Ubudian

Ubudian 

I am an expat

 
 
 
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Ubudian posted on the thread Forget Silicon Valley, meet Silicon Bali on the Indonesia forum

We’ve got one of these techno wizards staying in our old house right now. He’s already been here 5 months and has decided to stay another two to finish his project. He says it’s easier for him to work here than back in Los Angeles and being close to nature is part of this, according to him. If you live near Monkey Forest, yes, those critters can be an unwelcome visitor now and then, but they very rarely leave the sanctuary area, so that little tidbit in the article was just for amusement.

Ubudian posted on the thread Sexual Abuse in International Schools on the Jakarta forum

I agree with Luke in that a conviction of this guy Vahey going back to 1969 would almost certainly have been unavailable as a public record to JIS back in the year 1992. I also think it’s safe to assume that any question on his employment record asking about prior arrests or criminal convictions was answered “no.” For a guy like Vahey, to be employed today by an international school would be unforgivable given the Interpol data base and other resources available to check an applicant’s background. This “gang” was contract janitor workers officially not working for the school per se, but employed by the janitorial company contracted by JIS. In some minds this seems to relieve the school of direct responsibility, but in fact, this 5 year old was allowed to go to the rest room unescorted by his teacher or a teacher’s assistant. Moreover the kid was in the rest room for quite a long while and the teacher did nothing about looking into his whereabouts. The mother of the 5 year old was on the program “Indonesian Lawyers Club” two nights ago and gave a compelling tale of the details involved in this case.

Ubudian posted on the thread Sexual Abuse in International Schools on the Jakarta forum

A timely post, and I agree that this recent and horrific event involving the sexual assault of this five year old boy at the renown Jakarta International School (JIS) serves as a stark wake up call for all of us who place our children into the trusting care of educators and school staff members. While there are some 111 international schools throughout Indonesia, there are far more private schools, and of course thousands of public schools. As expats on Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia, it is easy for us to get accustomed and lulled into a comfort zone living in this paradise. We can easily kid ourselves into thinking that this sort of thing only happens elsewhere, and that it couldn’t happen to our own children. The Indonesian mother of this child, who is married to a Dutch expat, was very astute and careful to notice very subtle behavioral changes in her young son before consulting with medical experts, and eventually learning the horrific truth that her 5 year old son had been sodomized at school. That of course causes us to ponder how many more incidents like this go unreported and even unnoticed by parents? The reaction and public outcry over this incident is comforting. Such incidents, when they occur in many western cultures often seem to get less attention and public outrage…perhaps because such incidents there are more common? I don’t know. In this case, the perpetrators of the crime were Indonesian, and not western. Pedophiles can be found within all cultures. For me, the salient lesson in this tragedy can be learned from the boy’s mom, specifically to paying attention to our children and understanding their inclination to remain quiet when they are victims of sexual assault.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

