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Driving in Jakarta


Maneuver, indicate and hope.


The first time we uncomfortably slide behind the wheel of a car it feels so big and daunting. Yet we look back now and feel confident in the excellent training and hours of quality practice we have had. Moreover we are reassured that our fellow drivers have the same respect and appreciation for the science of expert driving.

Forget the science and faith in others when on the open road, welcome to the art of driving. Every turn of the wheel or adrenaline thrust of the gas or brake are in no way connected to logical thinking but more reflexes of your very soul as it strives for continued existence within this form.

Welcome to driving in Jakarta!

Relax your grip on the steering wheel, stop you eyes from jumping from left to right, slow your breathing and consciously bring your beats per minute back below 120 or you will have that heart attach you fear so much.

A new sense of zen is released over you as you come to the surprising realization that there is no such concept as the' right of way' in this crazy chaotic crowded maze of streets. You are free to propel yourself at high speeds in any direction that you wish. Going the wrong way on a one way street is positively the done thing and seemingly a pure necessity at times. Blowing your horn one millisecond before the lights have changed in order to spur your fellow drivers in front of you on with an apparently cheerful and exuberant vote of confidence is only polite.

These things are only a brief glimpse at the endless entertainment that lie in wait for you. However there is one thing that you must grasp before you begin this adventure, everyone else will do exactly what they want. Hence maneuver, signal and look is the standard protocol. This could be the reason that most people turn that ignition key while saying a little prayer, a practice i would advise all of you to undertake.

Good luck and remember to maneuver, signal and look, in that order sadly.