It’s not a secret that Jakarta is one of the city with the worst traffic. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why it’s really hard for my dad to allow his daughters driving around alone. Well, in addition to his over-protectiveness over the car (a small scratch will drive him crazy) and the crime level in the city.
Long story short, after a long struggle of 8 years to get dad’s permission to drive on Jakarta streets, he finally agreed to train me to drive (don’t get me wrong.. I’ve had my driving license since 8 years ago, I only didn’t get his permission to drive further than my house complex) last year after I got home from Aussie. 😉 Even though I only get to drive on the weekends for the moment (I can’t stand the jam on weekdays, and I don’t dare driving alone in the evening), I’m quite happy. Plus angry at times. 😛
Here are a few things I learn from driving in the never-sleep-city Jakarta:
1. Impatience will not get you anywhere. Patience will. In the city where the traffic jam is almost at 24/7 level, when you lose your patience, it is more likely to have an accident or at least car scratch. If you don’t want that to happen (other than the fact that you’ll have to yell at other drivers/motorbikers), then just be patient and go with the flow, i.e. enjoy the jam. 😛
2. All motorbike riders are crazy. Accept it. Several days ago, a friend shared a funny picture on Path describing Jakarta motorbike riders, one of the descriptions is that they don’t think with their brains while riding. Somehow it’s kinda true for some crazy riders who never care about the traffic light (WTH riders, Y U keep moving forward when the light’s red?!?!), accelerate in L- and U-turns, or ride through left to overtake cars which already turn the left sign on (and through right to overtake meant-to-turn-right cars). You can never get enough to be mad at motorbike riders.
3. Be quick. One second late and the opportunity will lose. Enough said. 😛
4. Concentration is number one. So put your mobile phones away because you never know when the crowd will move. Moreover, it’s dangerous to text or call someone when you’re driving. There’s no clear rule to this in Indonesia, but in many countries they strictly forbid drivers to use mobile phones when driving.
5. Pray is number 1.
Drive safe. 🙂