Tuesday, September 21, 2010

adendum to transportation

             Today was day 5 of riding with my new ojek and he didn't show to pick me up from school.  I sms'd. I called. He said he was on his way but there was traffic.  I waited 40 minutes (45 if you count the 5 minutes I was out there early). then I gave up and got another ojek.  Ojeks are usually faster and cheaper than taxis. They do subject you to the elements and pollution. Perhaps the biggest drawback of ojeks is that they are generally used for a certain area.  Therefore an ojek from Ceger (East Jakarta) where my school is doesn't necessarily know Kuningan (Central/South Jakarta) where my place is. In fact I find this more and more often to be the case.  After waiting 10 minutes for a security guard (very sweet of him actually) to get a local ojek willing to make the trek, i sat on the bike through rain and traffic only to have him totally blow not one but two turns, have to turn around northbound where the traffic was even worse and go back.  My original destination was Plaza Indonesia mall. I gave up.  I got off the bike and walked 10 minutes home. From here I will have to take another ojek to the mall.
               I have tomorrow off work and have to do a bunch of errands.  When my ojek Sokardi comes in the morning to drop my helmet off I'll offer him the work tomorrow. If not then at least we should be set for Thursday to work again.  It's sad that even after a crash and being late once in 5 days, he's still better than the last guy.  And to my estimation about par for the ojek course. All in all about two and half irretrievable hours of my life gone between the wait and the ride. Not to mention the aching back and worn patience. 
               As an aside, I think I have a new mission.  The buses and angkots here have names on the back, everything from Barcelona to Marie.  I am going to attempt to document as many of them as I can from the back of my ojek to and from school, especially the bizarre ones. They remind me of chicken buses in Guatemala, almost as colorful too.
               I just realized that in my intial catalog of transportation I forgot one.  It's not transportation in that it doesn't move people from one place to another, but it does hold up traffic.  These are the push carts.  They can be a "restaurant" on wheels or just a vendor but they find a place on the road too.

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