14 March 2018

Wayne Duplessis - Expat in Indonesia

Wayne Duplessis - Expat in Indonesia

We’ve had the chance to talk to Wayne Duplessis, 56, a Canadian expat who has moved to Indonesia with his family. Mr Duplessis, who has been living there for about 17 years now works as a teacher. Read more about his experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Espanola, Ontario, Canada


Q: What made you move out of Canada?
A: Two things: work was available, and I wanted to see the world.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?
A: I live in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia.
I came here after a year in South Korea. When I decided to leave Busan I was given a choice between China, Russia or Indonesia. I did eventually live in China. A few years later we returned to South Korea.


Q: How long have you been living in Indonesia?
A: About 17 years


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?
A: My wife is from Indonesia, so she’s reasonably well-adjusted. Two of our children were born here, and the youngest was born in China.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?
A: Yes. I get homesick from time to time.


Q: What do you think about the locals?
A: Getting to know Indonesians is easy enough. They’re friendly people.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Indonesia? How did you manage to find a social circle there?
A: Partly because of my work schedule, and partly due to family, I have a small social circle. For a few years I organized events for locals and expats to mix. The time involved was difficult to manage. I had to give up this hobby, although I enjoyed the events and meeting people, familiar and new. If you’re only going to socialize with expats you might want to reconsider the whole travelling to other places thing.


Q: How does the cost of living in Indonesia compare to your home?


Q: How much is a cup of coffee?
A: 10,00(cheap) to about 60,000

Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?
A: 60,000 to 80,000

Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?
A: More

Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?
A: Due to taxes a bottle of wine is very expensive, between 400,000Rp to 700,000Rp. Cigarettes? No clue. Lots of brands here, local and foreign.


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Indonesia?
A: Get all your paperwork in order and ask a local friend or co-worker to take you to the bank. Eventually you’ll get your accounts set up online and life will get easier.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?
A: Visas and governments offices are a necessary annoyance. Eventually you’ll reach a point where you can navigate on your own without agents. Agents serve a purpose, but you pay dearly for the convenience.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Indonesia is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?
A: Healthcare and dental care is ok here. Insurance is important. If your company provides, or you have the means, get insurance. This is for profit healthcare and costs can rise quickly. If you or your family is sick you don’t want to be reaching for your wallet or calculating if you can afford necessary care.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in Canada or Indonesia? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?
A: Find a good provider. Make sure it covers hospital, and a good level of service.


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Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Indonesia? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?
A: No memories. Moving is a trauma best done quickly and forgotten soon after.
We do things ourselves.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?
A: Doing things ourselves, and listening to my wife tell me how disorganized I am.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Indonesia?
A: People, food, travel, culture. Bureaucracy, changing regulations, mosquitoes, traffic


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?
A: Surabaya has amazing sunrises and sunsets. The food is great, in taste and range of selection. Shopping malls and movie theatres are world class.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?
A: At the moment we are looking overseas, because at 56 I am now too old to get a work visa.


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?
A: Prepare for the future


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Indonesia?
A: 1) http://livinginindonesiaforum.org/
    2) Join some expat forums on Facebook