We lived in Jakarta for 2 years and also lived elsewhere in SE Asia. It probably is one of the most challenging SE Asian cities to live in due to pollution and traffic but we didn't have any problems with our staff who were all very caring and honest. The Indonesians I met were all charming and tolerant people. As much as the craziness of life there frustrated me I really missed it when we left ;). Feel free to PM me with any other questions etc you might have.
I lived in another part of Indonesia for 4 years, and had dd1 in Singapore whilst out there. In my opinion, there are more issues in Jakarta than in Bangkok, but probably not massively so. I am not even sure that safety and security are that much worse, it could just be the culture - we were encouraged to employ staff to help the local economy as much as anything. That said, we were there during the Bali bomb, 9/11, SARS, hotel bombings in Jakarta.... The biggest thing for me is the traffic (and pollution). Make sure your dh has a good package and live close to his work. I could relate an equally long list of horror stories, all happening to me or friends, but at the end of the day, I am glad we did it. It was worth it just for the opportunity to travel through se Asia and Australia.
Oh dear, that doesn't sound very positive at all! We're just sick of DH earning good money on paper, but being really skint in the SE of UK. We've lived in Bangkok before for a couple of years pre-kids (TEFL, low paid but great fun) and loved it, if a professional opportunity for DH came up there we'd leap at it - wasn't sure how Jakarta would compare, and it sounds as you say not the best for children growing up.
I currently live in Asia. Have had 2 sets of friends live in Jakarta and neither of them stuck at it for very long. I have not lived there but have visited several times. Both friends had postings in Bangkok, Singapore, and Dubai but got out before contract had finished. Sometimes a big house and pool just isn't enough. You have to employ locals to work as security (mostly they'll just sit on your garden wall smoking all day) Full time domestic help with both sets of friends proved very dishonest and tried ripping them off - to the extreme of actually emptying bottles of SK11 and refilling with cheap local gunk!! You need to have a driver and will be advised that if ever you are involved in an accident you do not get out of your car but drive straight to a police station to report it. Doesn't sound a very appealing place to be raising a family to me. Yes, there are some pluses but for the moment they escape me! Oh, yes a good base for travel which you will want plenty of, to avoid being there
Thanks rips! Do you live there? Safety is my main concern atm, accommodation looks great, sunshine, pool, have lived in se Asia before and love the food. But not so sure about safety, when the recruitment consultant was talking about having a driver and a security guard