Things Have Changed

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I’m home. It’s been awhile since my last visit to my actual home in Bogor. The last time I went home was on November 2015, just for a week. Now, I’m back for six weeks for doing my research project in Jakarta. To be honest, I had a mixed feeling when I arrived. I had so many thoughts, from my inner happiness that I’ll be able to meet my mom and sisters to my ugly thoughts that I might got into trouble as reverse culture shock could happen. However, when I’m arrived, the first thing that I feel was disappointment because my luggage got delayed (thank you Singapore Airlines!).

As the time goes by, I’m starting to feel that everything moves in different pace. The world seems move faster here, especially when I’m in Jakarta. Rushing through the traffic is definitely not fun and I feel the traffic is getting worse. Walking around is getting worse as well. I usually walk from Gondangdia train station to Menara Thamrin through Jalan Johar and KH Wahid Hasyim. I can’t walk peacefully or safely anymore as I realised I have to get through the road (instead of the pedestrian) most of time because most of commercial buildings are using pedestrian for parking spaces. This is not surprising for me, but as the time goes by, new commercial buildings emerges along my walking route and my walking experience is getting worse. I know that the chance for me getting hit by a car or motorbike is higher (I would say three times higher!).

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Jakarta has changed. More people, more traffic congestion, but that means more opportunities. I’m still amazed with this city.

Commuting with the train also become no fun. Most of the trains are now equipped with huge LCD set that showing heaps of advertisement. The digital ads also equipped with audio and I don’t like it as I feel I got brainwashed by the same ads and jingle, over and over again. Second, train schedule is messy and unpredictable. Train got stopped because of queue at the interchange station, causing my travel time longer (120-150 minutes, instead of 90 minutes). I think there is too many people. Queuing is getting longer at the entrance gate, exit gate, and ticket booth.  The “too many people” problem is not just for the train, I think it’s valid for everything. I remember I want to buy groceries at the supermarket, and I was stuck for 60 minutes at the checkout.

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Some people might think the ads display is a positive thing. Unfortunately, it’s not my thing.

The city where I live also looks different. Things have changed as well. There are heaps of new facilities to accommodate business and tourism domain, that’s a good thing. The angkots (public transportation) have changed: their numbers seems increased but the demand seems decreasing as alternative transport such as Uber, Gojek, and Grab are booming. New hangout places emerge, causing traffic congestion in every major (and some minor) roads. The change of road system in Botanical Garden Ring Road from two ways into one way is quite depressing. I can’t find any benefit behind the new system. I would say fix the angkots system, reduce their numbers and enforce no stopping law as they tend to stop anywhere they want. Illegal angkots terminal emerges and it is very annoying. However, I have to praise the government to push the accessibility of communication infrastructure. I’m so happy when I found out that fiber internet is available at my home (yay for that!). 

The home where I live also can’t avoid changes. The place where I spend most of my time, with good and bad memories. The home itself is getting old – like me, like my mom, and like my sisters as well. However, the warm feeling is still here and never changed. Although my dad is gone, I feel like he’s been waiting for me to get home. I can feel the warm welcome where he usually sits in front of the house, waiting for me to get home because I always come home late. A couple days before Ramadan has started, I had a visit to his resting place. I can’t write down my feeling here as I don’t know how should I feel. However, the fact that I love him will never changed and I would like the rest of the world know that I love my dad.

Happy father’s day.