“Hello Ubudian, yes you are most welcome to have your own opinion, but let's face it, from a tiny village outside Ubud you don't really know much about what goes on in Jakarta and West Java except from what you see on TV .” It’s precisely that sort of presumptive comment from you that often gets you into trouble. And moreover, that comment presumes that you would know more, living in Kuala Lumpur until very recently. Firstly, my wife’s older sister is married to a long time member of the Bali Provincial DPRD and a key member of his political party. He is in Jakarta a lot, is well connected and serves on several national committees. We speak very often, almost daily, and I suspect that my insight into what is going on concerning the political climate in Jakarta is likely better than if I actually lived there, and didn’t have that family connection. My Balinese wife holds a masters in business administration, and up until 1998, worked in Jakarta in a managerial position. Another brother in law is a national artist of Indonesia, I Made Djirna, and through him I have personally met a number of the heavy hitting Jakarta tycoons, as many of them are avid art collectors, as I am. And, in the conduct of family business, I am not without my own trips to, and time spent in Jakarta, although in the past five years, I haven’t been there as often as I once was. My wife’s family is prominent and well known. As typical with Balinese families, her family is quite large, and also, it is very close. Within her family there are high level police officers, immigration and customs officials, business persons, priests, and as already mentioned, high level political figures. I know these people. I have been living with them 24/7 for more than the past 15 years. And then of course I have my own considerable contacts here on Bali, and they start with his Excellency, the Governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika on down. My association with Mangku Pastika is through his personal Balian, who has been my own Balian, even before I met my wife. Of course my personal contacts go well beyond his Excellency, but I surmise that a long list of “who is who on Bali” isn’t necessary. However, I am totally confident “Mike” that if we played a game of “who is better known” running your real name around Bali would produce little in the way of confirmation of what you claim as your contacts (heretofore nameless), and my contacts. This particular topic thread is about medical insurance and health related matters on Bali…not Jakarta or western Java. So in reality, all of this discussion about Jakarta and western Java, which you introduced to this thread, is off topic anyway. Nonetheless, it might be that we can accomplish something here, so I’ll continue. As a side note, I was originally solicited by the forum founder to accept the designation “Indonesian expert” and not simply “Bali expert.” I turned that designation down because while I believe my knowledge of Indonesia as a whole is pretty good, it is indeed Bali where I have the greatest amount of expertise and experience. And moreover, that experience is recent and continuous for more than the past 15 years. “Whereas you have chosen to speak the opposite and say there is almost no corruption and that Indonesia is so wonderful.” This is another area which also often gets you into trouble…your annoying tendency to put words in other mouths. I have never said, nor could you ever find anything I’ve ever written, either here or on numerous other forums or blogs where I participate, that states “there is almost no corruption in Indonesia.” What I have accurately stated, over and over, is that great progress has been made here in Indonesia regarding corruption, and that today with immigration and customs officials, one does not find anywhere near the levels of corruption that used to plague this great country. That truism has been supported numerous times by other long time permanent residents and regular participants on this forum. More importantly, it’s the truth. Am I an optimist when it comes to Indonesia? Absolutely yes, and my respect and profound appreciation for this great country made my decision to take full Indonesian citizenship all that more easy. However, my optimism does not cloud my objectivity, and once again, I challenge you to produce anything written by me that would lead anyone to logically conclude otherwise. And yes, Indonesia is wonderful, and again, as most anyone who has lived here for as long as I have will agree, it keeps getting better, albeit there is still room for improvement. No doubt there will always be room for improvement here. That is the message that I continuously relay on this forum, and it’s also the same message conveyed by those other long time permanent expats who regularly post here. And seriously, if you are more reliant on the comments of one particular Balinese driver as opposed to the balanced and more comprehensive comments you can read here by numerous sources, both Indonesian as well as expats, then I suggest you re-think just how it is you formulate your own opinions. “But the way I see it is that so many Asian countries have the same problems, and Indonesia is no better than the others, and in many cases much worse.” And this is a third area which often gets you into trouble…your tendency to make broad sweeping comments which are not offered as opinion, but rather as fact, and without any sort of documentation. So, let’s take that last comment and dissect it a bit by two simple questions…what counties in Asia is Indonesia “much worse” than? And, how is “much worse” to be defined? What possible useful purpose do such broad sweeping comments have? The question is of course rhetorical, because the obvious answer is “none.” “You should also remember that I too am married into an Indonesian family and have chosen Indonesia as my home.” According to you, your move to Bandung is very recent…recent as in just this past month. Also according to you, you lived here in Bali sometime during the 1980’s and into the 1990’s. None of this is verifiable, and none of it is documented. On the other hand I offer a direct link on every post I make here to my section on Virtual Tourist which provides a huge amount of documentation as well as many photos which only someone who is living here, and deeply immersed in the local culture, could have ever possibly taken. Sorry to be blunt, but we have only your word on your experience in Indonesia, whereas I can offer members on this forum who have known me for many years, have been to my compound outside of Ubud, and know me and my family very well. This is a matter of credibility, and in that regard I must be honest and simply say, you don’t have any credibility, because all we have is your word, and a slew of postcard like photos of Bali on the Bali photo images segment of this forum…photos which are typically taken by any visiting tourist to Bali. I don’t know if we can reconcile or not. I’m still trying to put aside another comment you made on this thread (now removed) where you stated, (and in direct support of that now banned troll) “half of what Ubudian says is utter nonsense but there are some who will blindly follow anything he says.” Nobody “blindly follows me” on this forum, but I have earned the respect of many long term expats who also regularly participate on this forum. Thus your condescending comment (also now removed) to lukerege was particularly nasty, “well it's not often I see hero worship.” If we are going to reconcile and find a way to mutually co-exist on this forum, then you are going to have to make some considerable changes to the way you post, keeping in mind the various comments I’ve just made. It really is up to you. Since you already admit that you get a lot of your information about Indonesia from your Indonesian wife, I might also suggest that you let her read this particular post and listen to what I strongly suspect she will say. Note to moderators…before editing or removing this post, please consult with Julien.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

