Daily Journey to PPB UI
By Said Muniruddin
If you were I, you would have experienced this interesting daily journey to Pusat Pengembangan Bahasa Universitas Indonesia (PPB UI). It takes around 35 minutes from Komplek DPR-RI Kalibata, a place where I stay (in Bahasa: “numpang”) during PAT, to arrive at PPB UI.
How to get to PPB UI?
First, convince yourself that you leave your house in Kalibata right before, or never after 07.00 am. Once you go beyond seven o’clock, you will absolutely late for your morning class. So, the first focus is to go directly to Kalibata train station. It is only 5 minutes walking from home.
The most practical way to reach the PPB UI in such a crowded morning is by train. Why? Because a train is never trapped in a crowd. On the contrary, trains are source of traffic jam. What is another reason for taking the train? Because it is free of charge. To get into the train for free, just follow some secret paths which help you to escape from the ticket check.
Once you are at the train station, wait carefully for the right train. What I mean is to get into the correct one, which really stops at Cikini Station. Otherwise, you will be at Tanah Abang or somewhere elses. It was happen to me. I ended up at Tanah Abang because I took the wrong train.
Inside the train, be sure that you choose the best place to stand, and never ever imagine to have a sit. You are lucky if you have a chance to stand on both of your feet. Similarly, it is nice if people around you had really taken shower on that morning. If they had not yet, you must be strong enough to breathe in the polluted air.
While about 20 minutes of waiting to arrive at Cikini, you should carefully take care of your bag. People say that so many new pickpockets are having their internship on the train. It was true. I used to experience of losing mobile phone in the train.
After passing three stations (Cawang, Tebet, and Manggarai) you should get ready to get out of the train. How? Off course by forcefully pushing people around you. This effort is aimed at seeking a little way to be right in front of exit. Soon after you are off the train, the next thing to do is to walk quickly to catch the bus.
It takes approximately 5 minutes to Salemba. Bus will stop in front of Rumah Sakit Cipto mangunkusumo (RSCM) or before the Faculty of Economics & Communication of YAI. You are now in a short distance to your destination, more or less are 3 minutes on foot to PPB UI. In addition, a gate at the corner of Medical Faculty is so rarely opened that pavement is the last choice for your longer arrival.
Now I am quite sure that you are able to remember all these directions. Once you experience this again and again during the 6 incredible months of PAT, I believe it turns you stronger and more discipline to face the future.*****
(This is a writing assignment during the Pre-Academic Training [PAT] of Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program [FF-IFP] at PPB-UI Salemba, Jakarta: September 2004 – March 2005).