Thursday, September 13, 2007

A story about a new life and commuting

As people said, married is a new life, a life with so many new things. This is a story about my daily experience every morning traveling to the office.

Before I got married, I woke up every day at 5 am and run off to the office at 5.30, every day!!! Sounds like a work alcoholic, right? Well not really, because on that time congestion already exist in some parts of Jakarta, what a city!! As a reference, go to priyadi’s blog.

Continuing my story, At 6 am we arrive at my father’s office and together with my Dad, I read newspaper including Kompas, Republika, and Media Indonesia. The activity carries on until 8 am, when I left my Dad’s office and heading to my office, which is only 7-10 minutes from his office.

How about now? Now I still live in the same house with my wife, but we leave the house at 6.30 am (so my wife could reach her office at 8 am, a time where many people have already come. Honestly, I don’t feel secure if she arrives at her office early in the morning).

And the story starts here. Because we left house quite late, at 6.30 am, it is expected that we will be in a worse traffic jam. Based on my brief observation, beside of the huge number of both cars and motorcycles, traffic jams also caused by bottle neck roads. This condition usually found in less wealthy areas, such as Ciledug and Meruya. This problem was not found by the time I reach Jakarta, starting from Jalan Panjang, Senayan, Sudirman and Thamrin.

Another side of the story is that I never thought that driving a car at those hours are so frightening, not only because of the congestion but also the “immature” behaviour that the drivers shows. Its not once a time I feel so “angry”, “depress” and “yelling” to other drivers that refuse to queue the lane, suddenly took my lane and motorcycles that hit my car.

After spending 4 years in Bandung and 1 year in Melbourne with less traffic jam and healthy air, I feel stress out with Jakarta’s traffic condition. I cant imagine if I have to deal with this problem daily every year. In priyadi’s blog, I found that USA commuters spend 38 minutes for commuting in average, while I spend more than 100 minutes in one single trip. In a matter of fact, the same congestion also happens during after working hours, starts from 3 am until 7 am or more.

Ironically, Jakarta’s local government tries to overcome this congestion issue with 3 in 1 policy, since almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the program still could not solve the problem. Beside because of the cars still took “joki” to be their 2nd or 3rd passenger, the number of cars in Jakarta is too many compared with the road’s total length.

Back to my main story, Jakarta’s traffic jam is fact and as a good husband, I still have to drive my car every day, and at the same time hoping one day that Jakarta will have its Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Monorail, and more TransJakarta buses.

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