I totally agree with your corrected statement, but to it I would add that it’s one thing to get into the medical college, (using daddy’s money or not), but it’s quite another to maintain the required grades to continue. Also, I for one appreciate your willingness to correct your prior statement, but why would you have made such an outlandish and completely wrong statement, (which you presented as totally factual), in the first place? This is how you originally made that statement: “…and probably you are not aware of this but rich indoensian families can pay to have their sons or daughters go through medical college and become practising doctors. This may be untrue in Bali but for Java it is certainly true.” It seems to me, and others too with whom I’ve discussed this, that you are often prone to present Indonesia and any of its problems, failures and shortcomings in the most unfavorable light possible, and sometimes even to make totally false statements which unfairly disparage Indonesia (as in the case of the quoted statement above). A great quote by the American writer Harlan Ellison comes to mind: “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ;) Good night.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

It sounds like you’re a medical insurance underwriter’s dream. Family medical history and your medical history all factor into rating your premiums. There are probably some good local companies to consider. For me, it’s all about the insurance company’s reserve base and how much of their risk they have to pool out to other carriers. In other words, a company with a long history and a solid track record for paying claims on time and without pulling some mysterious small print out of a hat like a rabbit is what is of most concern to me. As we age, our priorities normally change from estate building to estate preservation. When kids are involved, this only becomes more crucial. Everyone’s situation is different, and for certain, these situations change over time. I’ll be curious what you hear from WR. Cheers!

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

Fred, have you tried getting a quote from William Russell? Keep in mind that in order to get the lowest premium cost, you should use the highest deductible you can afford. The deductible is of course that amount of the total medical bills per year, or per occurrence, that you can afford. In a pinch, if you could come up with $2,000, then ask for a quote with a $2,000 deductible. Unless you have a history of medical issues, you should find the premiums to be very reasonable. Medical insurance should be for catastrophic occurrences…disasters that will bankrupt you if you have to pay for all the care out of pocket.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

“Assuming that expats are more wealthy than the average indonesian, it would still seem to be extremely reasonable for expats to seek better medical treatment overseas (if within our budget) and certainly for serious illnesses.” For serious illness, that’s obvious. Or, as my oldest son Bima would say, “a no brainer.” That is precisely why most medical insurance policies for expats in Indonesia include coverage for emergency medical evacuation. “Indonesian medical care is not all that good.” According to who? You? In my last post I just cited the 2000 WHO report which puts Indonesia at the 48 percentile in ranking. That means that as of the year 2000 Indonesia was ranked as average in quality of medical care. By all accounts if the WHO did another current study, Indonesia would rank higher. But of course, if you want to dispute that finding by the World Health Organization, be my guest. There are plenty of Indonesian medical students who study abroad, and moreover, there are many foreign students studying medicine in Indonesia…the International Medicine Program at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta as just one example. Surprise, surprise, foreign medical students coming to Indonesia to study medicine. “…you are not aware of this but rich indoensian families can pay to have their sons or daughters go through medical college and become practising doctors.” No question that medical schools cost money, but if you’re inferring that one can “buy” a medical degree in Indonesia you are very mistaken. Making sweeping and exaggerated statements do nothing to benefit the readers of this forum. Moreover, one misdiagnosis that you have personal knowledge of is no indication of anything aside from one misdiagnosis. It happens everywhere, thus the term “second opinion.”

