Yet another post about Jakarta’s traffic. A complain from a regular driver.
According to our new governor, the number of motorcycles in Jakarta is now 13,000,000 and cars 3,000,000 out of total 100,000,000 people living in Jakarta. 1,000,000 of the motorcycles are used for online motorbike-taxi (‘ojek online’ a.k.a. ‘ojol’); the number keeps increasing by day and the ‘labor unions’ are getting stronger and more solid.
Cars in Indonesia are mostly right-wheeled, so the normal rules are for slower vehicles (including but not limited to heavy trucks, buses with frequent stops except Transjakarta, bicycles, and motorcycles) to be on the left and faster on the right lane. However, it is clearly not the case in this city which is nominated one of top 10 cities with worst traffic in the world. As mentioned in the title: patience is key to survive Jakarta’s traffic.
The poorer is the pity one, hence needs protection/immunity from the laws (including when laws are violated). The order from the richest to poorest: car drivers – motorbike riders – pedestrians. Whenever a case arises on the street, the richer is always the guilty one.
As an addition to rule no. 1, it is not necessary for motorcycles to be ridden on the left lane. They are free to look for the ‘quickest’ possible lane, especially in the middle of traffic jams, because why bother joining the congestion when you are slim and able to slip in between cars?
Even when we’re free from motorcycles, in toll roads another rules apply:
Heavy-loaded trucks, the slowest vehicle on the road, are necessarily on the left
Lighter-loaded trucks/vans/buses, which are obviously faster, are free to take any lane they want – including the most right lane during ’emergency’, regardless of the speed limits the vehicles allow
Private cars are left only with with the most right lane, hence blocking occurs when slower cars are in front. Faster cars are forced to overtake from the roadside.
On a 2-lane roads, (I also don’t know why) slower motorcycles and cars really like to take the middle lane (neither left nor right), blocking both lanes and won’t slide even when dimmed.
Crossroads, U-turns and roundabouts are the most dangerous of all parts of the street. Cars and motorcycles are free to drive at any possible angle to turn to any possible route, creating chaos and deadlocks now and then.
Confession: I did something crazy last weekend – I spent the whole Saturday and Sunday going to Bandung with my 2 male best friends. (Don’t get me wrong here, they’re like brothers to me and they take care of me as much as brothers will do to their sister.) During the 2 days, we had 2 other girls joining us and both gasped with surprise when they heard that I studied electrical engineering with the 2 guys.
So how did I survive in a male-dominated field? (This will also answer some girls’ questions on how to survive there.)
Be some kind of a hybrid individual: be nice and polite when you’re with girls and be careless when you’re with guys. This will work perfectly, trust me. I’ve been doing this thing for the last 9 years. One thing to remember about this tip is to balance the two – you have to get close to girls as much as to guys, otherwise the girls will start talking about you behind your back. Nobody wants that. Ewh.
Be blunt when speaking. This is the easiest and the hardest part for me. I’ve always been a blunt one since I was in high school (all-girl high school, remember?) that sometimes I forget that I’m surrounded by normal, soft-hearted girls who can’t take blunt words easily. The thing is, guys don’t understand codes and signs girls normally make, so speaking things directly is always the best choice.
Understand guys’ ways of thinking: the key is to be logical most of the time. I know it’s hard for girls to do, even I fail sometimes (specifically during ‘that’ time of the month, doh), but this is the way to get guys to respect you. The easiest way to learn guys’ ways of thinking is by playing games with them – they will become themselves when playing games.
Be ambitious at work. Not to tackle people on your way to success – that’s not ambitious, that’s mean, but to know what you’re actually doing (this also means: never mix up personal and professional matters), where you’re going, and where you want yourself to be next. Pssst.. they will also be very happy and proud if you ask them for career advice. Don’t be too much in this, though..
Keep yourself up to date with politics and economic news. Because those are the topics they will most likely discuss with you during coffee breaks. They like to keep topics about ladies and sports to themselves, but they will discuss about politics and economic with you. Don’t forget office politics as well. 😉 I know it’s hard for you ladies to keep your mouth from talking about everything you know, but it’s better to be able to control your mouth when speaking about others. Guys like gossip, but not too much.
Be able to make decisions without hurting their ego. I often find girls answering “up to you” when guys ask them about where to go or what to do now. Don’t do that so often. To survive male-dominated world, you should be able to make your own decisions, with note of not hurting their ego. They’re still guys, so say your decision and ask their opinion about it. They like to feel superior and let them be, without making ourselves inferior.
Hope this helps. I will continue the list if I have something more in mind. 🙂
I tweeted yesterday (which translates): “No. 1 repellent to a guy (who’s not your boyfriend) is admitting that you’re pretty (regardless you really are pretty or super ugly)”.
The reactions to the tweet were:
A guy retweeted my tweet, means he agreed to the statement.
A girl who’s been in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend replied: “Then no. 2 would be saying that I’m a petite girl :D” (when in fact she’s not that tiny thin petite type of girl).
It then inspires me to create this list of “Top 5 Guys Repellent“. Here it goes:
Saying that you’re pretty (or simply acting like you’re the prettiest girl in the world). Everyone should agree with the statement: every girl is beautiful in her own way, but you don’t have to say or act like you’re the prettiest one alive. It sucks for guys, and even more for other girls. Well explained.
Dressing over or over-doing your make-up. The secret is to be natural (not the go-out-without-any-makeup natural though), but doing grocery shopping wearing a dress and full make-up.. really?? This doesn’t mean you can’t dress up and make up at all, but you have to know where you’re going and to what event.
Being a spoiled little “princess”. No matter which kind of family you’re from, being a spoiled girl is a big no before he’s officially your boyfriend. Even after you’re in a relationship, your boyfriend might leave if you’re way too spoily. Trust me, any guy who wants to have a serious relationship will search for independent women instead of a little girl that he must “take care of” everywhere he is.
Bringing negative energy around. Having a bad day once in a while is acceptable, but being grumpy all day ONLY because you have a pimple on your nose or you have a bad hair day is not acceptable. Remember, with negative thoughts come negative energy, which attracts negative things to happen. Always be positive and positive things will come to you.
Living for the present. “Forget your past, stop worrying about the future, and live for today”? Well that’s true.. BUT it doesn’t mean you don’t make your own vision and mission for the future. You have to plan things out to become a better you. Just remember not to mention your plan of getting married or having kids in the near future to a guy who’s not even your boyfriend yet.
Those are my top 5 list. What are yours? 😉 *actually there are more to those, but I’m writing 5 to keep it simple