Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our Bajaj Adventure

Bajaj, a three wheel vehicle for hire.

The girls and I shared one bajaj. It was like a hot, smelly, bumpy roller coaster ride.

Ben and GJ's bajaj overtook us , this is them in front.
Ben's happy face peering out, GJ said that he had a huge smile on his face for the whole trip home

Our greedy drivers....

We had a little adventure last night on our way home from Amigos.
We decided catch a Bajaj home instead of a taxi. Something we had wanted to do for a while…BUT were not always game enough.
We negotiated the price before we got in as this is VERY IMPORTANT!!!! 2000RP per Bajaj
We were having a great time putt-putting and weaving through Kemang (thank goodness we don’t live in this grid-locked traffic-snarled suburb) and then hit the home stretch.
We stopped at the start of our street; I don’t know why they wouldn’t take us all the way and then the fun and games started………….
The two drivers started to demand ridiculous amounts of money which we refused to pay, we had already given them 5000rp each as way of a tip but they wanted more. As we argued in the street all the neighbor’s guards came out and joined in the fray. I went over to our RT (really hard to describe this role- the RT, pronounced “aiRtay” is an elected district office who manages the locality like a council as well as organizing security
“In many ways, Jakarta is still just a collection of villages, with neighborhoods providing the basic services such as garbage collection and security. This is organized by the Rukun Tetangga (RT Neighborhood Head), who is an unpaid, elected official and carries out a number of duties. A neighborhood usually consist of around 20 households, and the RT is the head of this neighborhood watch system, carrying out registration for residents and visitors, and keeping records of births, deaths and marriages for the government. A group of RT neighborhood forms a Rukun Warga (RW), which is the next level below kelurahan.” )

Unfortunately our RT doesn’t speak much English and our Bahasa Indonesian is still not up to sentences.
Now in hindsight it must have looked pretty funny the five of us and all these guards haggling over a few dollars. The two Bajaj drivers wanted more money but wouldn’t come close as there were so many guards around. In the end we gave them 8000RP each. We know we paid too much; an air-conditioned taxi would have only cost us about 10 000rp.
We then had to walk the rest of the way home……all of 200m

GJ thinks that this post should be titled "Bajaj Grand Prix Through Kemang" as the lead swapped several times. I think there was a race on to see which Bajaj would make it home first!!!!


spew-it-all said...

It has been a long time i haven't caught bajaj. 8 years maybe. Anyway i get pissed off easily if bajaj drivers try to rip expats off. I know expats get paid very well and pay a little bit more than the original price wont be a big deal. But still it is not fair...once some american friends and i were asked to pay 10.000 RP for a coconut in Monas.

anyway did the kids like it?

Munchkin Land said...

You are a brave, brave woman. But those cars do look like fun!

santy said...

Hi, Jenny!
So, when are you planning to visit Ancol? Kids would love it. Well, enjoy! Take care, Santy.

Hedi said...

Bajaj is also very noisy, it's almost impossible to hear your own voice in there :D

Anonymous said...

Jenny, just stumbled across your page and it takes me back to a laughable incident I had back in 2002. My friend and I were returning in the wee small hours (0600) from a night out and we were coming from Cafe Batavia, going to Kempinski Apartments and then all they way up to my house in Ampera Raya (beside Cilandak) and my friend was arguing with taxi drivers over 50,000 rph's fee. OMG it is only 5USD.
I know its a pain when you agree a fee and you know you are being ripped off, but all in all the banter can be fun at the end, but lets face it its not that expensive, cheers, neil from Aberdeen