"Tua di Jalan"

Sketches of a Jakarta Commuter by: Rane Hafied

There is a saying which is common among the Jakarta's commuter about "growing old on the streets" or to use the Indonesian terms: "Tua di jalan." This is to describe how we commuters spend most of our time everyday on the streets, struggling to beat the crazy traffic. For my case I spend around 2 - 3 hours commuting to work and another 2 - 3 hours back home. Work is about 8 - 9 hours. Hope that explain the term "Tua di jalan.." :D

My day starts around 5am if I want to get to work on time.

Yeah, this early bird really hates his alarm clock :p

Most Jakartans like me live on the outskirts of the city and usually our first ride to work is the "Angkot."

"Angkot" is a seven seater mini van modified in such a way to become a mini urban transport vehicle capable of taking in more than 10 passengers or even up to 13 or 14 passengers -believe it or not.

Leaving home very early in the morning doesn't mean we loose our precious sleep time. We can always catch up anytime, anywhere..

Woke up late? No worries. Just take one of the fastest and most reliable mode of public transportation in Jakarta: "Ojek" aka motorcycle taxi.

You can also take the notorious three wheeler "Bajaj". There's a popular saying that only God and the driver knows when this beast is going to make a turn. :)

Well, there's always the Taxi if you don't mind paying extra.. The train is also a good alternative, but thats another whole story to tell..

Most Jakarta commuters lives in the suburb area. So leaving for work means they have to go to the nearest bus terminal and take the bus to the city center.

And this is where things would get very interesting..

Some busses in Jakarta has its own onboard live music. They are called "Pengamen"

Some of these pengamens are really good. One of them even went on to become the Indonesian Idol winner!

I always find busses in Jakarta very happening. Apart from the onboard live music, you can find people selling all sorts of stuffs, from newspapers, handkerchiefs, snacks, shades, drinks and even religious sermons!

*Beware, the end of the world is near!

..and if you're lucky you might bump into this guy..

Crime exist everywhere especially in big cities, and Jakartans have developed their own ways of prevention: turn a backpack into a "frontpack" :p

But if you don't feel adventurous enough to experience the Jakarta busses, there is the latest addition to Jakarta's public transportation system: the "Busway".

What happens when it rains and you forget to bring an umbrella? Well, there is always the "Ojek Payung" kids who offers you umbrella rental for a small cost.

The End

..for now..

Rane Hafied

a storyteller | commuter | amateur sketcher | suarane.org | FB: ranehafied | Tw: @jafrane | rane.hafied@gmail.com 04.12.2016

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