Friday, August 28, 2015

Go, Jack!

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This is a tale of something phenomenal in Jakarta.

Let’s call him, Jack.

Jack has been the diva of my town lately. He’s a savior. Picking up people, dropping them off somewhere with his motorbike. Accepting delivery order, grabbing it straight from anywhere people wish, to anywhere people want. And guess what, it all comes with unreasonably cheap price. And convenient method too, with an app and GPS system, plus credit balance thingy it’s like—welcome, life of being a king.

Everybody’s in such a joy thanks to him. Jack and his motorbike have been the preferable choice in transportation lately—easy to call, fast in motion and most importantly, can swiftly go through the terrible Capital traffic jam. It’s like when office hour ends and a colleague asks “how do you get back home today?” common answer that will possibly be heard is

I’m gonna order Jack.

Everybody’s in such a joy thanks to him.
Everybody, but me.

Through my looking glass, Jack is a major step down for Jakarta to be a developed city. With its generous convenience, Jack makes us—THEM—Jack makes them Jakarta citizens a bunch of spoiled little brats. Well why not, his services require them to only make a request and poof, all is done.

Jack drives people away from public transportation. Jack offers a new employment line, but it requires a motorbike. And more motorbikes means more traffic. And more traffic means more pain for users of public transportation. Does it sound anything good to you?

Well you don't care. Because all you care about is your own ass. And your ass is save and sound with Jack. And that's why you prefer Jack.

But that’s not my biggest fear of Jack’s existence. I’m more concerned of how our citizen will behave now, in the future. Get used to being picked up and dropped off like princes and princesses of Far Far Away Kingdom, ugh that image disgusts me somehow. Well even before Jack appeared, we—THEY—they’ve been the laziest human being alive. Riding their own cars, taking debts only to have their own bikes, public transport is the least they would prefer.

Then the employment line, well yeah it adds up jobs for people to take but, have you ever thought it in this way: in the future, our citizen will lose their will to fight for good jobs. They will lose their will to take higher education. Because why bother? They can just apply as one of Jack's drivers, apply credits to get them motorbikes, and there they go. The future of Indonesian employment quality will be, okay, I don't really have to state that.

Now do you think Jack can help you with that?

Well still, you don't care. Because you're in a win-win solution: either you use your own ride or, just call Jack. And the future of employment line, why would you even give a damn care about that? It's all about your own ass, isn't it?

Not everybody thinks that way thoI'm not generalizing people here. And I’m pretty sure there are some people that share the same thoughts with me. Some people that, has the mental of being a developed citizen. Do you even think that far?

Once again, no, you don't think that farand no, you don't care. Because your ass is the only thing you want to bring far from where you are.

Oh I’m not gonna be shallow. Before I eat my own shit, I’m going to make a confession in advance that someday, when I’m ridiculously in an emergency circumstance, I might wanna need Jack’s service. Tho it’s going to be from someone else’s phone, using someone else’s credits, I might do. MIGHT. Because it's emergency. And emergency is the only time where I can be selfish, no? And being selfish is what Jack is all about, yes?

Still, that will be my last option.

Because honestly, I don’t like Jack. I don’t like anything that brings out the selfishness in you. There are other cool stuff like that Nebengers Community, Info Busway and KRL and all those Patas AC accounts—those who do or share something for many people’s sake that deserves more exposure, why didn't it go big? Well the fact that our people prefer to save themselves is the answer.

And that's why Jack, who’s been saving those individualistic asses,
Earned the highest spot on the road.

That's Jack. And one of our soon-to-be-spoiled princess. Pic's from here.

I’m sorry Jack, I hate you.
You do good, I appreciate it.
Still, I hate what you're doing to us.
And this might sound rude but please,

Go, Jack—go away

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hello, You Beautiful Thing

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For you who started to think that I began losing interest in my “Conquering Indonesia” project, you’re wrong.

