Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bike Ride. By Terry. Bibir. Bilur.


I encountered and discovered some interesting people/things in the last couple of days which makes me think that this has been a rather interesting week. I also think that what I’m about to talk about here are not things (or person) that I can’t often get (or meet). They also make me feel somewhat blessed and I just want to write them down and share them with you.


Living in one of the world’s most traffic-congested cities is too much of a hassle. Getting from one place to another is such a burden because even though it’s near, it’d take hours. Drive your own car then your feet will likely get achy, use public buses then you’ll find yourself elbowing people on the queue line (yeah right, like people would queue in a line), struggling to secure yourself a seat, but will end up hanging on a hand strap while trying to balance yourself and taking care of your belongings in a fully-packed space. See? Told you that it’s too much of a hassle. (Unless you have rich parents who provide you with a leisure car and a private chauffeur).


In the midst of Jakarta’s catastrophic traffic, there’s also such thing as an abang ojek. Abang is an Indonesian terminology to refer to an older, male person and ojek is a motorbike taxi. Hence, abang ojek is a person who can drive you anywhere you please using his motorbike and you have to pay for his service based upon a tariff determined by the abang. Here’s the thing; abang ojeks tend to offer bloody expensive tariffs, even if you want to travel close distance. Of course, you can bargain for a lower tariff. But still, however low it is, in the end, the tariff won’t be reasonable. It always will be ridiculous.


Luckily, there’s this Harvard Business School graduate who came up with an idea that changed my life and most likely the lives of most people who live in Jakarta and its surrounding areas, called Go-Jek. The concept of Go-Jek is basically pretty similar to the concept of abang ojeks’ services. But the main difference is that you can get Go-Jek’s services by booking it first using a phone/computer tablet app. Yes. An app. In other words, you don’t have to look for abang ojek on the streets if you use this app because the Go-Jek driver will come to you. Just tap, type, and wait until the driver comes to you.


How about the payment rate? It will be automatically calculated by the app based on the distance (in KM) you will travel. The tariff is fair and reasonable, in my opinion. Currently, they’re offering their ‘transport’ services for only IDR 15000 if the distance you’ll travel is no further than 25KM and I take advantage of this promotional strategy almost everyday. That, for a person who normally travels at least 2 FRIKKIN’ HOURS using public buses to get to her workplace from home and vice versa, is life-changing. I can travel faster and arrive at my workplace earlier (which means I can go home earlier as well. YAY). Plus, I get to spend lesser money if I use this compared to the regular ojeks, which makes another difference between the two.


Oh, did I mention that they also offer courier and food delivery services? Convenient, is it not? Told you that it’s life-changing.


I have utilized this app since June and have met different kinds of Go-Jek drivers. Most of them used to be regular abang ojeks and they claimed that they can be more productive and are more able to make both ends meet now than when they were still abang ojeks. Some work double jobs; vegetables vendor at dawn, Go-Jek driver at dusk. And then there’s this one, whom I met the other day; he told me that used to work a corporate job until there was some legal issues that made him and his other co workers unable to continue on their jobs, so he stayed home for 4 months with no clarity on when the company will pay for his salary yet he has a wife and a 5-year-old kid to feed. He then decided to be a Go-Jek driver. I was his third customer ever and dare I say that my ride with that person is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever had. And that memory won’t fall into the Memory Dump (major Inside Out reference).


It was another work day and I used the Go-Jek app as per normal. Sooner than I had expected, the Go-Jek driver called and asked me if i could direct him to my home from his location, which was nearby. He then arrived a couple of minutes later. I put on my hair cover, face mask (you also get these if you use Go-Jek. How considerate), and my green Go-Jek helmet. Then, I noticed that he wore a decent man shoes. I don’t know, I think I was just quite observant on that moment. I also noticed that his demeanor were quite different than most Go-Jek drivers that I had met. The way he talked, his choice of words... he made me think that he is an educated person (don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that just because a person is a Go-Jek driver then s/he is not educated. Even people with white-collar jobs can be shallow-minded and display uneducated attitude). We then went off.


While we were on our way, he told me about his stories. He came to Jakarta from an outside city way before I was even born. I believe he came from somewhere in Java, because I could sense I teeny hint of Javanese accent. He used to be a Jakarta State University engineering student, but didn’t finish his studies. He also used to work as a contractor. Once, he was a bankrupt businessman. But then he opened a new food-supplying business and if I’m not mistaken, it’s still up and running. And he too is a landlord of a rented loft near my house. Wow... I was blown away by his stories, for his life is so full of struggle. See? A Go-Jek ride can be full of surprises.


If everything that he told me wasn’t just a sheer bullsh*t, then he, i think, is the epitome of a true hard-working person and a responsible husband/father. I hope great things will come to him and his little family everyday.


As we were about to arrive at my workplace, I felt a pounding in my head. I felt dizzy. Probably because I hadn’t had a proper breakfast. I then thought “Okay, I’m getting a Panadol”. After he dropped me off, I took off the helmet and felt slightly better. Then, I went straightaway to my desk and found that my buddy had just returned from her holiday. After we screamed like legit chicks and hugged, she pulled out a package that her friend got me from Mecca Cosmetica. I screamed for another time. Having that said, keep an eye out on this blog for another makeup post! Headache? What headache?


Speaking of makeup, I tried out ANOTHER mauvey-pink lip product. After I applied it for the first time, I was upset. It didn’t turn out as I had expected it to be. What disappointed me the most was because I saw so many good reviews about it. I immediately thought about selling it. Until, I discovered a way of getting the best use out of it. So, no. It’s still mine, I’m not gonna sell it, and I will talk about it later on this blog so stay tuned!


Okay, now back to work. You see that cropped photo of me up there? That's me wearing the aforesaid lip product and an earphone. I usually put on some music while I’m working, and the one that I’ve been listening to for the last couple of days is titled ‘Bilur’. It’s an Indonesian song sung by a female singer named Danilla and taken from her album called 'Telisik'. If you love gloomy weather and are a melancholic person like me, chances are you’re gonna love this song. Let me think of how many times I’ve listened to this song. 30? 100? ∞? I kid you not, I lost count. Her take on ‘My Favorite Things’ is also my favorite. But ‘Bilur’... OMG how can I even describe my love in the most humane way possible? Have you ever heard a song that makes you feel like there’s some butterflies in your belly every time you listen to it? Can’t you ever fathom my undying love for this tune? Dilla, If you’re reading this, thank you for introducing me to this song :””””””)


Every element of that song, I love. the guitar, the bass, the poetical lyric, the violin... the melancholy.


Aaaand that concludes this post. Phew, what a lengthy blog post! Thanks for coming by and reading this post until the very end :) I hope you find this useful and there’ll be lots of highlights on your upcoming days, but until then, have a great weekend!

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