Thursday, March 30, 2006

The fixer


So here we were in Jakarta, fresh off the plane without a clue or a place to live, and then we met this guy Chris who set us up with a house and a job.

Well, not quite. The house is still a work in progress. But I do have a job! A real job with benefits and a work permit and, like, a salary! I'll be editing at the Jakarta Post, basically smoothing out articles written in English by Indonesians. Their reporters are quite good, I think (having read the Post online for months now), and it should be fun to work with them.

Also, this takes the pressure off the freelancing: I'll still have some time to do my own stuff, but I only have to do the stories I really want to do ... without worrying about paying the rent.

Chris is a fellow reporter we met at the Foreign Correspondents' Club. We went over to look at his rental house, which he and his wife and two kids are moving out of. Once we'd seen his place, Chris said "Let's look at some other ones too!" so we jumped in his car and went all over his neighborhood, Pejompangan (which is fun to say - a major side benefit, in my opinion). He speaks Indonesian, so he just asked everybody where there were rental houses available. We saw quite a few, from the depressing to the fabulous, most of them within our desired range of 200-300 dollars a month.

On the way back, I asked whether he knew about any jobs, and that's when he passed on the tip about the Post.

There are people around Jakarta known as Fixers. They're the ones who set you up with a visa or get you permission to run a business or otherwise smooth the way for whatever you're trying to do. Chris doesn't list Fixer on his card, or Real Estate Agent for that matter, but I think he should consider adding them. Whatever his day job, he has certainly been our Fixer, and I am grateful.

(p.s. Pardon the 9/11-related pic - not trying to be melodramatic here, it's just far and away the best picture I can find of the Post.)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loving your blog! Did your fixer help you "adopt" your dog? Congrats on the job and possible house. And of course I can't wait until the day you can hike w/ the Java Lava group. We're still trying to come up with a name that cool here in Bloomington.

-adam

crawdaddy said...

Congratulations!
Wow, you guys are good.
You guys need to perfect this skill so you could repeat this anywhere in the world. Close your eyes, throw a dart at a map, buy plane tickets, and within a few weeks have a place to live and cushy jobs. Professional expats. There's a book idea...
j

jakers said...

trish has mad skills yo!


...and it warms my heart that you're finding your niches...those uniquely flavored cheese casserole things my mom always made.

michele said...

Hey!
Big Congrats on the new job!! it sounds really perfect for you right now. (if only we were as lucky as the Indonesians, with foreign editors working at our newspapers whose job was to smooth out the english of our native english writers...)
And i hope you guys are able to rent one of the houses in the "fabulous" category that you mentioned. the "depressing" rentals don't sound as compelling somehow.
Talk about taking Jakarta by storm!
Please add a photo of you working at the paper when possible?!
YEA for you!
-m

Anonymous said...

Whew! Good news, Trish! Love, xxoo

Anonymous said...

Hey Trish! It's been wonderful to read your and Chad's column, and Zak's been getting a kick out of reading them too. I know this has already been said, but I love the way both of you write! Each post is a miniaturized novel. Keep the stories coming!
And congratulations on the job!! It must be a huge relief to have a steady paycheck, and the prospect of a house to live in. Can't wait to see the pics :)
Teceta

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Two weeks and its already in the bag - you rock! Hot damn.

I love the blog - especially reading yours with Chad's - always something new to compare. Its an incredible addition.

I'm off to DC for an ATC internship for the summer -- they tell me I'll get to attend morning meetings and pitch stories - depending on how much truth there is in that, this could mean more good things for both you and Chad :) -- jnb.

Melissa D. said...

Congrats on the job!

walsh said...

oh, man! congratulations, ms. anderton. you are so my role model.
--alw

kopisusu2 said...

Thanks for all the good wishes! Nice to hear from you, Adam! I really have to go hiking soon - these days the only exercise I get is climbing the hotel stairs to our fourth-floor room. And diving out of the way of marauding taxis on the street, which is more of a cardio workout.

Nicole, congratulations on YOUR job - that's great! You're going to make so many contacts. And you never know - a friend of mine from college interned at NPR and wound up producing ATC.