I’d arrived in Indonesia in March 1997 looking for a job at a language school. It was the wrong time as it was at Idul Fitri, and the schools told me to come back in a month. So I headed off to Sulawesi. Returning to Bandung I managed to get some teaching hours first at TBI (The British Institute) and then secured a part-time contract with EEP (Executive English Programs). I was initially staying at the Hotel Sahara which sadly no longer exists.
Once I had saved enough money to rent a house (we needed to pay 6 months in advance I seem to remember!) I moved out of the Hotel Sahara and on 27 April moved into a house in Dago (99 Jalan Cisitu Indah VI) with my American friend Jim. Here are a few photos in and around the house. Me and Jim lived upstairs and our landlord and family were downstairs.
These photos are from 1997/98. I found the area on google maps in 2023 and the place has changed beyond recognition. The house I lived in seems to have disappeared – either knocked down or completely surrounded by new buildings. The paddy fields in the photos have completely disappeared under concrete. the one thing that remains is what we knew as Pojok Pub but which is now known as Erla’s Mexican cafe – it did actually become the Mexican cafe when I was there because it was a friend of mine, Chris who taught Erla how to make some Mexican dishes. It was a bit different back in the day when the “cafe” was simply the family home with a couple of tables in the front room.
The paddy field outside my house through the changing seasons.
A few photos inside the house.
Not long after I arrived election fever gripped Indonesia. Of course the elections were rigged and the yellow party: Golcar and its leader Suharto won easily. the weeks leading up to the election were marked by processions of the various parties – mainly the yellow party: Golcar, the green Islamic poarty PPP and the much small red party who were eventually to gain power after I had left. Interestingly this was the last election he won. My time in Indonesia was bookended by this election and then his ousting in May 1998 but more of that later.
Meanwhile Life for me carried on as normal:
Work at EEP
More formal photo of the team at EEP
With the teachers for a special meal at the Sheraton:
17 August is Independence Day, a chance for lots of fun and games. these were just a few of the activities taking place outside my house. I even had a pillow fight on the greasy pole and lived to tell the tale!
a bit of Bandung streetlife:
I went to a traditional Indonesian wedding:
Various trips with my girlfriend Lis:
Domas crater near the symbol of Bandung: Tangkuban Prahu (The upturned boat) a volcano which can be seen from all over the city.
I even managed to pay a few rounds of golf with two of my students:
Idul adha (In Indonesian) Is an important festival for Muslims and involves the ritual slaughtering of goats and sheep.
Day trip to Candi Cangkuang (3 Sep 1997)
Maribaya, a local beauty spot. Identified as such by heaps of garbage.
Ram fighting is popular:
As I said previously there were riots and demonstrations towards the end of my time in Indonesia, the so-called Krisis Moneter (or Kris Mon as the locals like to say, a play on Christmas), which led to the fall of Suharto and my eventual departure to Sri Lanka. However, time for one last trip as I decided to head to Sumatra and eventually leave Indonesia by boat to Singapore