Number four...and this is totally personal preference...look more at Flores than Sumba.

Cheers, and good luck.

Ubudian posted on the thread eye doctors in or near ubud on the Bali forum

There are none in Ubud.  You'll need to go to Denpasar (only 45 minutes away) to find good specialist eye doctors. 

Contact either Bali Royal Hospital in Renon or the International Wing at RS Sanglah for an appointment.

Ubudian posted on the thread Visa Requirements? on the Indonesia forum

"They even cleared me of being a future sexual deviant."

Really?  Man, I used to play golf with the Chief of Staff, and they never gave me one of those certificates!!!   :lol:

Good luck, and cheers!

Ubudian posted on the thread Wrong visa ?? on the Indonesia forum

“Clearly they were shooting for an adult magazine, as our agents reported the models were only wearing bikinis,” he explained."

Adult magazines?   :o   

That's not porn Fred.  Even if they were nude, that wouldn't necessarily mean it's porn either. 

"A team of undercover agents were sent to the various photoshoot locations for three days prior to the arrests to ensure enough evidence was acquired to charge the workers."

From my inside source, volunteers for that assignment were "significantly more than adequate", and, you can bet that a ton of that "evidence" is now floating around in endless numbers of hand phones!   :top:

Ubudian posted on the thread No beer in mini markets from this week. on the Indonesia forum

All they need to do is study how prohibition in the US was a complete disaster during the early 20th century.  The market for booze simple went underground, and the US lost huge revenues.  Given how high the tax rates are for imported beer, wine and spirits into Indonesia, the amount of tax revenue lost to Indonesia would be a staggering amount.

If they want to keep young folks from buying the stuff, which is for sure a noble idea,  then enact a reasonable law such as one which requires proof of the minimum age to purchase alcohol, viz 18, 21, whatever.   This should apply across the board and well beyond mini markets…i.e., to getting served in bars or restaurants as well as purchasing at any sort of outlet…wine shop, mini market, warung, super market, etc.  No KTP showing proof of legal age…then no sale…period. 

Moreover, punishing the user of the stuff is simply ridiculous.  Punish the provider…not the user, unless you want your jails totally loaded up.

Ubudian posted on the thread Visa Requirements? on the Indonesia forum

You say that you're in Bangkok presently?  If so, I would head over to Bumrungrad and have them do a physical for you which covers both your medical and mental status.  Bumrungrad is well known in Indonesia as a top SE Asia hospital, and in fact, I've run into several prominent Indonesians there on past occasions.  You'll get a full written report from Bumrungrad which will be signed by several MD's. 

Welcome to Indonesia, fast being the land of OZ.


Ubudian posted on the thread No beer in mini markets from this week. on the Indonesia forum

Tom, just like with the threat of mandatory bahasa Indonesia proficiency to obtain a work permit, this will go by the way side as well.  In fact, I can recall threats of this very same legislation being introduced as far back as my days living in Bali when Soeharto was President, and if I recall correctly, it came up again when Gus Dur was President. 

As for health risks, smarter heads will prevail and understand that it's the home made brews like arak and tuak (just to mention two) which pose a far greater health risk than alcoholic beverages that are either imported, or produced here under license.

And even smarter heads will understand the devastating effect any such law would have on Bali tourism.  Somehow when one puts a dollar cost on such nut job ideas, such notions quickly disappear.  ;)   And, since 99% of the police force on Bali are Balinese, this law would never be enforced here anyway...which is why nobody in Bali is giving this a second thought.

Ubudian posted on the thread No beer in mini markets from this week. on the Indonesia forum

"...but this seems a lot more like trying to enforce religious rules on those of another ideal."

BINGO!  You've got that right! 

And, much like the anti-pornography law (also stemming from "that" religion), this will never fly in Bali.

Ubudian posted on the thread New KITAS regulations? on the Indonesia forum

"I have not heard anything official yet..."

Nor will you.  That's not the way things work here.  Whenever a dumb idea gets floated, and then eventually sunk, it just goes away with no more mention about it.  It's akin to saving face.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

"So something must be not alright."

You bet something is not alright...immigration and manpower are purposefully stalling and delaying new applications, AND renewals. 

There is no discussion about where the problem lies, that is self-evident, and that is why even the best agent is as helpless as the applicant.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

Tom, do you know any folks in Jakarta that are getting their KITAS and IMTAs in just 4 to 6 weeks? 

