Cramped part II

So I walk out of my home, into the broken asphalt covered street that is the road that connects my downhill village into the main road. I roam 50 meter, and then 20 meter of 45 degrees slope uphill, and then to another 300 meter of road, all in a 5 minutes speedy walk. The public transportation has no fix schedule, they come, stop to wait for passengers (an activity which is called "ngetem" here in Indonesia), and then go to stop again at will in other places. See why I have to speed up? Catching earliest bus is an advantage for public transportation dependant people here in Jakarta.

Once inside the bus, finding an empty seat as fast as possible is a must, for these buses don’t care if the people they carry are treated like sardines, cramped in a middle sized bus, using any space available to put even one feet on the bus floor. Luckily I live "upstream", so that I am lucky to be able to have a seat every morning. People who catch the bus "downstream" are often have to stand below the doorframes, risking losing parts of their body.

After the bus arrive at the market, the busy and overcrowded hub of many people with many activities that took half of the street and pay no respect to the traffic light, I step down whenever the bus stop, wherever in the market that is. In less then 5 minutes, I’m on another bus en route to my office, lucky again that I’m taking it upstream, so that I am able to sit. But it’s just the same with the first bus, people will soon eat up spaces. Cramped, body odour mixed with cheap perfume and ineffective deodorant, creating smells that is offensive to inexperienced nostrils. I’m lucky that my nostrils are already adapted to the smell.

30 minutes inside the overcrowded bus, I soon stand up and force my way into the bus door, trying to reach the money collector, telling him to stop the bus in front of the building where my office is.

If I’m lucky, it’ll stop in the right spot, if I’m extremely unlucky, it’ll stop 100 meters further.
The bus stopped, and in cramped fraction of a second I jump down. The bus took off a fraction of second later. An adaptation to the habit makes you somewhat an acrobat.

10 minutes later I’ll be stepping into the building lobby, press the elevator "up" button, wait for the lift to come to take me up, walk out of the lift on my floor, greet the people tallying security, and finally sit down on my cubicle, turn on my PC, and write a blog.


But it’s not over yet.

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