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

Since the topic of this thread is health insurance for expats on Bali I fail to understand how comments about what Indonesians, other than those in Bali, do regarding their medical care choices relate to the issue being discussed. But, since it’s been raised, allow me to correct some of the prior comments. True enough, wealthy Indonesians may well choose to head off to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok for serious medical issues, but they are a small minority. I guess you would have to have lived here for many years to understand that the vast majority of Indonesians, when in need of medical care, are more than happy to rely on local medical care as provided by a myriad of excellent medical facilities, as well as local healers which are found in a number of indigenous Indonesian cultures far beyond Bali, and its famed Balians. As for the quality of medical care available in Indonesia, again, I guess one would have to be a user of local medical care to understand that it’s actually pretty good. In fact, in a year 2000 WHO report about the quality of medical care for each world country, Indonesian ranked right in the middle, and that was way back in 2000…or 14 years ago.* Today, if such a study were done, Indonesia would surely rank even higher. It’s a pity that the WHO hasn’t conducted a more recent study to verify what anyone who has been living here for many years already knows. Back in the 1980’s and even to the late 1990’s it used to be fair game to knock the quality of medical care available in Indonesia…but things change, and here in Indonesia, things generally change for the better…once again, as anyone who has lived here for past decade and one half, already knows. *Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems_in_2000

Ubudian posted on the thread Moving to Bali, Lovina on the Bali forum

Hmmm, I read his post as offering help as opposed to asking for help. You might well be right that he's asking for help Stumpy.

Ubudian posted on the thread Ubud Restaurants and food? on the Bali forum

In Ubud, there are tons and tons of great restaurants featuring authentic Indonesian food from all over the archipelago, and not just Bali. Seriously, listing them would take hours as there are so many. Just as good and at a fraction of the cost are the many street side warungs run by locals, (both Balinese locals and other Indonesian locals). If you look in during busy meal times and see a lot of Indonesians there, then that’s your clue. Spicy, or hot (pedas) is the norm here, so have no worries about that. Because of over the over saturation in the restaurant business here in Ubud, turnover is very high, so the challenge is more in finding a bad place to eat as opposed to a great place to eat. Do some internet searching and read current reviews as a starter, but keep in mind, it’s always the spontaneous and unplanned things about Bali that always remain the most cherished memories.

Ubudian posted on the thread Healer in Bali ! on the Bali forum

I’m sending you my regular e-mail address via private message. When your future travel plans have you coming to Bali, I’ll be happy at that time to provide you with specific contact details.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

Yes Ricky, they are insurance brokers, not an insurance company as the name suggests. The insurance companies they represent are Allianz, Zurich, Asuransi Rama and Assuransi Bintang. We have already discussed on this thread that premiums for medical insurance with Allianz are higher than with William Russell.

Ubudian posted on the thread Health Insurance on the Bali forum

Ricky, this thread is about health insurance (medical insurance) not life insurance or investment (annuity) products.

Ubudian posted on the thread Anything I Should Consider Bringing? on the Bali forum

Food can be a bit dicey at Ngurah Rai, but of course nothing like going into OZ with food. :( If vacuum sealed, no matter what it is, no problems. Some friends from Paris brought me a whole wheel of Brie de Meaux when visiting last year and that wasn’t an issue, but shortly after that other friends from San Francisco brought me six very thick butcher cut and butcher wrapped rib eye steaks. That was initially an issue, but customs eventually let them in. Carrefour generally has a pretty good selection of imported cheeses, but then again, it is expensive, so I would suggest you go for it and bring whatever you can carry.

Ubudian posted on the thread Anything I Should Consider Bringing? on the Bali forum

I’ll bet you’re pretty excited about your move to Bali next month. Here’s wishing you the best of luck with your move. If you enjoy top quality bed linens and towels, then yes, you would be better off bringing those with you. They can be found here in Bali, but they are more expensive than what you would pay back in OZ simply because the duty on imported textiles is very high (40% last I checked). Other things you might consider bringing with you are tools and cutlery. I have to say that Indonesian made tools are flat out junk and the same goes for cutlery. Once again, you can find top quality imported cutlery and tools here (Ace is the place) but also again, the prices are insane. Cheers and once again, good luck with your move.

Ubudian posted on the thread The world’s happiest country is Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

"I don't think anyone can say whether one country or another has the happiest people..." But you already agreed with your simple reply "yes" to Enny's original question..."do you agree with that?" And what is it that's so simple about your average Indonesian's "lifestyle?" :/

Ubudian posted on the thread The world’s happiest country is Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

"I have one thing less to worry about ... " Well then John, that's an excellent conclusion, as none of us want to have to worry about you worrying about us. :) BTW, you never did answer the very same question that Enny and I both asked you, "Have you ever been to Indonesia?"