Monday, April 06, 2009

In The Bus, Part 1

This part of my life called "Riding a Bus".


Since the beginning of this year I've been riding buses to commute, especially between home and campus. It matters to me because in this part of my life, I can optimally be a good observer (!). Ok that's crap. The thing is I've been trying to compile the advantages of taking public transportations as many as I can to stop sweating the fact that I no longer own a car.

People were telling me how risky taking public transportations in Jakarta; pickpockets, sexual abuse, reckless bus drivers, hygiene problems and other awful things I could barely remember. Let's just hope I'll be lucky enough to avoid those horrific things. *fingers crossed*

In the first few episodes of me riding a bus, mom was totally freaked out. The most logical explanation for that is simply because I never had the experience on using public transportations only by myself, in my very own hometown. Funny, don't you think? She was okay when I was wandering some places overseas by bus, tram or subway, but not in Jakarta, LOL.

New things are always exciting to me. So there I was, riding a bus #86 for the first time on my way home after the classes were over. I still remember, it was a hella day. People were off their work too I believed, filled the bus with me and 30+ other passengers. I unfortunately didn't get a seat so I stood still on the back of the bus until my stop.

FYI, Indonesian buses don't provide any bus-stopping bell for you to push. They can literally stop everywhere, everytime you wish them for (even though there is no bus stop available). Sometimes they're just slowing down the speed (instead of stopping) while allowing the passengers to leave and board a bus. Crazy, I know. I just don't know why.

My stop would come within 5 mins so I shouted "Stop!". OMG I couldn't feel the bus slowing down. "Stop! Please stop!" I tried to shout louder, but the crowded chit-chat were burying my voice. They didn't care, they just looked at me as if I was a lost child. I was devastated. The bus had already passed my stop far away, until the conductor saw me and made the bus stopped. I hated the fact that all the people in the bus were so insensitive. Dammit!

I told my mom and my friend about it. Surprisingly they laughed; out loud. They said I got the wrong punch line. WTF. I should've said "Pull over please!" (in Bahasa: "Kiri ya, Bang!"). 

Okay, my bad!

*Image is taken from here.


  1. You should prepare coins in your pocket and bang it to your seat when you wanna get off. That's the trick I learned when I had to take the buses during my 5-year living in Jakarta.

    I never took the public transport at all when I was in Surabaya so you could imagine how spooked I was when I had to do it in Jakarta. All alone, a stranger in the town and suddenly my editors assigned me to go to all kind of possible places all over the city. Luckily I have a friend who knows the city inside out, whenever I get lost, I would call him to ask which bus/mikrolet should I take to go to here/there or back to the office. He's a real saviour!

  2. i remember jumping on a bus, and then realising i didn know how the ask the driver to stop... luckily i heard ppl say kiri (i know v lil indo) and then when i tried to say kiri at my stop the bus magically stopped. so cool : )

  3. haha i can so feel you, i was so afraid to say (which to me was already like screaming) "kiri bang" on my first time. luckily i managed to collect my courage. after that, its never been that hard anymore. i just have to see more clearly where i want to stop. haha..

  4. hehehe.. kayanya bukan cuman bus doank,mikrolet juga dev. bahkan waktu itu gw uda ngomong "kiri.. kiri.." supirnya ga denger.. trus ada abang2 yg deket supir ngomong kencengan "KIRI.. KIRI..." hahaha :D

  5. hehehehe that's sooo funny. I've never experienced a bus in jakarta either.

  6. Salute to ur guts !
    I'd rather hike the mountain and trapped in d ice storm.

    Been sexually harassed once and got traumatized.

    If no car is available nor the taxi I shall cancel all appointment.

    Shame on me :(

  7. @the writer: yeap. Mom always reminds me of that! :) Thanks anyway.

    @johnorford: LOL. You did great, then! :)

    @Wiwin Lee: you bet!! :P

    @Alice: berarti lo masih malu2 say. Awalnya gw juga begitu, lama2 urat malunya uda putus, hahahaha!

    @ceritaeka: sorry to hear that. Oh well, I can't judge you. You have all the rights to do whatever you want to :)

  8. Shouldn't you write "SAY IT LEFT", right?? :P

    Hmm.. Public transportation I only had in Jakarta were taxi and bus way. But anyway.. you should try public transportation in Bandung.. They're at the same quality I'm afraid, if it is not worse in Bandung. But I believe the passengers will be much more sensitive and friendly (based on my experiences).


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