The Vacation Took Its Toll! (A Random Post Written Desperately in the Commuter Line Train)

Wednesday November 23, 2011

6.53 pm

Here I am stuck in the train . “It was struck by the lightning, he says. Ok, to tell you the truth what I worry about more is NOT about when I get home tonight but when I can have my dinner tonight. And drink! I swear I’ve been severely dehydrated after walking around the Botanical Garden all day long. It was tough, my bodily system is screaming for water. But I can’t get any here! While outside, hevy downpour is falling. My lips are so dry as well as my throat! Too many are standing here but sorry I can’t give this seat away. I’m much too weak to stand up during the rest of the train trip.

It started this morning and hell, I thought I already woke up early enough but what it apparently wasn’t.I set off around 7 am, dashed to the Sudirman Train Station, forgetting that the train is scheduled at 6.30, 6. 55, and 9.40. , which is like “CRAP, I have to wait for more than 60 minutes!”

You may remember Tata Young's "Bitchy, Naughty". And this man sets the song chorus as his phone ringtone!

Enough with the confusion! I shrieked by heart after moving from one coach to another FOUR TIMES (let’s choke the public train official commanding on the megaphone! ). How can this happen to me?? What have I done to deserve this? For God’s sake, I have to work tomorrow! And I here find myself, being stranded in a train coach with this man in front of me talking about rubbish in broken In-glish (Indonesian-English) with 3 alumni of Universitas Diponegoro. I’ve been there, having to endure this sort of conversation which is usually overly boring, so boring you want to bite the vein in his neck to prevent the boredom from killing you, figuratively saying. You simply have to act politely, open your mouth a bit once in a while to please the man and at the same time trying to digest  each and every word the preacher is blurting to no end. It’s, I swear, an ultimate torment if you’re not up to being social and kind. I feel terribly sorry for those 3 young men. They’re exhausted, bored to death and upset for being so powerless to leave the hellish conversation with someone of their grandfathers’ age. Wearing a mask and looking seemingly busy with my notebook writing this post did save me. Busy yourself with anything and no Indonesian passengers will make a mess with you.

The experience was undoubtedly fun. Not having to update any social network accounts, upload images, type like crazy, rewrite articles, summarize long texts, translate stuff, be called on the phone by coworkers or the owner, or inhale the same air of Jakarta today. But there’s a price to pay.

— ∞–

If you're wearing headphones and having a Blackberry in your hand but you litter in the train, you seem more like a neanderthal than a bipedal modern homo sapiens living in the digital age.

7.49 pm

It’s been more than an hour and we’re still here, at Pasar Minggu Station. I miss my maghrib pray, feel excruciatingly hungry and thirsty, until I reach the pointh where I could think of anything but enjoy what it is as it is. Enjoying the present, yes that is exactly what I’m trying to do now. I’ve read a number of pages of “Eat, Pray, Love“, which is kind of great as this novel is comical, witty in some way.

But well, I’m not going to act like a hypocrite. I hate it. I hate this very situation. Being stuck, being unable to rest and claim my private space, to dine, to strectch my stiff legs. I want to scream but why bother? I can’t, will not allow myself to commit such a faux pas. And this man on the loud speaker was definitely a practical joker. Thank to him, we passengers moved to and fro like a flock of fools. Please, f*cking move NOW!! Oh, and that gut said the train is about to move within 4 minutes. Yay!

Oh, speaking of what I did all day long in Bogor, I did different things this time. I metaphorically climb the same mountain but doing extra things on the list. So this is quite productive, I suppose!

Jakarta-Bogor Nov 23, 2011
This man sitting by the door spitted in front of me with his eyes glued to his smartphone! In the train! Public space! What a filthy jackass!

In short, I’d been wandering around the Botanical Garden since noon. And as I waited the pray time (around 11.40 am), I got a terribly shocking, shameful experience. So there was an elderly man (appears to be the mosque’s janitor or something) sprung out of the door and without warning asked one of us (I was there with the other two men sitting in the porch) to give the call to prayer. “Gimme a break!” I thought and grinned bitterly at the old man. I’m not afraid of making mistakes but.. you know I need rehearsal!! It’s hard to just shout the azan lines while you never do it on a regular basis before. Ok, I feel guilty but what if I did something wrong and the entire neighborhood came out of their houses and mocked me or considered that profane? That’s much too risky! And I hear kids are screaming , just like a school but this is buzzing endlessly. I-N-D-O-N-E-S-I-A!!! That’s what they’re yelling. The soccer madness lingers and even escalates in some pockets of the country, believe it or not. Considering the saddening fact that there’re two casualties who lost their lives  for a sheet of soccer match ticket at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, that is supposed to be better than a one-night-trending spirit.


LIAR! So this transportation tragedy is NOT even close to its end. He said 4 minutes, but look where we’re now still. Until now, 5 minutes after the promised time, the train doesn’t even move a single inch. I still sense NO movement at all! I can’t be  mad at anyone because it’s purely out of their control. Huge thanks to myself for bringing this notebook along. It DOES keep my brain active, to survive the unbearably boring predicament.

I swear all passengers here in this ill-fated commuter line train are so fed up right now. They’re like yawning repeatedly, exchanging texts on the phone, checking BlackBerry Messenger,  restlessly or calling people at home they’re gonna be home unusually late. But it’s true, I even want to smash my own head to the glass window.

And the man is announcing again, “The train heading to Jakarta Kota Train Station isn’t allowed to set off now just yet.” God is good. He wants to assess my patience level.


Talking about  the Botanical Garden, I already have with me a number of seeds! Yes, seeds of some plants I happened to find along the way. It was lazy of me to even jot down the names or shoot the nametag of each tree but as Shakespeare stated centuries ago, “What is a name?” Names don’t matter, to a certain extent.

And oh, there is a train moving beside our train and every one of us in this train, like responded by a quick, sudden stare filled with annoyance, envy, or hopelessness. The eyes speak for their mind, “How can they move while we’re stuck for hours here?” Or maybe what is popping out on their mind is the urge to hijack the train newly arriving? I have no idea.

Boredom is at the moment intruding even more deeply, seeping through the deeper level of our souls. I succumb. I got the Android phone and check th e Facebook newsfeed and Twitter mentions. And to my utter annoyance, the connection is stuck, just like this train. I sigh, desperately enough.

The guy announced again, only telling us to wait longer. The problem in Manggarai isn’t fixed yet and what hurts me eve more is the fact that the connection speed on this mobile phone goes a lot slower than snails. I now activate the 3G in hope that it’ll significantly boost the speed. Enough with the experiment, I switch the phone to airplane mode!


9.01 pm

It’s 9.01 pm and the God-blessed train isn’t moving yet. And this is sickening!  can’t even survive another hour. Please God, I beg of You…

Everyone starts to call or be callled by their dad, mom, or relatives at home. Can barely stand it any further.

Now I sincerely pray for the people at Manggarai that they can fix whatever the problem is IMMEDIATELY, considering it’s been more than 2 hours straight we’re in the train wasting our invaluable life time for cursing other innocent people.


10. 17 pm


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