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Indonesian Bemo with fruit transport

Indonesian Transportation

Taking public transport in Indonesia requires infinite patience, something that all Indonesians seem blessed with. No matter how packed or slow the vehicle or how loud the music, nobody complains. In Java the bemos (“bemo” stands for “becak motor”, or motorized rickshaw) are packed with people until they seem ready to burst. There will always be room for one more paying passenger, each of whom invariably wants to be dropped off right in front of his destination. A bemo might stop at one place, then advance another 20m to where someone else wants to get off. Why can't they just walk? Sometimes a bus will go on a crazy tour around town, up and down bumpy, unpaved back roads, just to pick up some old lady with a baby and a chicken from her doorstep. Outside of Java, where passengers can be hard to find, buses will sometimes circle around town for hours, the assistant and paymaster crying out the destination, in search of enough paying passengers to justify departure. Some wily individuals will board the bus just to jump off a few streets later, thus getting a quick lift across town. Often a long-distance bus will dump passengers at a station far outside of town, leaving them at the mercy of the “bemo mafia” to arrange transport to their final destination.

Indonesian Bemo Loading an Indonesian Ferry