The Flavor of Transjakarta Bus Astari Mayang AnggaraniJust like most of people living in Jakarta today, my morning starts by walking to nearest Transjakartabus’ shelter. While I’m waiting for the next bus my mind wandering. So many things happen inside thosebig shiny busses every minute every second. Some are funny, often annoying, rarely inspiring or evenstinks.Funny stuff many times related for first timers. Such as people from outside Jakarta whom just arrived attrain station and use Transjakarta bus to get to their relatives. I’ve seen them holding each other hands,so afraid being separated. Or they’re too shy to ask the uniformed officer how to get to theirdestination; they choose to ask other passenger instead. Whom often not know much either. Eventhough there are hand bar hanging from the ceiling, they refuse to use it and rather holding at eachother. The problem is, when driver step on the brake suddenly, they will fall altogether.Regulars who anxiously finding seat can make funny scene too. When she was not fast enough and allseats already taken, her eyes will roll over scanning the entire bus cabin searching for signs. What kindof signs? The one that gives her hints who will leave at the next shelter ;or finding another passengerwhom likely voluntarily giving their seat, so she can slide herself getting near them. But when hercalculations wrong, she get upset seeing someone else get to sit. Unfortunately the anger makes herdidn’t realize that there were empty seats behind her. When somebody tries to be nice and calling herto sit, she can’t hear him. She’s wearing IPod the entire time.Inspiring moment happens rarely, at least from my personal experience. Letting your seat being takenfor another man/woman are rarely seen nowadays. Even for pregnant woman. But when someoneactually does that, makes me feel guilty. Why I can’t be that man/woman? Why am I so attached to myneed to rest my foot all the way?Transjakarta bus can also play as daily catwalk for those people with bold and unique sense of style. AndI enjoy observing these people. Almost see through and embroidered V-neck yellow tunic with beads;extremely big silver and rhinestone chandelier earrings; knee length leather brown boots and more.Hairdo and make up also fun to watch. One day I even noticed a wig! One mature man wore it to work.Officers at the bus’ door shows remarkable endurance standing the whole time of their shift. Oftenwhen the bus is fully packed they seemed difficult even to stand in cozy manner. Another inspiringmoment is when a man/woman took a step to offer help for first timers without being asked for and theinformation being given is legit. That’s what you need more these days in Jakarta.We arrive to my favorite subject, the annoying moments. So many things people do that annoyedsomeone else, well…, me actually. The top of annoying stuff of my list is: pusher guys. When enteringthe bus, most people -even young man- pushing other people as hard as they could in order to makethem self entering the bus too. They don’t have any consideration pushing an elderly woman, mother
with toddlers or pregnant woman. They keep push…push and push others, never care that they riskhurting someone physically. Someone may stumble and fall, you know.My number two include some perverts. Man who tried taking advantage on rather chaotic situationevery time the bus came. While we stand densely shoulder to shoulder on shelter or inside the bus, thispervert grabs women behind, breast etc. Once it happens to me, I elbowed him and step on his foot ashard as I can. If I had my big umbrella with me, I’d poke him with it.Number three on my list is people who cough recklessly. In dry season or in rainy days there werealways people coughing. If he covers his mouth with handkerchief or -even better- a mask, I have nocomplained. But he didn’t, that means he spitting germs and bacteria all over the bus unconsciously.And the rest of us forced to inhale it.The next annoying moment is when the bus coming late. The shelter is full with people waiting, andwhen it comes the driver didn’t park the bus on the shelter’s door right away. He park a few metersbefore instead, and chatting with other officer. And when it finally approaching, people who stand firstin line refuse entering the bus. They want to wait for empty bus, while other people at the back can’tpenetrate the crowd. You can imagine how angry the ones at the back.Inside that dense bus, at noon when the sun shine extremely hot, cool air conditioner is crucial. Most ofdrivers understand this, but one or two aren’t. They didn’t realize people feeling hot and sweating insidethe bus, then various unpleasant smell arouse.At the transit shelter we can see fast walk race, sometime running race. Never knew who invented it,but people seemed all in hurry, especially at the commune bridge between shelters. They obsessed tobe ahead on others. Despite they wear high heels or carrying big heavy stuff, they walk so fast or evenrunning down at the bridge.The stink stuff is literally stinks the way it smell. Beside unpleasant odor during hot day on full bus, toomuch air refresher perfume also stinks. The smell of synthetic orange in strong scent can knock anelephant out of a headache. And the smell of someone’s intestinal gas during crowd or empty bus, havethe same effect. It stinks.My bus is finally arriving; I’m on my way to the office now. Transjakarta bus, despite of various flavor ofmoments I experience, it still is the best public transportation for me. For now.