Crazy Jakarta Traffic

We don’t understand much about Jakarta, and one thing that we have really come to realize is that we completely don’t understand Jakarta traffic.  Traffic is usually better on the weekends, which kind of makes sense.  The other thing that we can count on is that it’s hard to find a taxi when it’s raining.  Other than that, we’re clueless–and we’ve had some experience with strange traffic patterns around New York, LA, and Boston.  Sometimes there will be dozens upon dozens of taxis waiting outside of our apartment to catch fares.  Sometimes there aren’t.  This morning, for no reason at all, the first 10 taxis we saw didn’t want to pick us up.  They just drove right past us, and then stopped and waited for something.  Just now, TP took a taxi across town that took forever for no discernable reason.  This morning, SBY (the president) drove past us, so we had lots of traffic then.  Sometimes there will be cops around "directing traffic," and sometimes at the same intersection there won’t be, and in either situation the traffic is the same: bad.  Sometimes our commute home is worse early in the afternoon than during rush hour.  Some morning at 8:20 the Catholic/Chinese school near us is full of parents dropping off kids, sometimes it isn’t.  We almost always travel the exact same route here and back every day, and it never takes a predictable amount of time.  We’ve had 8 minutes, we’ve had 45.

In other travel-related news, we’ve been stressing out for the past two weeks trying to figure out how to change our plane tickets from February 18 to February 15.  This is hard: the tickets are from Jakarta to Singapore on Thai Airways, then from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian Airlines.  Both of the tickets are parts of round-trip tickets, and both of them are paper tickets, and we bought them both in Madison, WI, and we bought them through a travel agent, a student ticket service for which our cards have now, conveniently, expired.  Not an easy process.  Then yesterday JM looked at the tickets–it turns out that we forgot that the tickets already fly on February 15.  D’oh.