What A Trainventure!

My office would be moved to a new place sometime around April, to a place twice the distance from home. Pretty much in the center of Jakarta. Not to mention it's an actual working environment, unlike the current office that built near people's neighborhood and school. Last Saturday, I feel like wanting to see the new place plus trying a new mode of transportation to get there: train. I want to measure the distance and see which stops I should take to reach the office. So off I went.

Pondok Ranji → Tanah Abang

I stupidly fell asleep for a nap and then suddenly it's close to 3 PM! I immediately ordered a Go-Jek to the nearest station, which is Pondok Ranji. He told me to go to Kebayoran, in which it's two stops closer to my first feeder. I'm seriously considering it.

Pondok Ranji is a small, quiet station. The majority of people on the station is going to Tanah Abang, the first feeder stop that's also closest to the center of clothing in the city (The biggest in Southeast Asia!). The train was immediately packed once it arrived and I have to stand. The trip was quick, around 30 minutes. So it wasn't much of a bother.

Tanah Abang is crowded yet pretty underdeveloped. I only went here once and the impression was underwhelming. The interior is old and fell below Kebayoran Station though it's organized well. The exterior is pretty much in the open, raised some concerns when it rains. I saw escalators are being installed here and there (Update: it's opened now) and the benches were rather practical ones. They're slowly getting a facelift so I'm pretty excited for that.

Tanah Abang → Manggarai

First feeder to the destination! Manggarai is a mix of old Batavia vibe with a touch of latest convenience stores here and there. Kind of reminds me to those stations in Java when I travel to Jogja by train. Rather charming.

Here was where things went awry. Apparently, there's this main rule that you can't trust the LED on the platform. LISTEN TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAREFULLY AND NEVER HESITATE TO ASK. Also, pay attention to the LED on the train body instead. It's a clue for their destination.

Manggarai → Gondangdia Duri

I took the wrong train! WTF, self? So I got baffled by the LED and ended up taking the train to Duri. I was pretty well spent right now and it's getting late. So I went out to buy a drink before taking another train. The convenience store is rather new but they provide takeout food. Duri Station was pretty similar with Pondok Ranji. The only difference is that Duri was more 'green' because they have more trees whereas in Pondok Ranji they have none. The station is rather small with only two platforms. It's understandable because this station is only for quick get-off and no one spends a long time here (probably later on when the train the to the airport is finished). Here I took the train to Jatinegara.

*ngantor aja sekalian neng = why don't you go to work instead. Because my office is two station away from Duri lmao

Duri → Jatinegara

I managed to get on the woman only compartment and I managed to sit throughout the ride. It was pretty empty. Strangely, most of the girls wore pink, be it on clothes or hijabs. 10 of them! It was an amusing coincidence.

It took nearly an hour to reach Jatinegara Station. It rained when I got on the train, which was expected since it gotten pretty gloomy since I took off from Duri. Jatinegara has similar vibes with Manggarai, even in the abundance of stores and cafes, but they played Jakarta's folk music here. It was a pretty nice ambiance. It's much more enclosed thus it's safer when it rains. It's also the 'it' station because some trains throughout Java will have stops here.

Jatinegara → Manggarai

Silently hoped no one noticed I came back to this station. It was embarrassing lmao

Manggarai → Gondangdia

I made extra effort to listen to the announcement and finally took the right train to my destination. By this time I was pretty well spent and really thought to just get home. But I haven't seen the new office yet! So I got up and took the train.

First thought I had when I saw Gondangdia Station: Why is everything so yellow? It almost felt like they had a vote for the most striking color and everyone voted for this particular blasphemy then decided to paint it all over the station. But the good thing was this station is practically next to the new office. Just a few walk away! I think I can be okay with that.

Also, seeing the new office situated in, it was so bleak. Pretty high end environment and I really can't see it was made for living outside the work life. Really uninviting. But this subject to change. My first impression is always underwhelming anyway.

I might have to add that the rain stops when I arrived here. Time to go home!

Gondangdia → Manggarai

It was pretty smooth now that I know which train to take, which things I need to listen intently. Feeling rather down I took a booze in form of Cafe Latte. It was so good. Really eye-opening. I also saw the moon! And I think my phone captured it rather well. Probably Manggarai is my fave station of all. It's a good mix between old and modern Jakarta. It was pretty crowded since it's around 8 PM and people just wanna go home soon. There are some people with suitcases sitting on the floor near the restaurants. Probably waiting for the train to Java.

Manggarai → Tanah Abang Jatinegara

WTF? Again, self? How stupid can you be? I huffed so bad now that I'm fucking spent I have no energy to argue with my brain (or is that the main factor why I kept missing the train?). So I took a train back to Manggarai (double the embarrassment) and followed a bunch of family carrying suitcases in which I eavesdrop that they are going to Tanah Abang. Okay, some assurance.

Jatinegara → Manggarai

No one noticed. No one really noticed. Or at least I think so.

Manggarai → Tanah Abang

Held the urge to pee throughout the 30 mins ride, STANDING. Not to mention the train briefly stopped before the destination. AGONY. A girl offered me a spot after I told her the problem but Nah, I refused. Halfway crying right now. So embarrassing.

Tanah Abang → Kebayoran

Immediately went to the toilet and peed! Okay, at least the toilet was clean and not smelly. Major plus. Then I changed lane to my last destination. Gotta wait for quite a long time but I already knew from a friend that the train came once in 30 mins so yeah.

Kebayoran Station was huge and rather empty. I always see the top loft from the flyover on the road. Really clean and spacious. Maybe I'll just take off from here. I arrived around 9 PM and that's the end of my adventure!


Other stuff: (I put it here mainly because I don't know where to put it in the sentences)
  • The train trip was relatively short in time. It's the waiting time that kills.
  • Comfortable shoes is a must. I wore flats and it was rather unpractical.
  • The struggle to switch from one platform to another is real. In Tanah Abang, people bumped over each other on the stairs to get across. In Manggarai, people sprint. It was quite chaotic.
  • I heard so many stories about never hop into ladies only carriage during rush hour. Though I can't attest to that, I'd say the normal carriage is much more tolerant of women.
  • Use e-money. It's cheaper on the go without penalty.

In all, my solo trainventure was a success. Though it's rather frustrating when I got lost, it was quite an experience and I learned a lot! I know I'm going to dread the morning commute, not to mention all those delays and rains I'll face on the daily basis. But also a new adventure I'm gonna see.


How's your latest adventure by train? How do you commute to work?

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