I am lucky enough because I don’t live in a war country. However, even if it’s just tiny little bit, I might feel what it’s like to be in a war. Everyday, while commuting, in Jakarta. I sometimes really hopeless with our people, Jakartans. Let me share to you my couple experiences of that feelings.
I never ride public transport while in elementary or junior high, I always had my parents to pick me up or drop me at school. My first encounter with public transport is when I was in high school. It is called “Angkot”. It is actually SUV car with modification in back seats so that the passengers have to sit face to face. Unlike Angkot in Bandung where we could see many colorful Angkot, in Jakarta most Angkot colors are light sky blue.My favorite seat will be next to the driver, if I’m alone. It was unlucky of me, if the driver wanted me to scooch over to let another passenger in. My experience of using Angkot to commute from my school to house was wonderful. Moreover, I used to have couples of friends accompanying me from school to the end of Angkot destination. We were lucky because the roads between my school and the end of destination relatively had a normal traffic, if not empty. However, it was different when I had to use Transjakarta for the first time, about four years since I’ve graduated from my high school and back again to Jakarta. The queue was really really long. I can’t breathe sometime. Inside the Transjakarta I was like smashed by other people. And that was just the beginning when I started to feel irritated at commuting.
I was shocked to face people when in queuing to get inside the Transjakarta. They pushed me, they hit me, they pilfered the queue, the saddest part was they don’t feel guilty by doing that. Yes it’s true that it only happens at the busy commuting schedule. But come on, we usually commute at the same time, right. I still remember when my friend told me that his notebook was broken because he’s been pushed inside the Transjakarta, and his notebook bag was in the middle of Transjakarta door while it was automatic closed. I just could open my mouth and say “Oh My God, I’m so sorry..”
The commuter line was even worse. My first experience to ride this mode will be hard to be forgotten. I feel like I was in Titanic, and we had to get inside the train like it was the last safety boat. Everyone want to get in first. I mean every. one. of. them. To get out from the full train was also really hard. I remembered that I said “Excuse me, please” to the people in front of me. And you know what? They pretend to did not hear me. They didn’t move their body, not a single inch of them. Finally, one of them, who stand near the window say to me (not looking at my face), “Just go out.”. I was shocked. She wanted me to push them. The door would be closed in any minute so I had to do that, I pushed them. I felt awful.
My friends who are more experienced commuters said to me that I have to do that kind of stuffs. In order to survive this jungle, I had to pushed them, I had to hit them, in short, I had to be mean. I had to be a person who I’m not. Once again, even though it only happens if there are many people and long queue, but I still feel that it was intolerable.
So I decided to commute through a more humanize way, although it means I have to spend most of my money on that. I just can’t let my self destroyed, little by little, every single day. Of course there are times when I was happy to ride public transportation, I carefully consider the time if I want to take that mode. Some people say that it was not the people to be blamed. It was the situation, the condition, the system to be blamed. However, somehow I think that part of them was just excuses. Remember some quotes that if you want to see the truly person’s character, you have to see them reacted in a worse condition. You have to see their behavior in a stressed situation. If you are now in a close relationship with someone, he/she seems really nice but you’re still in doubt, try to ride a car in a very bad traffic. Look how their reactions. Of course we are all usually nice and kind in a very good situation. But the truly us happens when we are tested in a very bad situation and condition. Just like in the commuting moments everyday.
It is really sad how we often neglected the things that we know we should do, just because, in order to survive the jungle. We know that we should follow the queue, we should be kind to other people, let them in or out if we are in their way, or we should be patient waiting them walk through. But we forget them all, because we have to win this war. We have to get home as soon as possible. We have to arrived to the place early. It is like, telling me that it is OK to do the cruel things to other people, if that’s what it has to be done so that we won the war. Don’t you feel ashamed, that the Transjakarta must hire a person inside the bus just to telling people to be careful and orderly get inside or go outside from the bus? I, my self, feel really ashamed. After all, we are not really much grown up, we are not really that developed. Because we still in a mindset to be told, to be supervised, to be controlled. We are not that independent enough to control ourselves.
Or it’s just human anyway?
I don’t know, somehow I think that we just try to find excuses or to find supporters for the reasons in doing the wrong things. What do you think?