So I guess I should finally start J Hello everyone. Welcome to my second internship adventure. This time I do believe that you are going to read more than just one entry. This time I decided for a bit more exotic destination in the South-east Asia – Indonesia. And somehow it is becoming for me sort of a pattern I ended up in the capital city – Jakarta. Jakarta has more that 10 million people, what believe me, is trully a lot of people. You can go out at any time of the day, at any day during the week and there would always be someone out there.
So I guess I should finally start.
Hello everyone. Welcome to my second internship adventure. This time I do believe that you are going to read more than just one entry.
This time I decided for a bit more exotic destination in the South-east Asia - Indonesia. And somehow it is becoming for me sort of a pattern I ended up in the capital city - Jakarta.
Jakarta has more that 10 million people, what believe me, is trully a lot of people. You can go out at any time of the day, at any day during the week and there would always be someone out there.
You know, usually you can find out a lot about general public opinion from young people. And as I have a chance to be in contact with teenagers almost every day, sometimes I ask them about their opinions on the city they live in. And there are two things that come out anytime I ask them:
1. Traffic - Jakarta has huuuuuge issues with traffic. Especially in the morning and evening (when people go to and from work) you can easily get stuck for around 1 hour or even more on a very short distance. Once it took me to get to the place I lived (the distance that otherwise you could easily manage in 15 minutes) almost 1 hour. So yes, it is an issue here and everyone realizes that. They even have special lines for buses or motorcycles, but somehow it does not really help (they have many different types of buses or sometimes people just do not obey the rules). As I was told there are already discussions about building the subway system especially in the parts of the city that really have a lot of troubles with heavy traffic, but it is only starting now, so they should probably finish it in few years. And the traffic leads us to another point:
2. Pollution - you can find a lot of people around the city wearing face masks, because with so much traffic it is quite difficult to keep the air on the streets clean. But it is not only that, the rivers and sewers are very dirty - eventhough they are trying to clean them from time to time. In one class that I have with 9 to 11 years old kids I asked them to teach me some useful indonesian sentences and what they told me was the following: „Do not throw trash into the river."
So these are the issues that are worrying people in Jakarta quite a lot.
But let me tell you a bit about the city itself. I will start with the public transportation. As I already mentioned, the city is very crowded, so you can imagine that there is a need for quite a lot of means of public transportation. I will only mention few that I already experienced:
a) So the first means of travelling that I tried was a busway - they call it transjakarta - it is a connected system of bus lines - the orientation is quite easy, you have a map similarly as for trams or subway, so you can find your way around. The buses are high and you can only enter from a specific station (they told me it is a protection against people just jumping in without paying as well as bus stopping at places where it is not supposed to stop). One ticket is valid for as long as you are inside the stations. The buses have a special area only for women in the front part of the bus, so men are usually entering in the back - a man is not allowed to enter space for women, while a woman can choose where she wants to be in the bus.
b) Than there are small vans - local people call it „ancot". It is quite cheap way of transport, usually used for short distances. You just wave on it when you want to enter and knock when you want it to stop. The door are wide open, because the vans are old and there is no air-conditioning.
c) There is another quite fast way of transportation and it is sort of a motorcycle taxi - they call it here „ojek". They can have a station anywhere pretty much. So you just ask where you want to go and a driver will take you there on a motorcycle (I did enjoy this way of public transportation quite a lot).
d) Then there is a train. You have 2 types of trains in here - a commuter train and an economy one. Usually local peopIe would not advise you to travel by an economy train and there is a simple reason why - I had a chance to see how it looks when the train is crowded - you have people even on the roof of the train. The commuter train has also specific carriages that are specifically for women, one at the very beginning and one at the very end of the train.
I only tried these 4 options, but there is one more that I want to mention (because the guys in many of my classes adviced me to try it). It is called „bajaj" and it is like a three wheels motorcycle. It is very noisy and from what I heard i tis like getting massage for free. There are lot more types of buses and means of travelling around the city that I am not going to talk about. Usually local people can tell you which ones are safe to travel with and which ones you should not try (especially as a foreigner).
It is not that difficult to get around the city if you know where you are actually going, because the city is very big, so you have it divided into west, north, east and south and in each of the parts you have specific areas and those areas are still quite big, so you have another more detailes specifications, but from what I understood, they do not have streets like we do, they have this area that is divided into small parts that are each specifically marked.
Later on, I am going to tell you a bit about food, people and some culture shocks that I came across, but I will save that for later.