My Busway Day: It Begins

This summer, while transitioning between jobs, I had two glorious weeks off. I decided spend one of these magical free days traversing Jakarta on the Busway. It seemed like a fun way to see parts of town I don’t normally get to. Plus, I actually thought I might be able to ride all the lines in one day, which turned out to be a pipe dream.

(Members of my family will now be wincing, because riding all the busway lines in a day is exactly what our late Uncle Jack would have done, and Uncle Jack was definitely a bit of an Odd Duck. I guess biology is destiny, after all.)

I got to our local station, Benhill, at around 7 a.m. Things were hopping — lots of foot traffic, lots of road traffic.
,The breakfast vendors were in full swing. This guy is selling sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, probably with a little chicken inside, as well as an assortment of pastries. These people start early — probably by 5, although I’ve never been around to see — and they’re usually gone before 9.

Here’s another pastry basket. Don’t be alarmed by the green bread — it’s flavored with pandan, Indonesia’s answer to vanilla.

The station wasn’t too crowded. I waited inside for about five minutes, thinking about the warning a taxi driver had given me a month or two before: Watch out for men in suits and jackets on the busway. They’ll hypnotize you and steal your wallet and cellphone! I saw some guys in business attire, but they seemed to be innocently reading the paper. Of course, that was probably their cover.


Finally the bus came. I had decided to ride all the way up to the Chinese end of North Jakarta and then double back to get on one of the East-West lines. This was cheating, in a sense, since I’ve done the north-south trip many times … but I also know it’s the best line on the busway, and I wasn’t in a hurry to start dealing with long lines and packed buses. So I set off to Kota.

to be continued …

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Author: Trish Anderton

I am a nonprofit communicator, Red Sox fan and amateur streetfoodologist. Once upon a time I worked for the Jakarta Globe & Jakarta Post.

7 thoughts on “My Busway Day: It Begins”

  1. What will she snack on next? Will she fall asleep on the bus? How many children will shout “hello Mister!” at her? STAY TUNED!I’m just like a sinetron, except I’m … well … less exciting.

  2. Well, sign me up on the odd duck commitee right away then, ms kopi susu. In this city that I live in, I’ve tried every single train line available (there are about 20ish), taken pictures of every station that I passed by and stopped at every last station of each line and take more pictures posing in front of the station’s name and soak in the wonderful experience of the surrounding neighbourhood. Ofcourse some of my friends think I’m a freak! but I convinced some of the rest to actually join me on the freakiness fun!Oh and no, I didn’t do it all in one day .. but I sure tried!

  3. This pastry guy must just buy his in BlokM dawn market. Have you ever heard about it? A huge market of any cakes you can imagine start to open around 4am by Jl Melawai and end 2 hours later with huge money turnover. My mother used to go there whenever she is the host for “arisan RT”.

  4. hi, kopisusu2.blogspot.com!
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