I don't see this as Bali Ide's problem, rather I see this as a problem within immigration and manpower, most likely coming from a panic over the soon to be effective ASEAN agreement.

But in the end, aside from my compassion for fellow expats...I honestly don't give a flip as none of this is applicable in my case.   


Ubudian posted on the thread Seriously looking to retire to Bali on the Bali forum

Fred, I'll bet that one of the key aspects to your ability to live within that budget you mention is your lease which I'm guessing is one that you negotiated some years back before the crunch.  Another aspect (and one which I also enjoy) is being able to rely on "Mrs. Fred" to do the negotiating and shopping.   :top:

In Bali, any newly arriving expat to be is going to face much higher real estate costs, and "harga bule" rules on Bali, even if one chooses to live in a small village without other expats.  Keep in mind that in Bali, just about anyone with a white face is thought of as a tourist.  Even visiting Indonesians from other islands have to learn to get around the local mentality of "harga tamu" and this is a frustration I've heard being often voiced by other Indonesians.   

The simple answer to your question is yes, things are that much more expensive in Bali.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

Tom, the visa agent/attorney I am referring to is PT Bali Ide.  While they don't have an office in Jakarta they do have agents located there (as well as in Singapore) that they use, and they've been at this game for over twenty years.

The company is owned and headed up by a very well known woman, who is also an attorney, and she is at wits end with what is going on. 

A further complication is that the staff at both immigration and manpower has changed so radically that old time and reliable contacts in those offices no longer exist. 

It's a real mess Tom, the likes of which nobody who has been around for a long time can recall ever experiencing before.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

The final decision is always made in Jakarta. 

"Roy, the attorney/Visa agent you guys are using is also present in Jakarta ?"

No Tom, just Bali, and that could make a difference.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

We recently had a sort of “round table” informal discussion on this topic which involved about 10 expats in the Ubud area, most all of whom have been around for a long time, and all but two with their own businesses.

Each and every one complained that many weeks, and sometimes even months would go by before hearing back that a particular document was missing, or that a particular document was somehow flawed and needed to be re-submitted.  In more than one case the applicant heard four months later that a particular document was missing…four months! 

Many also reported excuses like “sorry, your file was misplaced.”

All of these guys are using a top notch and well known attorney/visa agent which has been at this for twenty years.  The head of that office is beside herself with frustration and has no idea what is behind what can only be described as purposeful stalling. 

One expat who has been here in Ubud for about 12 years running a good Italian pizza business has been at this process of a new KITAS and work permit for a year now.  He needed to change his business from a CV to a PT in order for his visa and work permit to be properly sponsored by his company which is in his Indonesian wife’s name. 

As bad as this is for expats going through this process in order to be legally employed, the situation is much worse for medium size foreign investors…those with investments in the US 300K to 800K area.  For them, all this money has been invested and they are unable to legally work at their own company for months upon months.  No small wonder some have taken up the “f’em” position and are working anyway.  In their minds they have no other choice, as they are bleeding money and have no income from their business.  As one put it…

“Screw the bast..ds” at least if they throw me in the immigration jail in Jimbaran I’ll get to eat.” 

The irony of all this is while on the one hand Indonesia is actively soliciting foreign investors, on the other hand they are encumbering them beyond reason or logic.  All it will take is for a few horror stories to hit major business press venues and many would be investors will start thinking twice about investing in Indonesia.

Ubudian posted on the thread KITAS Processing time... on the Indonesia forum

I wouldn't hold your breath.

I was exactly in your same situation (applications accepted) last September with a very close friend who bought a long standing restaurant in Ubud...and he's still waiting.

Ubudian posted on the thread Looking for school and house on the Bali forum

Since you are going to be living “down south” you should be happy to know that there are a myriad of schools to choose from down there. 

You say you’re arriving in early July.  The academic school year starts right at that time…so, you might want to consider keeping your school age kids out of school for the first term while you do more research on the “right” school for them.  You can do some “home schooling” in the interim. 

Same goes for housing.  As much as a pain it would be living out of a small hotel or guest house for a few months, that sacrifice will pay off hugely in terms of finding a perfect place for you and your family.

When it comes to finding housing, nothing beats having “boots on the ground” and cash in hand.  The variety of housing, and indeed the variety of areas to settle in “down south” are almost endless.   

Good luck with your move!