Jakarta is magnificent from up here, but not everybody can survive down below.
This listicle originally appeared in Coconuts Ibukota, our Bahasa Indonesia sister site.
Being a Jakartan isn’t just about owning a DKI Jakarta KTP. True Jakartans aren’t born, but made and molded from the harsh circumstances of everyday life in the big bad capital.
Ever wondered how much of the city has ingrained itself into your soul? If you agree with the list below, chances are you’re a true Jakartan and, consequently, a true badass for surviving in one of the world’s harshest metropolitans.
1. You feel that Bandung, Bogor, and other cities are pretty close, but you complain when you’re asked to go from Sudirman to Pluit.
2. You have an umbrella, a masker, and a pair of sandals in your work bag for when you want to travel around Jakarta using public transportation.
3. You’re always mentally ready and have a map of alternative routes in your head when you drive. There’s always the chance that some streets will be closed because of construction or a wedding party so you need to be ready to change your route on a moment’s notice.
4. You have e-Money or a Commuterline card.
Usually hung around your neck with your work ID card
5. You consider all of Jakarta’s bright shiny lights to be just meh. Especially that one ultra huge TV screen at that mall in West Jakarta. Just meh.
6. When you hear a siren, you don’t immediately pull over. You check to make sure if it’s an actual ambulance, fire truck or police car. But most of the time you’ll find that it’s just some rich newlyweds who hired police escorts.
7. You panic when you lose… cell phone reception.
8. You have impressive negotiation skills with ojek drivers.
9. You can tell from 200 meters away if a taxi is a real Blue Bird or just a shady copycat cab.
Is this a fake or real Blue Bird taxi?
10. You can find another gear within yourself when you have to push through a crowd of passengers entering/exiting a Metro Mini, Transjakarta or even the Commuterline.
11. You’re anxious when it rains. All you can think about is how your route home could potentially be flooded and how the laundry you put out to dry in the morning is completely ruined.
12. You calculate journey times in hourly units, because it usually takes an hour to go from FX to Kuningan or from Kemang to Senayan.
13. You rarely go to Car Free Day, Ragunan, Monas, or Senayan.
Oooh so this is Monas.
14. You’re great at waking up early on weekdays, especially when there’s a meeting at the office. But you’re super lazy on weekends. If you promise to meet a friend at a mall at 11 am, you’ll get there at 1:30 pm.
15. You envy seeing traffic jams in other cities, because no city in Indonesia comes close to Jakarta when it comes to macet.