The below is a little information for people who will be coming to live in Indoensia. It is just common sense stuff, with a little warning, so the adjustment phase of the new life in Indoensia can be experienced with fewer headaches.

Return Change in Stores
I have found many store clerks very honest and helpful when it came to using the new currency. They could easily have taken a considerable amount from me, but they took the time to explain, and give back the right amount. There are a few who will give them all a bad name. It is these people who could easily make you distrustful of them all. So, all in all, it is safe to be diligent when you are paying for something, as well as counting accurately when getting change back. If in doubt, have an Indonesian friend with you when making large purchases.

Bamboo Bench

Bamboo Bench
One man sold a very nice bamboo bench to a friend of ours for around $30.00 (US). I was present when the bench was being sold, and the person selling it said that he had been carrying it around on his back for 100 kilometers trying to sell it. Our friend felt so bad that he gave him the $30.00. I found out later that this bamboo bench can be purchased for $15.00 (US). I also saw that same man, latter that day, carrying yet another bamboo bench. I wonder how many other westerners believed him when he told them he had been carrying it for 100 kilometers?

Others came to our door selling paintings. The paintings were very beautiful and colorful, but we just didn’t want any. They came around multiple times trying to make a sale. Others came attempting to sell souvenirs. Again, they were very persistent people, and the items they were trying to sell were of very good quality and workmanship, but they were asking four times what the items could be purchased at a store selling the same items.

Cons Coming to Our Door
We know of other westerners that had their heart strings plucked and they gave away a significant amount of money without first verifying the accuracy of the story they were being told. One family we know was approached by a person they didn’t know, telling them that one of their mutual Indonesian friends was in the hospital, and that they needed money right away for an operation. This family gave them the money, but there was no truth to the story whatsoever.

More information on “Money Matters” in the near future.