It was around 12 midnight when the plane landed in Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport. It’s actually too early for me to be there. I have to wait 5 hours more to get that Damri bus that will take me to Gambir train station to get to Jogja for 10 hours. I was warned that I might not be able to get a train ticket as it requires a some days in advance reservation. But well, I was kind of assuming that I might get lucky, who knows?
6 am and I reached Gambir Station. It was crowded! I fall in one of the shorter queues to “maybe” get a ticket – then a local told me that there is no train available for Jogja that day. There is another train station nearby, the Pasar Senen, and again I was warned that it is not safe to ride, it’s an economy train and according to him, quite not too safe for foreigners!
I took a cab to get to Pasar Senen Station – and try to conjure this: if Gambir station is crowded, guess what? Pasar Senen is triple the times crowded! They were telling me that their trains are too crowded that some passengers just sleep and sit on the train floors!
Still, on the back of my mind, I wanted to ride this. I wanted to see what is life like inside these economy trains! (I haven’t experience riding one from my own country) And I know there’s going to be some interesting images waiting for me to take. So, I took their “eksekutif” class ticket, just to spare myself a little “luxury” (which everyone tells me it’s the same thing as “ekonomi”) which I paid 165,000 Rp and as opposed to what the others said earlier – the train is not crowded, it has a proper ventilation, a cushioned seat, and people selling stuff every time we stop on a station, and always someone selling instant coffee!
So, this almost 11 hours train ride from Jakarta to Jogja is well worth it, with the sceneries along the way, but cannot avoid people staring at you because you look like an excited dog with its head bobbing in and out of the train windows. No complains.
Oh they also have the pillows that look like dishwashing sponges to rent out for you to be extra comfier!