Wednesday, March 11, 2009

5 Cabs;1 Bajaj and 1 TransJakarta Bus

When I got my electricity bill, I knew I had something need to sorted, and couldn’t be done only using my fingertips without moving from my chair. Internet couldn’t help much here, phone calls sometime helps, come and visit the government office it does work most of the time. And that is not an easy job to do.

So I devoted one of my free day- today- to get this thing sorted.

After several times called the Electricity Company yesterday, I knew which office I have to visit. I started quite early –just because my husband can gave me a lift until downtown- and got one cab dropped me off the office. 15 minutes waiting –not too bad, my Reader Digest come to help- and a lovely young Customer Service in her 30’s explained me quite clear. The only problem, I had to travel to other office to met Field Coordinator of my Area, to get the problem sort. Means, traveling another 7km.

Out from 1st Office, I found it’s quite hard to find a free-cab. 10 minutes waiting under streaky sunlight, I tried my luck with Bajaj, to get me going to other points with taxi-rank. From Bajaj I got lucky find one free cab, with nice driver ready to take me to 2nd destination.

Arrived on 2nd office, all was fine, the person I met was nice mid-age man with soft voice, gave me all details and data I need, all finished by 11.45am, just before lunch time, I decided to sat down have a drink before heading home.

One sip, my hand scramble inside my bag tried to located my mobile phone, when I touch something hard-plastic-y kind of thing. I froze for 10seconds, before my brain screaming: Oh My God!

Something hard-plastic-y kind of thing turned out to be our car rego-license a.k.a STNK in Indonesia (or whatever you want to call it). I scared to death imagined my husband being pull-over by policeman on random license checking and couldn’t serve this document that suppose to house inside our car-key wallet but my bag.

I tried to ring my husband -which I ready knew it useless; noting he’s stand in class lectured and not be able to pick up his phone- but somehow I still do it for comforting myself. No answer –as I guess- I decided to head to Depok instead home. I looked at my watch, his class will finish in another hour or more, so why I rushing?

Walked out from electricity office, I saw shiny metallic-frame in front of me. Trans-Jakarta bus shelter known as Bus way. Next minute, I can’t believe myself I stepped onto its steps hiked-up and down inside the shelter. Rp.3, 500 away, I found myself on metal bench, waited for my bus, and started taking picture of the shelter. 1st experienced always thrilling, isn’t it. Nothing better than camera to make this scene last forever.

I am happy with the bus. Rp.3500, 5 stops in less than 15minutes along Buncit Raya consider perfect. Off from the bus, hop on into cab, I arrived in Depok in less than 40minutes –though my cab-driver took advantage of me for being unfamiliar with the area we travel, in and out tiny-snake-like lane with 60mph and cost me almost same amount my husband paid if he started from home- . I am okay anyway, thinking on positive side of explored new area and enjoy watched people bustling on both side of the road.

Met my husband, handed the document, quick lunch, I prepare to headed home.

And another drama just began.

There is taxi rank, and by ethical, I can’t choose, had to take first cab available. Not so lucky, halfway home; cab’s air conditioner started playing up. Apparently on its coldest mode still not cold enough and getting warmer and warmer. The driver apologizes thousand times, didn’t do any better, he couldn’t fix it anyway. He started to open his side-window, I breathing smoke, and felt sweaty. Worst than when I waited for my bus previously.

2pm,hot and humid day in one of Jakarta’s corner, I decided to stop, off from my cab, hailed another, and –like we used to study on Bahasa Indonesia subject back then on school heyday- went from ‘mulut singa’ to ‘mulut buaya’; from Lion’s den to Crocodile’s muddy pond.

The cab’s air conditioner was fine –not to cold anyway, just fine- but now its driver annoyed me. His complaint about traffic jam –hello….how long you been driving in Jakarta- and started spilled out his entire problem on everything, connected every problem with traffic congestion. Tried to understand my driver, I hang out and listened and listened. We all human with own problems arise. But somehow I couldn’t hold it anymore. Sick of hearing it, I felt like telling my cab driver for not spelling his problem out because I don’t care, I had enough on my plate!

At the end, I’m off 250meters before my home. I rather walked home and finish my day on my feet. Free of hearing his complaints.

Oh, what a day!

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