Finally I made it to get in. Oops, it's not over yet. Behind me, people were still pushing in to find their way in. 'Hm, I'd better turn to the right,' I said to myself. And better quick, because I hated the way this person behind me pushing me; He - I guessed the person must have been a guy - was like poking my bootie. As I found a nice spot to stand, I looked to my right to see who the person was, and yes, I got my guess perfectly right. A short guy in yellow shirt took a place nearby me and looked straight outside the window innocently.
For the rest of the journey, I kept my guard on and watched the guy through the corner of my eye restlessly. Nevertheless the hot air and my anxiety to get to Depok as fast as possible made me able to distract my thought away from the guy. There was an electric fan over my head, but alas, it was broken. The air wouldn't have been that hot if there weren't many people blocking the air circulation from and to the windows and the open doors.
Well, I'd better stand it. This was so far the fastest means of transportation during Friday's afternoon traffic in Jakarta. To rely on other means of transportation was not a wise thing to do as traffic was getting worse in this Indonesia's capital city. If I took a bus, the fastest time I got to Depok from Salemba would have been two hours. The difference would not be much if I went on my car - a time saving of +/- 30 minutes - plus it did not justify the weariness and the stress I had to bear upon driving through the streets of Jakarta.
So, to hell with the hot air and the crowd and the flirtious & harrassing guys and the ever-ready pickpockets. My aim was to get to the destination I was heading to as fast as I could and KRL suited my need the best. I guess this must have been the same reason so many people in the Great Jakarta area choose to get on this means of transportation despite all the inconvenience. Okay, we had busway, but was there a busway transportation running to and fro the outskirt of Jakarta?
Next reason: low ticket price. With 1,500 Indonesian rupiahs** (around US$ 1.5 cent), you could go as far from Depok to Jakarta Kota, or the other way around. Some people in fact do not bother to go to the ticket booth and buy the ticket. If one has to travel that far, it sure is a real bargain. With ticket price so low, it is logical that travelling security and convenience are luxuries we can only dream of.
But do we have to take the poor treatment from the KAI (PT. Kereta Api Indonesia, the KRL operator) for granted all of our lives? KRL is a mass transportation and we are human beings, not animals nor lifeless things. Shouldn't the government make it one of their top priorities, providing a more humane means of transportation for the people?
Okay, in one point, the government has succeeded in providing a cheap means of transportation. But the homework does not stop to that. I wish the government officials would be willing to take time to ride on the KRL and they would understand what I'm trying to say here. But nah, I reckon they will be too proud to jostle in the KRL with other passangers. Or if they would, they'll ride on the locomotive or on the business class. Yeah, they might as well take a chopper...
Judging all that, it is urgent to make a great deal of changes regarding KRL. Yet I believe there will be some people who go against the changes. To mention a few, there's those people selling beverages, food/snack, candies and cigarettes, fruits, women accessories, books and maps, etc. you name it - who can really get to your nerve if they keep pushing their way onward amidst the dense crowd; and then beggars and handicapped people looking for some money by singing or simply dragging their body over the KRL floor; train singers or music bands (a phenomenon which perhaps we can only find in Indonesia) who sometimes are more of a nuisance than provide entertainment; traders who find KRL to be the cheapest transportation there is to take their bulks of merchandise; and you might never guess this: parents with children who just learn to walk - KRL is a playland for their children!
To wrap my posting, I guess this motto will be just perfect for KRL:
KRL - Find a lot MORE meaning to the word 'travel'!
*Kereta Rel Listrik or Electrically-powered Train
**Tariff for the economy class