Driving Miss Dessy

Dessy is one of my dearest friend and a big supporter of me driving. She always ‘preached’ the virtue of being able to drive in this city “Think about it, you’ll be independent, not depending on anyone. If there’s emergency you can take the kids to the ER in no time instead of having to wait for the taxi, etc etc… ” Which are all very true and I totally agree with her. But, have you seen the traffic here in Jakarta?  The Santa Monica freeway jam is nothing compare to the daily goings over here. Massive jams, crazy motorist, innocents buses who thinks they’re so small and slight they can just swerve in and out of lanes like an Olympic ice skater.

In theory I really like the idea of driving. In practice… well it depends. Back in LA it was loads of fun. I even get to drive to San Fransisco on my own! I really did! I also went to San Diego and Visalia; I have a cousin in the former and my roommate came from the latter.  Oh and I also drive to Disney and spend a fabulous birthday there too!

So when the registration for the car finally over, got the license plate, etc, Dessy was the first one to show up at my house and demanded to be driven by me. She has lots of guts! Besides my family, everyone else were giving me polite smiles while thinking up excuses how to escape being my tutor. But not ms Dessy, she practice what she preached. Yay for her! And I am very grateful for that.

Ms Dessy wasn’t a native of Jakarta like I am, so this city is new to her too. Yet she managed to ‘conquer’ the streets and happily zipping through it everyday in her nifty little compact. She taught me tricks of driving in little lanes, “Remember, the other car doesn’t want to get hit by you so they will adjust.” Or, “The roads are crap over here so it’s better to go a bit to the right rather than the left. You don’t want to hit the pedestrians.” And finally, “Motorist are annoying. Just get used to it.” But it’s true tho. She told me about her early days of driving, how once she was minding her own business, queueing for the green light when suddenly her car was hit by idiotic motor cyclist and all sorts of tales from the road.

I’m still not as brave as her. I have yet to drive beyond my immediate neighbourhood. Heck I haven’t even been able to go to my second home aka the local mall, on my own. But thanks to her encouragement,  I can go to my weekly Quran study classes on my own. I’m also able to drop and pick my children from school now. Uh, correction, I can go to my daughter’s school. I still need to work up the courage to go to my son’s kindergarten. The streets are narrower there.  But anyway, now that school is out, the streets are somewhat emptier so the next few weeks are good time for me to practice driving some more. My target is to be able to go to the mall, my parents and siblings house, plus the hospital and the Pediatric clinic all on my own. And to ms Dessy’s house too of course. As usual, wish me luck!

Thank you ms Dessy, I hope you’re not afraid to ride with me in the driver’s seat. Here’s to going to your house at some point this July 😉


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