Driving in Jakarta for Dummies

Are you from outside of Indonesia? Do you have plans to go on a trip to Jakarta? Will you be driving by yourself there? Well here are a couple of rules that you should zealously obey if you want to survive on the streets of Jakarta.

Rule #1
Unless you want to be constantly cut off by other cars, don’t leave any room between your car and the one in front of you. Bumper to bumper driving is a must. Your average Jakartan drivers can’t stand vacant spots in traffic. So every time someone catches sight of an idle space you can bet your ass he’ll fill it in. Kinda like Tetris.

Rule #2
Due to the hardships they have to face on a daily basis, some Jakartans are partly losing the ability to show compassion to other people. Inside their minds, self interest is the foundation of their morality. Of course this is just a polarization on my part. But you have to be prepared to fall victim to queue breakings. And trust me on this, when most of the people breaks queues, swallowing your pride and anger might be a better idea. Bear in mind that rule #1 helps a lot when you’re defending your place in a line.

Rule #3
Some Jakartans considers the fast lane to be the most comfortable lane. Which is where they can drive at their own pace as they creep through traffic and let the car in front of them disappear in the horizon.
Unfortunately this also means getting in our way. Some cars are even slower than the eighteen-wheeler on the slow lane. They have no empathy, I tell ya’. Rule # 3 is to avoid staying too long behind one of those snails and if you’re feeling up to it, flashing the universal sign of ultimate disrespect – however impolite and immature – offers a relief to some degree.

Rule #4
Most motorcyclists and public transportation drivers here have no respect whatsoever to red lights. All they care about is getting to where they need to be faster than you can hit the breaks.

umumThis is a very common sight in Jakarta. You’ll also notice that there’s a cop on a motorcycle on the other side of the intersection. Think he can bust 20-30 riders? Don’t think so. Here’s Rule #4: treat every single green light as a red light. You’ll never know when some asshole will pop up at the next intersection.

Rule #5
If you’re in a traffic accident (God forbid), whomever is perceived to have more money is always the one that gets the blame. (e.g. You’re driving a car and hit a motorcycle running a red light. Guess who’s going to pay? You!) Don’t ask why. That’s just how it works here. If you can’t stand it, better go somewhere else… like Timbuktu, for example.

Rule #6
It should be obvious by now to expect some scratches on your car after a couple of days of driving in Jakarta. (Even US soldiers should consider getting driving lessons in Jakarta before deploying to the streets of Iraq).
So if you’re renting a car or even buying one, think twice before you say no to the insurance.

That’s it for now, if I come across some more tips, I’ll add it to the list.

sumber: millis variomatic

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