Tuesday, October 10, 2006
If I were designing a flag for Jakarta, I'd put feet sticking out a taxi or bajaj window on it. Not in a mocking way; just because it's such an iconic Jakarta sight. No doubt the drivers work long hours and take naps during the slow periods. (Rush hour can start as early as 5 a.m. here, because everybody's trying to get to work before the roads are completely jammed.)
People who run food stalls also snooze during the day, and they can sleep in what look like incredibly uncomfortable positions - lying on a wooden bench that's too short for them, or leaning up against a cement wall.
The napping intensifies during Ramadan, when everybody's schedule is messed up by getting up for breakfast at 3 a.m. It's kind of nice, because the taxi and ojek drivers are too sleepy to yell "Taxi, mister! Ojek-ojek-ojek!" at me when I'm walking to work. I always feel a little bad turning them down, because they need the fares, but on the other hand, I need the exercise!