A Taxiing Week?
First thing on a Monday morning as I try to get across Jakarta in order to do battle with a bunch of bored hormonal teenagers is not the time for a stressful taxi ride.
Yesterday I was first a bit peeved as my driver weaved from the right to the centre of the toll road to the left lane and then back again. I've always felt that staying in one lane is probably quicker and it's certainly more efficient as it covers less distance. The meter fare may also be Rp.500 less. But I noticed that the gaps between the vehicles in front were of varying length as we sped up and slowed down. It was then that I realised that the driver was more tired than I.
I fed him extra-strength Plonks to suck on until we reached eventually reached my destination. I told him to park in a side street and have a nap. The plonker probably didn't.
My tarif lama
(old tariff) taxi driver this morning got us as far as the the entrance to the toll road before deciding he didn't want to go as far as I did, so he pulled over having signalled a taxi behind us. "No charge," he told me. Dead bloody right, I thought, as I noticed that the awaiting taxi was charging the more recent tariff.
So I waited for the next tarif lama
to appear and we reached the toll booth. "Check the change," I told him, because you can expect a bit of mini-corruption when you hand over a large note. Did he?
I made him stop, get out and stroll back to collect the Rp.2,500 we'd been short-changed, and then lectured him about how if you look after the pence (cents for my dollar-centric readers) then the pounds (dollars) look after themselves.
Of course, he'd only been in Jakarta a month, so he didn't know where the toll roads go to.
Ho bloody hum.
To cheer myself up, and to change the topic, I've posted another essay on the Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box
blog. This one seems to tie in nicely with the current theme of the pitiful state of national education. It's a critique by a putative student, Toshihiko Atsuyama
, who is not actually from Japan, entitled The pitiful state of foreign language education
Tosh is perhaps an unfortunate choice of name because what he writes is anything but.