how to survive Jakarta’s traffic: patience is key

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.

Image result for worst traffic cities jakarta

The realities/road rules today (illustrations taken from kompasiana and si.mbot’s instagram):

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.pacman
  5. 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.

 

 

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Christmas in vain

Time has gone by so quickly lately that I didn’t even realize that [again] this blog has been ignored for so long 😦 I’ve been quite busy but still in the region of happiness. My health has reached its limit, though..

Busy-ness started on Friday 3 weeks ago, when I met up with 2 old friends and ended up going home with my boyfriend, who just finished his “year end” celebration with ppl from his division at work. Later the next weekend, I joined the “year end party” of my boyfriend’s office *arrived home at 1 am*, attended 2 friends’ weddings 2 days in a row. The next week, which is last week, I met up with best friends after work aaaand the Jakarta traffic madness started on Friday, when the rain poured like crazy since 2 pm. I arrived home at 9 pm on Friday, then at 7 pm on Saturday (I was planning on going home early since I felt so tired, so I left at 3 pm in the hope that I’ll reach home by 5 pm).. and here I am, lying on my bed on Christmas day, when the other family members are having a feast. 😦 So sad.

I’m supposed to be sleeping, but realizing that there’s nothing else I could do *somehow I could never fall asleep staying alone at home *I’m a paranoid, I guess.. I end up browsing on YouTube, which I haven’t seen in 3 weeks or so, and updating my blog.

Anyway, regardless of my health state, I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas. I hope there’s no one else like me, getting sick on Christmas, unable to attend any feast with family and friends. May the peace, joy and blessing of the birth of Jesus Christ be with you and your family, always. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody!
Merry Christmas everybody!