Why it's harder to date a girl in an urban jungle like Jakarta

Around two months ago, I had this conversation with my buddy PK:

PK: Dude, I’ve been thinking…

Me: What?

PK: You can ride motorbike, right?

Me: Yep.

PK: But do you normally take them to the street by yourself?

Me: Nope. I’m honestly scared of all the traffic and stuff.

PK: Well, so do I. I hate taking motorcycles by myself too… So then…

Me: What?

PK: Have you ever pondered, if both of us finally get to date our dream girls; you with X and me with Y, what kind of vehicles would we take to pick them up?

Me: Hmm… Bus? *laughs*

PK: *laughs* That sounds ridiculous, dummy!

Me: *smiles grimly* I know.

PK: Taking angkot to her house to pick her up and then taking Metro Mini together? Gee, that sucks Man.

Me: Yep, that sucks indeed. Hey now that I think of it, don’t you find it ironic that in Singapore, taking bus or MRT with your girlfriend could sound quite romantic?

PK: That’s my point dude! Just imagine, taking those bloody musty and hot Metro Mini buses with your girlfriend here in Jakarta! What kind of romantic memory could that create?

Me: Haha.. that just sounds damn pathetic Man. Let’s not talk about it

As PK had told me, oftentimes we find it ironic that in order to date a girl in Jakarta (and also other urban areas in Indonesia), a guy MUST bring his own private vehicle.

A private vehicle is necessary so that he could pick up his girlfriend at her home or whatever rendezvous point they have agreed upon.

While the middle-class guys in Indonesia prefer riding a motorcycle, those who are more fortunate could have a driver standby for them or sometimes, they are even allowed by their parents to drive the car themselves!

What about those who are able to ride motorcycle or car, but hate taking it to the street by themselves? They have no other choice but to wait for the right time.

And just like what PK had told me; taking a public transportation together with your date in Jakarta, and a similar scene imagined in Singapore; sounds completely different.

Below are two case studies to consider.

Taking a bus ride in Singapore, Seoul, or Tokyo:

1. Air-conditioned (with the exception of certain double deckers)
2. Exceptionally clean and comfortable inside the bus
3. Additional enjoyable entertainment with an LCD TV inside
4. The bus don’t get that packed because the drivers enforce a strict discipline on limiting the number of passengers
5. Passengers don’t suffer when it rains
6. The driver drives safely

Taking a bus ride in Jakarta or Surabaya:

1. Non-airconditioned (Don’t mention Transjakarta here, because they only serve limited routes!)
2. Very hot, dirty, and musty inside the bus
3. Additional uninvited entertainment by the buskers (pengamen)
4. On certain hours, the bus could get very packed that you could feel like being inside a sardine tin
5. Passengers suffer when it rains because all the windows are shut and hence, the air inside gets mustier
6. The driver could drive as fast as the F1 Racers

While the first case study (in the developed cities) could sound “Oh-So-Romantic!” for a bus ride together, the second one….. uhmmmm..... I don’t think so.

Here are funny pics of the day (click on them to generate larger images):

When Harry and Ron gets bored

Where is this kid sleeping?

When Moses go fishing

Evolution picture revolutionised

Oops... I'm stuck.

11 versus Many

therry  – (16 June 2008 at 17:43)  

when my fiance and i were courting, he rode a motorbike (still is) but he often caught public transport to visit me - yes, the hot and musty kind that you just mentioned.

he was living in cikarang (near the office we were working) and i in bekasi, so transportation to and fro were rather far, abt an hour or so.

anyway, he used to take a cab home afterwards but when he was broke he'd opt for the public transport. i found this rather endearing b/c he'd endure all the horrible experience of catching indonesian public transport just to see me.

either motorbikes, cars or public transport, they're just means of transportation. a mature girl who doesnt judge you by the looks will see through it all (like me mwahahha).

i myself didn't own a car until i turned 25. i used to catch public transport too and in an odd kind a way i kind of missed it b/c even though now i drive in an AC car, catching public transport means not having to deal with stupid drivers around, not getting tired when caught in a traffic jam and best of all you can sleep!! (tiredness after work, you see).

Toshi  – (18 June 2008 at 05:08)  

@therry: wow.. that's one romantic guy u have there!

seandainya aja semua cewe itu bisa sama kayak mbak therry (maksudnya, nggak look down terhadap cowo yang naik bis tapi nggak naik motor)... betapa indahnya dunia ini bagi cowo Indo!

Ya nggak? :)

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