March 28, 2018

Boost your power! Adding more power (daya) to your existing electrical service is not difficult to arrange and doesn’t take much time. A certified PLN contractor needs to do the installation. He will work for PT. Adi Putra, CV. Karya Mulya, CV. Karya Indah Teknik CV. Pancar Electric Kusuma Teknik, CV. Maha Putra Engineering CV. Adi Jaya, CV. Manik Mas or the CV. Harry Soft Group. The cost depends on how much power you add. For example, 900 VA will cost Rp1,352,000 and 2,200 VA will cost Rp1,467,280 which includes registration, labor, fuse box, materials, etc. You or an Indonesian friend needs to explain the situation clearly both to your landlord and to the people at PLN. Your landlord should give you permission to add your own power if you offer to pay all before and after costs. Only the owner of the building is able to add more power, or give his permission to someone to register at PLN on his or her behalf. Take a copy of the property owner’s KTP, directions to your house and your landlord’s last electricity bill on which his name appears. When you move, just call PLN 123 to discontinue the service and to make sure that you’re not billed further. There will be about a Rp500,000 charge to return to your landlord’s original service.


Domestic Immigration Department Heads Up! The imigrasi department for Indonesian citizens is open 8 am to 10 am except lunch break 12 pm to 1 pm. *The office closes at 3 pm but they remain open until 5 pm servicing those who have taken a ticket and are still waiting. *Never go on a Friday or on the day after a long holiday. *The congestion is such that you should forget about taking a car unless your driver can drop you off and come back later to pick you up; if you’re on a motorcycle, you can get much closer to the immigration office. *Patrons of the crowded domestic waiting room should get there by 9 am and grab a ticket to reserve a place in line; ticket dispenser closes at 10 am. *No more than 200 tickets are dispensed each day. *If you apply online for an Indonesian passport, you wait a longer time on a waiting list and on the processing of your passport. *Applying for an Indonesian passport in person, on the other hand, takes 1-1.5 months and 2-3 visits to imigrasi. Bring birth certificate, KTP and KK. *If you want to visit imigrasi just one time, hire an agent. Their fee for an Indonesian passport is Rp2 juta plus the passport cost (Rp355.000). *Take very good care of your Indonesian passport; you’ll be fined at least Rp600,000 if it’s soiled, damaged or torn and will have to wait 6 months to renew it!


Getting around. The 50,000 vehicles passing through the Jasa Marga Toll Way gate every day cause bottlenecks; save time by having your non-cash electronic payment card topped up and don’t remove the card too quickly from the slot reader. *Driving while distracted causes accidents. Protect yourself and others by following commonsense precautions while driving: 1) Put your smartphone out of sight and out of reach; 2) Use navigation apps only if phone is mounted on dash; 3) Don’t wear ear buds. *Affordable accommodations in Singapore can be found at Traveloka and, but Traveloka prices include all taxes and service charges. does not, so may appears cheaper but when you are billed from the price may be higher than Traveloka. *If you’re headed for Indonesia’s Outer Islands, is a great site to look for budget flights. * For Lombok and the Gilis, check out the Patagonia Xpress which uses diesel engines and working safety equipment. *Traveling abroad, always bring two ATM cards in case one of them doesn’t work.


Tech Pointers. Black & white laser printers are fast, tough, compact, produce razor sharp printouts and the toner (a black ink powder) and overall operation are substantially cheaper than overpriced inkjet cartridge printers. *The         free security tool Malawarebytes Anti-Malware for Macs specifically protects against ransomware; free Bitdefender’s Anti-Ransomware is best for Windows. *Podcast Addict (Android) allows you to manage podcasts, radio, audio books, live stream, YouTube, Twitch, SoundCloud channels and RSS news feeds from a single app. *No cost for the first book you order from audio book service (; you may also order a free audio book for a friend.


Food & Health. Wrapping cheese tightly in wax paper is a beautiful way to keep cheese fresh rather than plastic which suffocates cheese and causes mold. Store cheese in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator, where the temperature is cold and stable. The harder the cheese, the longer it will last. *For spa supplies, essential oils, carrier oils, as well as organic beauty products free of harmful chemicals, go to Lotus Food Services, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 18 Jimbaran, tel. 0361-701-001 and Nadis Herbal Herb shop, Jl. Suweta, Ubud, tel. 081-238-16024. *Herbalife is a reputable brand for safe, organic, “natural” beauty products. *Microwave ovens are bad for plastic containers and blast the nutrients out of vegetables. Instead, heat your plate of food inside a Jawa brand stainless-steel steamer (Rp150,000).


Oh rats! We recently had to spend more than Rp2 juta on replacing a tangle of electric wiring under the car hood that hooked up the battery, headlights, starter motor, etc. which had been eaten by rats while parked in our garage – not that uncommon an occurrence in the tropics. To combat rodents, we used the oldest way to kill them or scare them by getting a cat, at the same time doing our bit to make our cat happy. We also now hang a bright white light under the front of the vehicle which repulses these nocturnal animals by exposing them to predators. If the car is sitting, keep rats away by starting the engine for at least 15 minutes every week. Indonesians keep outside washing machines, furniture and appliances from being damaged by rodents by moving them around once in a while, keeping the area well-swept and the floor clean with strong detergent.


U.S. Citizens Corner. U.S. passports are now 52 pages and U.S. consular services no longer add pages to U.S. passports, even though they may still be valid. If you run out of blank pages, you need to get a new passport which takes 3 working-day weeks to process in Bali (the application is sent to Washington). First make an appointment at Bali’s U.S. Consular Agency, Jl. Hayam Wuruk 310, Renon in Denpasar, tel: 0361-233–605. Bring a photo 2” x 2” with a totally white (not tan or off-white) background. No eyeglasses. Bring your current or invalid passport. Enter your address in pencil in the new passport. Cost: US$110 by credit card or around Rp1,500,000 in cash. More info at *For homesick Americans, Skippy peanut butter is now bumping up against Rp75,000/500 gr) which necessitates making your own peanut butter. One kg of peanuts (Rp25,000) produces three 500 gr jars of peanut butter.


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Copyright © 2018 Bill Dalton

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