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What New Expats Should Expect in Indonesia

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Moving to Indonesia

Moving to a new country is definitely among the most hectic yet thrilling occasions.

Aside from the load and stress of preparations and paperwork, moving to a foreign country can cause severe homesickness despite the exciting adventures that wait. Moving to Indonesia is no different.

One significant cause of this is the culture shock that expats might face due to the different customs and ways of life. In order to prepare for this, it is a good idea to know what to expect. These are some of the things to expect when moving to Indonesia.

Walking in the Street isn’t a Norm
In Indonesia, people do not usually walk in the street to get from place to place, especially in urban areas. People use cars or motorbikes to commute; even it is just a distance of a few hundred metres away. This could be due to the lack of zebra crossings, sidewalks to walk on, crossing signs, etc. However, the lack of these facilities might be because the structure is built on the non-walking culture here, which makes them have little to no purpose. So, it is definitely something to prepare for when moving to Indonesia, as choosing to walk might prove to be troublesome or even dangerous in an area where it is not supported with proper facilities.

Tips aren’t Expected in Restaurants
Unlike the habits of our fellow friends in the West, tipping waiters, taxi drivers, and what is not expected here in Indonesia. Their income mostly comes from their salaries; therefore, tips are not usually given by customers. Tipping large sums of money here may also stand out as being odd due to this. We are not discouraging tipping for those of you who like to practice this, however, this is just a heads-up to avoid confusion, and most importantly to avoid expats thinking someone is cruel or stingy for not giving a tip here.

Also Read Is it Normal to Tip in Indonesia?

No Shoes in the House
Like most Asian countries, wearing shoes in the house is not something we see. People typically do not use shoes in their houses. Likewise, guests are expected to take off their shoes before entering someone’s house. They do this as a sign of respect, so it’s definitely a good one to keep in mind!

Elders aren’t Usually Called by their Names
Also like most Asian countries, people in Indonesia don’t usually call elders by their name as it is considered rude. For someone whose age is not very different from yours, you can call them “Kak” which means brother or sister. For someone whose age is a bit further away from yours, you can call them “Bu” for women and “Pak” for men. It’s worth taking note of!

Diverse Food Options
Some people might think that the food in Indonesia is “just” made up of traditional food, but this assumption is false. Indonesian traditional food consists of different varieties as each region has its own unique traditional dishes. The culinary scene is definitely very broad, as not only does Indonesia have their traditional dishes but there are also international food options to choose from. There are numerous restaurants and shops where you can get Japanese food, for example, serving everything from ramen to sushi. There are also Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Korean, and so many more types of food that you can enjoy here. So don’t worry, there will surely be food here that you’ll love!

These are just some of the things to be aware of when moving to Indonesia. It’s very helpful for expats to know these points so that they can transition smoothly here. Be sure to pass this information to fellow expats so they can have a smooth and seamless move to Indonesia as well!

Also Read 7 Best Retirement Locations in Indonesia and The Cost of Property

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