Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Adventures of local transportation

 We moved hotels to where the tour starts and ended up meeting one of our fellow groupies, Tasha from London. We decide on some botanical gardens in Bogoro, about an hour away from Jakarta. Armed with map and directions from our new hotel, we set out for the train station. We, of course, take the economy train, which is $7000R, or about$0.80. Since this is the local train it's full of people selling beverages, books, socks, and whistles. The air is filled with their calls for drinks, drinks! But in Indonesian. There are people begging, singing music and begging, and doing other various things and begging. There is no air con and it's a bit sticky and quite loud from the cacophony of people and activities. We quickly give upon conversation. There's lots of movement and people jostling around other people, crying children, people hanging out the doors for cigarettes. You know, the usual stuff that happens on trains.  A nice person asks us where we are going and shoo's us off when it's time. After we get off we stand there not quite sure what the next move is, other then to getting to the gardens. Another nice person asks us where we are going and tells us to follow him. After yesterday I am super suspicious, but figure we have to leave the terminal anyways, we might as well follow. Turns out he was genuinely helping us. Got us on the local transport to the gardens. My faith in people is slowly being restored! The local transport is a mini van with the back seats removed and benches along the outer walls. People are CRAMMED in, Jenna and Tasha look at me going they can't fit more people in here can they? Oh they can, and will! We wait in the sweltering van for a few more bodies and cab fares to cram in and dangle out the door.
We spent an enjoyable afternoon wandering around the gardens created by Sir Raffles. This guy really got around SE Asia.
Our return follows much the same path, except we can't remember exactly what our train stop is. In all the excitement of finding the right train to the gardens we kinda forgot to notice where we were to get back. Opps... We totally take the wrong train back and are now a little pressed for time. Our group meeting is at 6 and it's 545. Ok, it's taxi time, but I decide since it's already been an eclectic day of transport that we should take a tuk tuk back. The traffic in Jakarta is horrible and we suck in car fumes for the whole ride, squished as can be in the back. We arrive just in time for the meeting!
Just another day of transport in Asia! 

1 comment:

  1. Never a dull moment! I look forward to reading all about how the next few weeks go :)