Thursday, April 2, 2009

The House That Joko Built (an update)

The day hums sweetly when you have enough bees working for you - Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

Last February, the groundwork for a new villa across from my place was just getting underway. A fair bit of progress has occurred since then and it now seems like a good time to update.

Now we are getting somewhere. The foundation has been filled in and the walls are up. The beginnings of the swimming pool can be seen on the left. The Villa will three bedrooms along with a living area and kitchen. The pool is planned to be one of the overflow types with a waterfall - that should look nice.

Today's usual peace and quiet was broken by the noise of a cement mixer starting up and lots of shouting of instructions in Indonesian. Today was the day for pouring cement into the forms that would soon become the main support pillars for the house. A few extra helpers were called in especially for the occasion.

The bucket brigade is at the ready.

The bucket brigade in action. The whole time there were pouring cement they were singing a song - I suppose it makes the work go by more pleasantly. Their singing is what got me out of my house to see what was going on.

The best job of the day - mixing cement! I once watched a crew build a three story hotel using one tiny cement mixer along with a block and tackle to get the cement where it needed to go. Amazing!

Someone was planning ahead or maybe he just got lucky. The gravel arrived just-in-time to go into the mixer. Who says Indonesians are not abreast with the latest critical path management techniques?
The cement will take a few days to set and then the forms can be removed and the next stage of building started. Some of the workers have taken advantage of the lull to go home for a family visit.
It will still be some time before this house gets done so I may be able to milk 1 or 2 more postings from it.

btw Just a little something on this whole villa thing.
Although there have been several villas going up in my neighborhood lately, there is still no sign of anything resembling infrastructure from the government. The access road is in terrible shape and some some of the residents of this street still prefer to dump their trash roadside as opposed to having it picked up(for a very reasonable fee). Electricity is at a minimum and the waiting list for power is at least a year (unless you want to pay extra and even that's no guarantee). Anyone thinking of buying a villa here should really apprise themselves of what they are getting. Prices are not cheap and the quality can be frighteningly poor. Caveat Emptor.


schmerly said...

Nice one pj, I noticed their all wearing their PPE!!!

pj said...

I thought about writing a stop card but the safety culture hasn't reached the building industry yet.

These boys are so calloused that the ppe is built in. That bucket brigade went on for hours with no stops for tea. It was hot that day too.

I was well impressed!