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As the street lighting is virtually never switched on any more in Jakarta (to save on precious electricity?), driving at night can be a hairy business.

I found this out late last night when I nearly wiped out one of Jakarta’s many motorcyclists.

It was not far from the Senayan football stadium, pitch-black, and a motorcyclist was tearing along the road toward me.

Only I couldn’t see him.

Wearing dark clothes, and with his motorcycle lights switched OFF, he was perfectly camouflaged.

Not that that’s a good idea on Indonesia’s roads.

Luckily, though, a collusion was avoided, and he was so unflustered that he even managed to smile back after I gave him the obligatory **** U sign. He didn’t even bother to switch his lights on as he continued on his way.

This morning, though, I’m out on the motorbike, riding along quite slowly as it’s been raining, and everyone out there is making strange flashing signals with their right hands at me.

It’s because my lights are switched ON!!!


Indonesian motorcyclist in Jakarta at night





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