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  1. #1
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    Jakarta Traffic adventures on a Tuesday morning

    Today started out like any other day, alarm goes off, breakfast, shower dress, travel to work. However, I needed to go into town to pick up some plane tickets, no they couldn't deliver if I wanted to pay by credit card, have to pick up in person!

    OK, ok. So after a barrage of calls, emails and sms's I arrange to pick up the tickets Tuesday morning since I have several free hours in the morning. I am to meet this travel agent at a mall near where she works in South Jakarta, and she'll take me there.

    Well, I live a good hour away from South Jakarta. So I make my apologies and I leave at work at 7.30am, first mistake, my town/suburb, turns out to be very congested at this time of the morning trying to get out.... grrr. Anways, I send an sms to the agent to say I'm with my driver can you just give me the address and we can meet you there?

    Just as we are getting close to the mall in question, I send another sms to this agent since she hadnt replied to my first one that morning. Turns out she is already on the back of a motor bike and headed towards the office already, ok, I hand over the phone to my driver who briefly talks with her while dodgy motorcycles and buses all over the road.

    We are still headed North, in fact Jalan Sudirman, a major arterial road has a regulation designed to decrease congestion a ban on all cars carrying fewer than 3 people during peak hours..... and you can bet there will be dozens of police officers on patrol to catch motorists and extort a fine, never mind any criminals that they ignore, car owners obviously have more money that can be extorted.

    well this has only served to create a new profession, that of the "street jockey" - hundreds of people line the streets prior to the main roads with their thumbs out as if hitch hiking, however, you have to pay them, they will sit in the car to make up the number, and then get out after the restricted area and travel back to their point of origin to repeat the process. All for a few thousand rupiah (about a dollar).

    Since it was only myself and my driver we needed to pick up one, however, this young man and a few others like him didn't really thrill us.


    Fortunately we found a well dressed man instead, we were making good time, (relatively speaking, I've been in the car over an hour already) but it was still getting late, turns out this bladdy travel agent is in the North of Jakarta!!!

    So we drop him off, of course the cheeky git wants extra money.. "tiga ribu lagi pak!" I suspect because I am 'bule'.

    We have arrived at the correct street, we drive in the service lane looking for the travel agent, chinese style shopfronts, numbering not easy to find, looking for numbers here and there.

    As we were going through an intersection a disinterested copper waving traffic almost gets knocked over by us, uh oh, we went supposed to be going then he was waving the opposite traffic, that was a red light we went through, uh oh, this street is now one way only, the police man is blowing his whistle and yelling at us to stop, a motorcycle nearly hits us and my driver begins to stop over the otherside of the intersection, I just tell him to go, so he does, at about 80km/hr. still up the wrong way road.

    We've definately gone passed the travel agent now anyway, my driver turns down a street and we are now in the back streets, the irate policeman left behind. The traffic is really snarled up down here, cars blocking the road, ignoring red lights all over the place, we spend 15 mins to drive around a block only to find that we cannot turn left to get to where we want to go, so back to do another block again, I get the travel agent back on the phone to speak with my driver again, about the exact location of her office.

    He sort of pulls over to speak on the phone.... in front of 3 more police, who gave us a good stare, fortunately they dont seem to be bothered to hassle us for money.

    Drive up the same service road as before, this time I get out and walk to almost exactly the same spot we had almost knocked over the irate policeman, lucky he didnt recognize me (well, it was almost an hour later.

    The agent in the shop hasnt bothered to print the tickets yet because she was worried the details might be wrong, never mind the 60 million emails we had exchanged already! Its now almost 10.00am

    I offer the travel agent a lift back in my care to the original mall she was supposed to pick me up at. I ask her why this office was so far away, and she proudly explains that her office is more expensive and that she has found me the cheapest travel agent in all of jakarta .... by about $10 or $20 ... ! WTF!

    So I wasted an entire morning getting a ticket for $1160 instead of $1180???

  2. #2
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    traffic adventures on a... 30-10-2007 08:00 PM dirtydog well I liked the post even if nobody else did
    cheers DD!

  3. #3
    I am in Jail

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    It is a nice story.

  4. #4
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    ^ 100% true also, happened today, exactly as i told it!

  5. #5
    If It's Hot, It's Here
    sharon's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing even if no one cares.

  6. #6
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    ^ i'm trying to work out if u being nice or nasty?

  7. #7
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    Agent_Smith's Avatar
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    Sorry, your more interesting when you're drunk. But....

    You get a thumbs up for the pic and the tidbit about the rent-a-passenger scam.

  8. #8
    Northern Hermit
    friscofrankie's Avatar
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    Good story, well told - fuck all these naysayers.

  9. #9
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    Whiteshiva's Avatar
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    Why don't you do one of the following:

    1) Use a travel agent closer to where you work?

    2) pay cash, and have the ticket delivered?

    3) use a travel agent that will take credit cards AND deliver the ticket?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva View Post
    Why don't you do one of the following:

    1) Use a travel agent closer to where you work?

    2) pay cash, and have the ticket delivered?

    3) use a travel agent that will take credit cards AND deliver the ticket?
    excellent questions, i was. but the one I had was getting increasely unreliable, making mistakes on bookings, pricing, dates, etc.

    He managed to accidentally cancel some flights that i didnt want cancelled, the last straw was when he booked me some flights to penang via KL (as double his orginal quote) and then he cheerfully annouced that he could not get me back to jkt, just KL but perhaps that was ok and if i had my own travel agent contacts over there I could just book through them.

    So this was a new agent, I tried 2, the others didnt respond. Its just something about Indo workers and complete lack of a brain. Rival Thai's they do!

  11. #11
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    I'm sure I made a nice, positive comment to KW about this at some God-forsaken time this morning.....

  12. #12
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva View Post
    Why don't you do one of the following:

    1) Use a travel agent closer to where you work?

    2) pay cash, and have the ticket delivered?

    3) use a travel agent that will take credit cards AND deliver the ticket?
    and, 4) abstain from posting uninteresting poo for at least 30 days.

  13. #13
    Not an expat
    Fabian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva View Post
    Why don't you do one of the following:

    1) Use a travel agent closer to where you work?

    2) pay cash, and have the ticket delivered?

    3) use a travel agent that will take credit cards AND deliver the ticket?
    Or use E-Ticket.

  14. #14
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    rawlins's Avatar
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    Definately not uninteresting poo..... I never knew about 'street jockeys' 10 minutes ago - now I do.

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