Monday 14 May 2012: Earwig
Not much to say about earwigs, they look nasty and normally would find the sole of my shoe pressing down on them.
I was suffering a tad yesterday morning, after the 'Dad dance' session and did not arise until about 13:30pm. John and I then went to Pauline and Bills for a visit. It is always entertaining visiting Pauline, especially as she is my ex-wifey number 1. The visit was made even more interesting as Pauline is a ManU fan and Bill is a Man city fan and both games were being shown on different channels.
They agreed to watch 15 minutes of each game, taking turns. It really looked like United had beaten the odds and taken the title, but city scored two goals in extra time to move from a losing position to a title winning position. Ten minutes earlier, Bill had given up hope and taking a reasonable amount of stick from Pauline, but in the end it was Bill who was roaring on his knees in front of the TV screen, letting everyone in a two mile radius of the house know who he supports.
That was exciting and such fun, definitely and excuse for a 'Dad dance'!
Today's difference discussion is on getting around. There are five forms of public transport, trains, coach, taxis, angkutan kota and ojek.
Trains and coaches, for inter city travel. I have used the train many times but not the coaches. They both come in different classes, from stiflingly hot, mosquito infested, overcrowded, ashtrays to executive, air conditioned luxury with swivel reclining chairs and TV. The train prices have gone up significantly since I last used them and a ticket to Jakarta from Bandung is about £29 for executive, last time for me was about £5.
Taxis have improved significantly in recent years, from rust buckets, the driver with a windscreen wiper on a stick for when it rains or holding a torch out of his window so we could see where we were going, to new cars, properly maintained, with seatbelts that don't leave a black stripe across your shirt. £5 will get you about an hour driving, but no guarantees that an hour will be sufficient because of the horrendous overcrowding on the roads.
Angkutan kota is a small minibus with small wooden benches and fits about fifteen passengers in, often more. A short trip will cast about 10p, but you may have to take several to get where you are going. There is no schedule or map, so there is a learning curve. This is the way the masses get around, but obviously still subject to the traffic problems.
Ojek, my preferred method of getting around the city, a motorbike taxi. The only way to beat the traffic, but you need nerves of steel. Some riders are better than others and the prices vary a lot too, I think it is called skin tax, as I seem to have to pay more than the locals, but still slightly cheaper than a taxi and I get there faster. I found a good one and use him all the time. I call him on his phone and he is at my door in minutes.