Sunday, 25 November 2012

November

One things for sure, it is now the rainy season and it has hit the city with a loud bang. My desire for rain and  coolers days seems to be have been achieved and so now its almost certain that should I see black clouds in the distance, then it is raining and always heading towards me.
So what does that mean?

It means:

1. No taxis available once it starts to rain
2. Underpasses full of motorbikes parked as the riders have no wet weather gear
3. My bike is dirtier than normal
4. It now takes a little longer to get home
5. The pot holes have returned
6. The newspapers show pictures of children swimming amongst their homes
7. Everyone gets home an hour or more later
8. All my plants are growing
9. I get wet riding home every night
10. I can see the mountains now and again.

Riding across the city, I see all things weird and wonderful and lots of repaving of  existing roads and bus lanes causing even more traffic than normal.
I have to go from Puri to Pasar Baru twice a week in the morning and it can take anywhere from 35 minutes to 2 hours depending on the weather, the traffic, the police involvment (if any) and so one never knows how long it will take. Getting back normally takes just over the hour. On Wednesday however due to a broken down bus blocking a junction onto a bridge, it took 2.5 hours to go the final 800m as we had to go the very long way round and for the rest of the day the traffic backed up so so badly that there were queues stretching at least 10km in every direction with students telling me it was taking them over 2 hours to go 20 minutes.
I think this is caused mainly by the lack of police presence and action as no-one knows why the roads are blocked and therefore they think they can beat the traffic by overtaking to get to the front, however when everyone does that then no-one can move. If the police just could appear and close the roads and divert traffic then I am sure the mess and the time it takes to solve the mess could be reduced in half the time, but no.
This meant that outside my school which is a 2 way fairly busy road, a 4 lane tangled mess of traffic appeared and no one was going anywhere soon. The lack of control by the riders and drivers was quite unbelievable.

Still that is Jakarta and the way the traffic works. By the time I left for home, the chaos was still in full swing but I could head away from it quickly enough.

To add more misery to that situation, it was raining.




Those photos were taken at 7pm outside my school and yep, whilst they are not that clear, they do highlight the craziness of it all.
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