I have been a professional writer for five years.

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Jakarta Madding Traffic

What we see and what we hear is always a different thing. I have heard about the condition of my critically ill Aunt via phone all the past few weeks and then I came to take care of her last Friday. Neither image nor phone calls could prepare me that day, seeing her for the first time in months. I barely landed to this awful traffic-ridden city formerly named Batavia when my other Aunt called me and said the devastating news. “Come here as quickly as you can. She is unconscious”.

I couldn’t choose a better day to arrive. Jakarta means traffic jam for the last twenty years or so. But that Friday, the definition of traffic for me changed forever. I’ve lived in Jakarta for the past four years and surely had experienced the infamous loco traffic in this capital. Eight hours trapped inside a car just because of rain falling. Four hours inside a car just because of a minor accident in freeway. Stupid, silly reason and the whole town turn to a traffic hellhole. The only emotion I felt when stuck in a car until my butt gradually lifeless was boredom and annoyed. That Friday it was worse. I felt helpless. What if I don’t see my Aunt for the last time just because of this fucking Busway project-done-by corrupted-megalomaniac-governor? The whole city went mad. Every people just want to curl up and die inside their house. Two hours working trip becomes four. Sick people could die on their way into hospital if everyday would be like this. It doesn’t make any sense.

The government has a visualization of traffic-free Jakarta where most of the people willing to ride reliable public transport (christened "busway". Such a wrong use of English words). Pay attention to the bold words because it won't happen in Jakarta. It would only happen in Jakarta Utopia. Traffic-free? Forget it when the rich keep buying new cars. Willingness to ride public transport? Not going to happen when the middle and have class has this mind-set of "public transport just for the poor" and Jakarta is as hot as hell. Reliable public transport? Let's see...no. Won't do as long as the bus keep arriving 20 minutes late.

Luckily, I made it on time and my Aunt started to get better. Her face was so pale and yet still managed to gifted me her sweet precious smile. From then on, I spent every night beside her in the clinic. How could I say no to a person whose temperature reach almost 40 degrees and yet still managed to say to her brother (he is having a heart problem) to not lifting her since he should be careful with his back. Who would not scorn this madding traffic jam and “I-would-re-evaluate-busway-route” governor? Human spend almost a quarter of their life to sleep but it is not the case in Jakarta. Homo Jakartanesis spend quarter of our life on the road, stuck in a traffic we can’t get out. To close this personal rubbish, I would like to make a statement:

Damn the former and current governor to the deepest hell!

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