Sanur resident Daniel O’Leary, 52, from Cork, Ireland, graduated in electronic engineering and is now a business advisor in Bali, where he moved with his family four years ago. He shared his day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.

The first thing I think of when I wake up at 5:30 in the morning is that it was a very short night; I didn’t get enough sleep. I think: ‘Shall I turn over and have another nap or shall I get up?’ I get the coffee going. I like to drink black Indonesian coffee. A big part of my business comes from the internet, so it’s a good time to pick up on correspondences and do some planning before I take my daughter to school. Checking emails takes me an hour or an hour and a half and by that time it’s time to get my daughter ready for school.

I leave home at 7:30 and we usually go by car. We use the motorcycle if the weather is good and my daughter doesn’t have many books, which is very rare these days. We both prefer to go by bike because it’s nice and cool in the morning and it’s good to get some fresh air in the lungs.

I get some takeaway breakfast on the way home from a Balinese warung in Sanur. I go to the same place most mornings, so when I park my car they already know
what I want and it’s ready for me to take. I usually have nasi campur. I get home at 8:30 and my wife is usually up and about at that stage.

I work for myself, so I make my own timetable. My wife has a legal business and I have a long experience working in many areas of business myself, so my experience and her legal support are a good combination to provide business advisory services. My work consists in setting up projects. People come in and we do the project from the start. We take care of everything for them, focusing on the practical way of doing things here.

Many times people start projects without thinking it through. They don’t have a proper plan and don’t get in touch with experienced people that can spot where they might have problems. I know some people who have built villas and now they can’t get electricity. But that’s something you should probably think of before you start building your villa. If you want to start a business, plan. If you’re not familiar with Indonesia, don’t have the expectations you’d have in your country because it’s very different over here. Hire somebody who is familiar with the local system.

I have a network of consultants built up over the years in agriculture, construction and many different areas. The most challenging thing is dealing with licenses and getting all the paperwork together. We have to visit all the different offices and sometimes the projects are in Flores or other places, so we must have a team there.

I work from home until around 11 and then go for coffee with a group of friends who have been living here for a while and are my age.  We go to a place next to my house and chat for an hour. After that my wife and I have lunch at home. I eat Indonesian food mostly as Irish food isn’t great and there isn’t a lot to miss. But of course sometimes we do make a big pot of stew and get some friends around; that’s very enjoyable.

After lunch I go back to my computer. I have people in Flores working in a project and we need to keep in touch with them. I talk with government officials. I have to say, corruption is a problem in Indonesia if you don’t have information about your rights. It’s important to go to the government having a clear vision of what you want. It’s easier now that I know their mannerisms and how to talk with them. The most satisfying thing about my job is seeing operations running smoothly. It’s pleasing to help someone with a big project and know they are now up and running companies.

I pick my daughter up from school at 3, and I will normally finish working at 5. After that I go to Turtle Island (Serangan), where my boat is anchored, and meet the boaty people. I relax and then go out for dinner with my family at 7. We walk to the restaurant near my house, usually Little India or Massimo Italian restaurant. I like to drink beer, Bintang, but of course if I have a choice I have Murphy’s stout; it comes from Cork, where I come from in Ireland.
We are very parochial about that. If you’re from Dublin you drink Guinness; if you’re from Cork you drink Murphy’s; if you’re from Cork but you drink Guinness we’re not so sure about you…

In my spare time I like to play folk guitar. I used to play Irish music as a student, for drink and money. If I have a day off I will go out in my 36-foot catamaran. I will sail to Nusa Penida for the day or to the Gili Islands if I have a couple of days.

We get home around 8:30pm. I’m a fan of sports and also like to watch news channels to keep up with what’s happening. I read for a while and then fall asleep at 10 with a book in my hand.

Filed under: One Day

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