I know I skipped a month. After Harapan in May and Pahawang in June, I should have gone somewhere in July. But don’t you dare blaming me for that. My beloved office didn’t give me even one day off for Eid break so, ya, there I was, trapped in Jakarta while everybody else flew out and about.

Then came August, thank God, finally. Another long weekend was waiting for me in the middle of the month, and guess what—

It was the Independence Day of Indonesia.

What an occasion, no? That could be my chance to show how I really meant getting to know my own country. How I would explore my national treasure ‘till the last second of its big day, despite the fact that on the next day I should go back to my routine. It was just the time.

So I deliberated to myself, “hmm where can I go in just three days, somewhere colossal, and different from my previous two trips?

I know.


What’s not ‘colossal’ about this? I’ve been exposed to the name since I was still 8. One of those famous names printed on my social science modules along with Danau Toba, Way Kambas, Taman Laut Bunaken, Pulau Komodo—I mean, names like Ora, Derawan, or Raja Ampat were just noticed in recent years, but those four, as well as Krakatau, were classics.

As usual, the process to reaching Krakatau was also ‘colossal’. I booked a spot on an open trip long before my departure day on August 15th, but guess what—on August 13th, the operator told me that my reservation didn’t come in. Oh, what the hell, universe, please. Not today, not for the Independence Day, not when I have a long weekend to—done, I booked another spot with another operator, while my mouth kept complaining. And that is just why I love myself.

More obstacles got in my way. From super slow bus, freaking wheel pulled off of my ride to the pier –yes, it broke off the main body of the car, and I saw it rolling away from the road, amateur sailors, mosquito raids, annoying participants—God, there were so many obstacles.

But then, the ocean always knew how to soothe my anger.

Underwater Krakatau was mesmerizing. I must say that it wasn’t anything better than Pahawang or even Harapan but, I still felt that it was worth the sacrifices. I got down the water twice, and got up the boat with an amazing souvenir each: scratches, cuts and blood from the first spot, and - this one is crazy - a story of me crossing path with the most gigantic non-whale fish I ever seen with my very own goggle on the second spot. Once again, this one is crazy. Bad news was I didn’t bring any underwater cam so I couldn’t get any proof to the land but, I swear starting from now, I’ll make my own research about this fish.

So. Three days trip, in a colossal place…
What made it different from Harapan and Pahawang?

The majestic Anak Krakatau, that inherits the grandeur of its long gone mother.

I’m not a mountain guy. All these years, have you read anything mountainy? No. But this is a special case. I want something for this year’s Hari Merdeka. Plus this mountain is not that MOUNTAIN like Semeru, Kerinci and all those sleeping giants people seem kept hiking lately. Anak Krakatau is still a kiddo so guess what—amateurs including me, can climb the path all the way to the highest point allowed.

So right on August 17th, my group and I trekked up Anak Krakatau. We all wore red and white outfits, brought our best spirit up the new mountain. And we had a little ceremony. Gathered together, sang “Indonesia Raya” and “Hari Merdeka” oh God, I got goosebumps when singing those. I even get chills on the back of my neck just now when I remembered that moment and typing it down here.

Then everybody got busy with their own photo session. I, remembering that I was on my own as usual, spent my time standing there, enjoying my on-top-of-the-world moment, seeing the endless horizon before my eyes. Mt. Rakata and Lang Island were there too, completing my scenery with their gallant existence. And the mighty sun slowly climbed up the sky of Lampung, was hidden behind clouds but somehow could find a way to break through and spot its fluorescent ray on Sunda Strait.

I never seen such picturesque landscape. It’s like the universe—the ocean, the hills, the mountain, the sky and the sun, were conspiring to make the most of my Independence Day contemplation.

It was calm, despite the crowd.
It was warm, despite the breeze.

Fuck, I really love this country.


The biggest fish I ever saw in Indonesian beach,
The biggest frame of Indonesia I ever saw from above.

Now guess what—
I’ll be back, you beautiful thing