Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and…

by Tabitha Kidwell

Yesterday, I traveled from Malang, in East Java, to Salatiga, in Central Java. I started my journey by being driven to the train station by my friend Iris on her motorbike:

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Then I took the train:

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I was so impressed - the chairs could rotate around so you could face a group of 4 or face forward.  Brilliant!

I was so impressed – the chairs could rotate around so you could face a group of 4 or face forward. Brilliant!

Then I took a beck (a bicycle rickshaw):

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Then I took a bus:

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Then I took an angkot (a city-wide mini-bus):

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Then I walked the last three blocks to my house!

In addition to all that, in the last month, I have used the following modes of transportation: airplane, taxi, private car, motorcycle taxi, ferry, speedboat, carpool, bicycle, and horse cart. Indonesia is great because they seem to embrace every new option without losing the previous ones. I regularly see motorcycles zipping around SUVs trying to pass horse carts that are held up by bicycle rickshaws. This apparently necessitates these signs at the highway on-ramp:

1, no walking, 2, no motorcycles...

1, no walking, 2, no motorcycles…

...3, no rickshaws, 4, no push carts, 5, no pull carts...

…3, no rickshaws, 4, no push carts, 5, no pull carts, 6, no bicycles, 7, no bicycle rickshaws…

... 6, no... um... covered wagons?

… 8, no… um… covered wagons?

So it looks like horse carts are totally allowed! Or maybe they need a few more signs…

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