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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Life Lessons in 1 Hour

I've been preoccupied by several things these past few weeks. My mobility is higher than ever. I've gone to bed pretty late as well. It has been such a fun experience, though, as I love the adrenaline rush I feel after working on things at the same time. 

That day was no different. It was Sunday and I was still required to attend a meeting. I was currently staying in northern side of the city while the meeting is in the opposite side. As per usual, I check the online taxi fare and it showed a spectacular nominal: IDR 69k! It had only been early August and I of course couldn't splurge on a private ride. I needed to survive until the end of the month! So I decided to try out an alternative I honestly never tried before: Busway.

I've always loved public transportation, such as commuter line. But I rarely traveled with busway. I guess I got traumatized the first time I tried it out in my freshman year, when it took me 3 hours to get to my destination due to my poor orientation. But I decided to give it another shot today, as I got plenty of time to learn my way. I checked my Google Maps numerous times, making sure I was on the right track. It said that it would take me an hour long trip. So there I went.

As I walked toward the bus station, I could hear someone catcalling me. I ignored the catcaller and just walked straight. He finally gave up. And by that, I learned the first lesson today: some people have not yet fully comprehended the concept of respect.

Finally, I reached the bus station and hopped on the bus. The seats were all taken, so I had to make do with holding on to the pole. Then it was time for me to change bus. I got off the bus and on to another. When I was about to enter the bus, someone hit me in the shoulder and cut the line. I didn't want to bother on being mad at her, so I took a deep breath and just focused on the song I was listening to. After a few stops, a mother with two little boys entered the bus. I noticed the youth seemed reluctant to give up their seats. A few minutes later, knowing that nobody wanted to give their seats to the overwhelmed mother, an old woman got up and told the mother to sit down. I tried to look around and I knew that people noticed the woman's gesture but then pretended to sleep or converse right away. The mother thanked the old woman numerous times before sitting with her kids. I then learned the second lesson of the day: it would be great if everyone is considerate towards others.

One of the kids then made a noise. He blabbed about things I could not understand clearly but he was obviously loud. He kept jumping on the bus, while his younger brother was reluctant to sit on the mother's lap. You could tell from the mother's face that she was tired. She did not wear any make up, wore modest clothes, and there were sweats and she had eye bags. But she kept smiling and trying to calm her kids down by saying that they would arrive soon. Apparently they were going to Monumen Nasional. "Bentar lagi sampai monas nih, hore.." (we're already close to Monas, yay!) and then both the kids clapped. I could see her smiling from ear to ear looking at her kids. Once the bus stopped, they took off and headed to the monument. The third lesson I learned was happiness is basically very simple and modest; and it doesn't come without compromises. Once you enjoy the hurdles of life, you'll be completely and genuinely happy.

Half an hour passed and then it was time for me to get off the bus. I checked Google Maps to locate my destination; the coffee shop in Senopati. Turned out it would take me a 15 minutes travel by foot to get there. I could easily order an online taxi, but considering how much money I could save, I decided to just walk. I tried to entertain myself by looking around, enjoying how quiet Sunday mornings could be. It was enjoyable. I wore comfortable clothes and I felt pretty in it, I got to enjoy traveling around Jakarta with such cheap price, and I finally learned my last lesson in that one hour: you could really learn so many lessons when you paid attention to things that happened around you.

I hope you like this post!

-Abigail Gee