Life in the Big Durian drives miserable expatriates to commit suicide

So yet another expat in Jakarta decides to end his misery.

Jakarta –A wealthy expatriate died Thursday in an apparent suicide jump from a 43-story apartment building, authorities said.

Ung Happy, 46, a middle manager at a foreign bank, apparently jumped from an undisclosed section of the Tanah Abang luxury apartment building around 8 a.m. and landed on a parking garage, police said.

The Medical Examiner's office confirmed his death, though the cause was still under investigation.

"Those of us who worked closely with Ung valued his intelligence, humor, and commitment to the ideals of diversity," a spokesman at the bank said in a statement.

“But things all went terribly wrong when he came to Indonesia. He became despondent and he started to have huge mood swings. He even asked for a transfer to Iraq”.

This is the eighty-third time an expatriate has committed suicide in Jakarta in the last two months.

Horrific news obviously. And a real wake up call to those expats who think that they can hack life in the big durian. The message is simple. Get out while you can! Until that little smiley of yours does a 180-degree turn, and you too are heading for the forty-third floor for the very last time…

But what is driving expats to such extremes?

Jo Woolley, a cross-cultural studies expert at AILF, points to a number of factors:

1) Too much nightlife. A real bummer this. All those bars and karaoke clubs in Blok M. Full of expats. Now those foreigners might look happy putting away the bintangs and dancing with the girls and playing pool. But they’re not really happy. Oh no. And all those liaisons with young nubile ladies is a real big downer. Enough to make anyone miserable.

2) Maids. Expats come over here and they get a maid. Possibly two. Or even more! And guess what? They don’t have to do any more housework!! No more washing, cleaning, ironing and all those other wonderful things that foreigners simply love to do!! Can you imagine that!! Makes me miserable just thinking about it!!!!

3) Indonesian food. Foreigners may eat out a lot, but it’s not doing them any good. Too much chili you see. It’s making them SICK. They’d much rather stay at home and have Shepard’s pie.

4) Bali. Beaches. Mountains. Waterfalls. Jogya. Not nice at all. Give me rainy Manchester any time!!!

5) Tropical climate. I repeat: give me rainy Manchester any time!!!

6) Friendly locals. Nah. No good. I much prefer the yobs back home who only understand two words in the English language. “F***”. And “Off”.


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