Three hours!

By Nadiah Alwi - Write at Home Mom On Tuesday, January 25, 2005 At 2:38 AM |

It was 7.30. The driver picked me up at the usual time. I dropped my baby to my Mum’s. It was still raining, a non-stop one starting the night before. As usual—whenever it rained—I got prepared to be stuck in a traffic jam. Thank God, I brought my unfinished book to read, a novel by Elizabeth Strout, Amy and Isabelle—which I liked so much for the interesting way the writer created the story.
I picked up the book from my bag in Pancoran . After passing the area, I only took a glance once or twice on the crowded road. I still had a thought, a positive one, that somehow the driver would manage to reach the office in at least forty-five minutes. I got back to my reading.
The car did not move after turning to the left road, before Kuningan traffic light. That was when I started to add the numbers of my glances on the road. It was forty-five minutes already.
We were supposed to enter the fly-over headed to Tendean area. It was closed. Of course, how could we? Tendean was all wet and loaded by water and water and water for it was flooding. There was a paper written in a small handwriting, “No three in one" (with misspelling in the word three—tree).
The driver was murmuring in a very upset way. He said that if he had known that there had been no three in one around Kuningan, he would have taken the other way instead of the one we were passing because it would have been surely not too much traffic jam.
I was still having my positive thinking, it would not be worse than Tendean fly-over.
I was totally incorrect! It was even worse. We took Mampang. That was all I know because ten minutes after turning to Mampang, I could not open my eyes. We barely moved. What a traffic jam! And more pity for me, I still had to listen to the voice of a radio announcer—which station was choose by the driver—whom I disliked so much. His voice was so unfriendly to ears. You should try it! I can’t mention the name, but I find him so snob for some of his actions as celebrity! And that was why I thought that sleeping was the best thing to do in such situation, wasn’t it?
Finally, I did not know why, I woke up when we were about to reach Pejaten crossroads. Still the car did not move much. It was very slowly. All the cars on the line. All the drivers looked so tired. I wasn’t, for having been sleeping quite awhile and all the interesting stuffs around the area we were passing, in Pejaten and Kemang, to be exact.
I was so interested by the design of houses in the area, so big yet so pretty. Some furniture shops were also attractive. Its exposing Indonesian traditional stuffs were so eye-catching. The Batavian chairs, the jepara armoire, all wooden stuffs were revealed in such a way that it looked antique without resembling something worn out—for its being new actually, hmmm. Also some cafés, still closed and being cleaned up didn’t loose my attention. Galleries were as well alluring for me. All of them brought me to an idea to explore Kemang.
Nice houses, small furniture shops, cafés, galleries, all attracted me so much that I forgot I had passed my 8 o’ clock office hour. Yup, it was 9.15, which meant it was already 1 hour 45 minutes I was on the road!
The boss called, not to my mobile but to the driver’s because the battery of my mobile had not been recharged since the previous night. He thankfully understood. There were not so much to do in the office because only him and one office boy who could reach the office at 9. The others were also stuck on the road—even on of my bosses’ house was flooded.
And there were we, the driver and I who had the chance to explore Kemang by trying to take small roads to avoid traffic jam—which was also the thought of other drivers—but there was no luck. So, I took it as a way to memorize the roads in Kemang—which was not succeeded because it was for me too complicated.
Ten to eleven.
We were about 500 meters to the office. Yes, still heavy traffic jam! Do you know what time until finally I reached the office? 11.30.
So, it was the longest time I have ever taken to get to the office!

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