Friday, November 13, 2009

Blonde on a ojek bike in Jakarta

I had my first experience on a motor bike in Jakarta yesterday…….I think motor bikes are dangerous at the best of times, but here they are positively lethal!

I needed to be at a friend’s house at 7.30am in the morning, but the car needed to take the kids and GJ to school, so it was a taxi or a lift on a bike.

Taxis in peak hour are hard to get and then you have to deal with the traffic. In a car it would have taken up to forty minutes, on the bike it was about 8 minutes although the distance is around 2 km.

Traffic in Jakarta is not like traffic in western countries, it is incomprehensible how bad it is until you have experienced it.

It was change of shift time for our home security guards and I asked one of them to give me a lift; my security guard and I are now very well acquainted lol.

I was so nervous I went for full body contact with my arms tightly wrapped around his middle; luckily, my handbag was the right size to wedge between us on the seat if you know what I mean!

There was no spare helmet and the kids push bike helmets were too small so I went bare…..my blonde hair a shiny beacon to all.

Jalan Ampera was almost at a standstill with traffic so there were plenty of people to witness my inaugural ojek (motor bike taxi) ride. GJ wanted to know if I took photos, I had to admit that it took all of my attention to breathe and occasionally open my eyes!

I saw quite a few stunned and gobsmacked faces as I whizzed by and could even hear some of the comments lol.

But I would have to say that the scariest part of my day was yet to come….

After my ojek ride I met up with my friend where we had to cross JL Ampera to grab a taxi to JL Mangpang and then we had to walk across JL Mangpang Perapatan to meet up with our other friend!

A whopping great big road with bus lanes and homicidal manic bike, car, and bus drivers.

Luckily my buxom blonde bule body is quiet noticeable and it is obvious that if I were hit I would create a lot of damage not to mention a huge mess so I given a wide berth.

By 7.25 am I had zigzagged through traffic on the back of a motor bike, crossed one big road and one whopping big, main road on foot.

I nearly needed a stiff drink and a lie down.

Luckily I was off on a day trip to the factory outlet stores of Bandung and was revived with some retail therapy.

I can, without hesitation say that this will be my one and only ojek ride.

12 comments:

Kathryn said...

You are one, brave woman!
We live up in Kelapa Gading,so traffic is not so bad, actually, nothing in comparison to you guys, but I have yet (and, probably never will!)do the motorbike thing...however, I do frequently walk from our school to the local Kelapa Gading mall, which involves the crossing of two very large and busy roads...it always amazes me though that I am able to part the traffic like Moses! A little 'high' mixed in with sheer fear!
Stay safe!

Ashlee said...

I've done the motorcycle and ojek thing a lot here, but since a cab I was riding one day hit a motorcycle a few months back, I've been less enthusiastic... luckily the guy was ok, but it freaked me out big time.

johnorford said...

Oneks r v handy - jumped on one for the first time recently, great way to zip thru traffic

Shannon said...

Just as well you went without helmet. I had a friend who often used the ojeks fairly often but after the second time he got lice from the helmet he bought his own and carried it with him. I never got up the nerve to ride one. I am a big chicken.

Mutia said...

Hi Jen!
very nice to know you and your blog!
btw, I am Indonesian student who are studying in South Korea. hehe..
keep writing!

Anonymous said...
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SuzyC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SuzyC said...

I love your blog site!

We are moving to Jakarta from Perth in mid-Jan. Having lived in Bangkok and Brunei previously I know how difficult it can be to get good bread so this time I thought I'd bring a breadmaker.

Do you know if you can buy bread flour in Jakarta? We are thinking of locating ourselves in Senayan as it is close to my office and we don't have kids to worry about schooling.


Thanks
Suzy Carmody

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

Hi Suzy

I just found your comment, hope the answer is not too late!
There is occasionally Bread mix in the shops, especially in close to the Senayan area (Sogo's food hall etc). As with many things in Jakarata you can get them and then it will stop for 6-12 months. There is heaps of flours avaiable and yeast so many you could just bring some 'bread improver' with you. If not Bread Life and Daily Bread both have loaves with out that horrible corn syrup additive that makes it sweet and disgusting.

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

Hi Suzy

I just found your comment, hope the answer is not too late!
There is occasionally Bread mix in the shops, especially in close to the Senayan area (Sogo's food hall etc). As with many things in Jakarta you can get them and then it will stop for 6-12 months. There is heaps of flours available and yeast so many you could just bring some 'bread improver' with you. If not Bread Life and Daily Bread both have loaves with out that horrible corn syrup additive that makes it sweet and disgusting.

iw said...

I've been reading your blog for a few days now, and this is the funniest post yet! I get stares just walking down the street (I have very curly hair), so I can imagine how many people would stare if I ever took an ojek. You're brave!

I just started a blog about living in Jakarta too: http://whyindia.tumblr.com

Otis said...

Its so sad that I have to agree with this statement, "Traffic in Jakarta is not like traffic in western countries, it is incomprehensible how bad it is until you have experienced it." Hahaha.

Glad that you survived another day in Jakarta.