The Oppression Continues… Indefinitely

Ever have one of does days when you feel you need to protest against the merciless oppression? That powers beyond your grasp keep blocking your way and of any hope of reaching your goal? When you need to just scream your lungs out against the pure unfairness of it all? Well, as they say, all’s fair in love and war, but it definitely isn’t in Jakarta.No, I’m not talking about the government – I’m talking about bus drivers.When students rally around Bunderan HI to criticize the government and years of oppression, nobody is talking about the daily oppression we get from bus drivers and their crew. They treat us like meat – not everybody can fit in those chairs, mind you – and they think they can go on filling the buses with people indefinitely, just like you would cram your luggage compartment with all the groceries you can fill. They yell at you if you haven’t paid (although you have paid). They never stop the bus, they just slow to a crawl in the middle of the street, and yell at you if you don’t get off at your “stop”, wherever that may be, even when motorcycles from behind the bus overtake from the left and almost hit you.They treat motorcycles with equal vigor – buses just simply cut from right to left without calculation, leaving confused motorcyclists in their wake; well, the new ones at least. More senior motorcyclists know how to avoid careening buses and cut off cars at the same time.Who’s to say regular cars are off the hook? Crashes take place frequently, from the near-misses, slight dents to the definite payback of insurance. And they don’t even care if they did damage to your car. Whenever the buses want to change lanes, they just cut along, whether there are cars or not in said lane, and the bus crew stares at the cars if they protest. There is also a daily traffic jam at Sudirman, in front of Universitas Atmajaya caused by buses just waiting for passengers. When they want to overtake you, they tailgate you, or try to ram you from right or left until you give way. In some cases, in a two-way two-lane street, they take the right lane and force everyone coming from the other direction to stop and give way. And I’m not even going to talk about the freakish accidents, involving motorcycles, speeding and jumping into rivers, because usually the drivers split the scene and are never to be heard of again at any major accident.So when people talk about high-level corruption and disregard of the law in government, political or business circles, who’s to say it doesn’t happen at other levels as well?

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About barijoe

Failed Musician, Reformed Gadget Freak and Eating Extraordinaire.

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