Oh My Giddy Aunt!


It was the XXXL sized cockroach streaking past me as I opened the bathroom door that did it. I can normally deal with them as they are part and parcel of being here, but this one was three X’s too large for my liking. That, and Monsieur Le Rat who after weeks of keeping us awake at night with his nocturnal scratching and scurrying has now sprung his mortal coil and chosen the very spot directly above our bed in the ceiling cavity as his final resting place. The stench is indescribably awful.

There have been other things in the past few months which have severely tested our patience here at Dengue Villas* – The plumbing, (countless visits from resident handyman have failed to fix it) The gratuitous shower that the neighbour’s bathroom from upstairs gives us every time they flush their toilet (now gaping hole in bathroom ceiling)(been fixed twice keeps collapsing) The washing machine, (seven visits from resident handyman has fixed for the moment, but not holding my breath) and the kitchen units which are so ancient and rotten that the doors are either stuck and won’t open, or come off in your hands – None of these things are helping to enhance our domestic bliss.

All said and done, the bonus of living here and the main reason that we chose this apartment block in the first place is that it is just 5 minutes walk away from the Irishman’s office. In Jakarta, this proximity to work is like gold dust. Commuting to and from work in any city is hard work, but here in Jakarta it is hell and should be avoided at all costs – even supersize me cockroaches, your neighbour pissing on you from above, and rotting rats have got to be better than sitting in stationery traffic for 2 hours.

With our tenancy here about to expire and with no hope of our landlord ever doing the necessary renovations that he’d promised to do before we arrived nearly a year ago, Irishman and I have been scratching or heads as to what we should do.

We’ve been wrestling with the idea of moving to a nicer place, but further away, for some time now because we’d almost given up hope of finding another better-equipped apartment here in Dengue Villas* due to unavailability and high demand.  The turnover for these apartments is so quick, that blink and you’ll miss it, plus you have to put a minimum of one years rent down in advance to secure one. Until this morning it looked like we were out of luck.

By the greatest stroke of celestial wonderfulness, Mr Henry who runs the apartment office, rang me up this morning to tell me that an apartment is now available on the 12th floor. It’s almost ready to move into. The cockroaches are miniscule. The bathrooms are brand spanking new. There is a new washing machine and a new fridge and the kitchen doors dont’ fall off (I checked them) Oh and just look at the views!!

In the first photo if you look carefully you can see this statue on the flyover. The photo above is what Pancoran used to look like in the 1950’s!

Photo number two gives you a birds eye view of the Pertamina petrol station  which has a cafe that we sometimes go and eat in.   This celubrious eaterie also hosts karaoke every evening should you be of the persuasion.

The third photo shows the Irishmans office – the white porticoed entrance. I can blow kisses or moon to him from the balcony.

Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that all goes according to plan……

*Dengue Villas is the affectionate name that we give our apartment block. It also happens to be a serious disease that is rife here in the rainy season and I hope something that we don’t ever contract.

Dengue fever – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

15 Comments

  1. Lavender for the rat we used to spay it on he wall by the Vic and I got to say it did the trick untill it was either eaten by something else or dried up.took a lot of lavender
    You are brave cockroaches just not my thing
    I remember the James bond manuver lighting the aristotle can with the lighter and flaming them.

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    1. I don’t think cockroaches are anyones thing! Sadly I don’t have bunches of lavender to hand, but I’ve got some rather extravagent room spray that we bought in Shanghai Tang in Singapore on our last visa run there – it’s got the most heavenly smell – Ginger Flower and masks a multitude of sins, rotting rat being one of them 🙂 Hope you are having a great time in Skiathos xo

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  2. Fingers crossed…hope you get it. Rotting rats permanent stink here too….or maybe it is squirrel. Now have two cats but they don’t seem to be doing the trick. Cxxx

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    1. Thanks Darling. My total sympathy with the smells whether they be squirrel or rat – yuk. I really can’t describe it, it’s sort of sickly sweet but in a repugnant way. too gross! Cats aren’t cut out for rats, you need a feisty Jack Russell for that. Do you still have that rat run under the rabbit hutches? xxx

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      1. The smell is something else. Putrid is a good word for it.
        Patrick got stuck in a car wash once I can’t remember the details except he said he smelt the same thing. It was sou’f London Alli can think of is body in the back seat!

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  3. The commute part I get…but seriously, Lottie? Grab that Irishman bloke of yours by whatever body part is handy and get the h-e-double-l out of there! Monster roaches, dead rats, and showering in some stranger’s pee from above…you’ve got to be kidding me!

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    1. Fingers crossed! this time in 3 weeks we will be 7 floors higher than the stinky rat AND I’ve checked the ceilings for ominous signs of pee. there doesnt seem to be any. We both know what would be preferable but that’s for another day…..until then onwards, and upwards!

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  4. That was just a lovely and quirky and interesting post. I’m hooked and will be back. I live in Depok on the outskirts of town. The only thing that keeps me awake is the Mosque, and being Ramadan, don’t get much sleep. But at least I know what the time is, 2:12 first call of prayer, the midday one usually means its time for me to wake up. I’m wondering why I’ve got raccoon eyes!

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  5. Thanks for your lovely comment and I’m glad you liked it. Thanks also for now following me. I shall be returning the compliment and look forward to reading your blog too.

    We heard yesterday that we’ve got the apartment. I’m hoping that moving up 7 floors is going to be a major improvement. We are still stuck on a traffic island but at least we now get great views!

    Yes, I absolutely understand about the Mosque. Much as I love the sound of the Call to Prayer, having six Mosques around us means the noise is something else – there seems to be a competition amongst them who can call the loudest. I’ve given up trying to get back to sleep so instead I get up at 4.30am put the kettle on and start my day. This is all fine and dandy except by lunchtime I’ve peaked and from then on it’s a downhill slide.
    Total sympathy with the raccoon eyes!

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  6. When do you find out about the new apartment? I hope your answer is “yesterday” and that you’re already moving!! My fingers (toes, eyes, knees and elbows) are crossed for you. Your current place sounds a lot like my first apartment. Seriously! Only instead of having neighbors peeing overhead, we had drunken gamblers wandering through the “gardens” (wild brush) outside our window, who enjoyed serenading us with their “music” (pissing in the wild brush). Keeping in mind I was 17 when I lived there, I would never wish to go back, not even for nostalgia’s sake.

    Love the views from your new place. And I’m sure your Irishman will enjoy looking up from work to see his lovely wife mooning him! Hahaha! xoxo

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    1. 🙂 The views are brilliant and quite different from the ones that we currently have. I think we will be moving at the end of the month. It will be fun to be somewhere new but not have to actually move out but upwards instead.

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