Jakarta’s Road Hogs

By : webadmin | on 8:21 AM August 17, 2011
Category : Archive

James Penha

Far too little is done to discipline the range of omnivorous road hogs who drive menacingly on Jakarta’s toll roads, as if the wheels of other automobiles should never dare to tread in their swinish rights of way.

Rarely do police squads halt the road hogs who claim emergency lanes are paved to serve as their private speedways. Those motorist who blink their headlights in that rude telegraphy: “GET OUT OF MY WAY … GET OUT OF MY WAY NOW … BECAUSE I AM SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU” are only sometimes frustrated by people like me who slow to a crawl whenever we see in the mirror such wild-eyed boars snorting at our tailpipes.

There is a new species of road hogs on the roads; these beasts swerve into gardu uang pas (exact change tollbooths) even when they do not have exact payment. They are without concern, as they blithely hold out their cloven hooves to wave for their kembalian (change), for the delays caused to the rule-abiding citizens in line behind them.

However, there is hope: this particular breed of pest can find itself endangered, if not extinct, were the toll road authorities to enforce their own rules and simply refuse to give change to any drivers using the gardu uang pas. Under such a plan, if a driver were to offer the toll-taker a hundred thousand rupiah note at a seven thousand rupiah gate, so be it, but ninety-three thousand extra goes into the coffers of the toll road operator!

There would certainly be some shocked and angry road hogs for a while, but in time, they would have to retract their tusks and learn to use gardu uang pas only when they actually have uang pas. Road hogs aren’t stupid after all; they’re just pigs.