Going around with public transportation is one of the most enjoyable things to do in a city.
Wandering aimlessly is therapeutic. It’s space and time needed to declutter the mind.
Somehow, I feel safer being inside the bus or angkot more than taxi and I prefer Kopaja or metromini to Transjakarta. I love watching people and having small talk with taxi driver is such a torture.
I once survived a year lived in Jakarta alone (without the parents) when I was 12 years old, went here and there by public transportation.
Went to school every morning at 5.15 by Bus 213 Grogol-Kampung Melayu which the route was practically passing almost every part of the city. From west, south to east. I was so grumpy went through it daily. After 213, I still had to chase another angkot which discriminated schoolers badly since they didnt pay full fare. There were days when I really had to hang outside the angkot. Crazy. It was totally exhausting. I almost always arrived at school tired and messy.
But, when you were desperate enough, then you would find a way. While sardened in the 213 bus, for few days, I paid attention and found out this bus passed the flyover to my school. So when I stopped nearby, I just need to walk shortly then continue with the same angkot but heading to the opposite direction which was always empty! So, I just had to stop across my school and went through the pedestrian bridge. Voila.
My life changed drastically by this new finding. Instead of leaving home at 5.15, I could leave a bit longer around 5.40. Instead of arrived at school very close to bell ringing at 7 am, I arrived at school 40 minutes before when the school was still empty. This new route only took 20 minutes instead of 1,5 hours.
How the same route looked totally different from another point of view.
I was so proud of myself.
The journey returning home was no better. Went home by Patas AC 55 Pondok Kopi-Grogol which only available once every 1 hour. Missed the schedule, chose between waiting for another one hour or changing 4 bus and angkot to home. Of course, I chose the easiest one. Life was hard enough already at that time.
Weekly trip from piano course which finished at 21.30 and dealt with the scary and dark terminal Manggarai to take bus 78 Manggarai-Tangerang.
It was one of the hardest trainings in my adolesence years yet proven to be the most useful one. I knew a lot about Jakarta’s street without maps thanks to massive experience of going by public transportation that time.
After being a mother myself, I still couldn’t imagine how ‘brave’ my mother was (insane is more correct word actually) to let a 12 years old little girl went through this by herself.
From other’s point of view they might say it’s crazy, but what she did was actually doing her job properly. To let her child experienced something that she has to deal with. I really adored her strong heart and grateful for the choice she made for me.
Fast forward to recent years, I have been taking this litte girl since few years ago going around by public transportation and I hope to do it more often, for leisure and soon as the part of the training until she is ready to enjoy the fun on her own.
We went for early morning trip by angkot and new MRT few days ago as a warming up. I am more than happy having this little tough walker with me. No complain, no whining, although I knew it must be (a bit) tiring.
MRT Jakarta is such a big milestone for the city. It would be great having it all over the city. LRT is on the way and hope it will be ready soon.
Hope they will keep up the good work and we can continue enjoying more reliable and comfortable public transportation in the future.