Intimidasi Di Jakarta – GO-JEK OK!

‘Many people say they are uncomfortable with the bargaining they need to do to hire a traditional ojek driver.’

Even by the mealy-mouthed standards common in local media, that’s remarkable. But before we continue, for the benefit of overseas readers, ojeks are motor-cycle taxis. They hang about on corners or outside malls, stations, etc.

The most obnoxious I’ve ever encountered, when I had the misfortune to live in Bekasi a dozen years ago, were those at the entrance to Kemang Pratama Complex, mouthy gits, arrogating the right to pass comment on anyone who passed them by.


I have met civil ojeks, but darn few. 

And it’s not unfair to say that many of them are rapaciously dishonest.

I may have mentioned before my own experience when, in a hurry to get from Blok M to Kemang one evening, I approached one of them on Jalan Melawai.

‘How much to Kemang?’


I just laughed as scornfully as possible and walked off.


kopaja kopaja


Normally, I’d jump on a 605A kopaja, which goes right through Kemang from Blok M, total fare to anywhere RP.4000. But they obligingly stop wherever, anytime, so speed is not part of their ethos, and I was thirsty!

Sopir Taksiku Ketemu Hantu Tanah Kusir?

So I hailed a passing Bluebird taxi and he took me to exactly where I wanted to go (a place not far from Eastern Promise, FYI) and his meter read Rp.10,000. I was more than delighted to tip him.

I’m sure everyone in Jakarta can tell a similar true story. Ojeks are best avoided, ESPECIALLY if you are a foreigner.

Indonesians do indeed have to bargain, but will eventually, probably, get a fairish price – us aliens are up against an engrained racist extortion mentality.



Hence today, reading the Jakarta Post, nothing amazed me about the fact that one of the relatively new GoJek drivers ran into trouble simply for doing his job.

He had to ring his waiting customer and apologise for not turning up, after a gang of louts had menaced him – they would not hesitate to beat him up if he insisted on picking up a passenger in their area. 

A brave bunch – they always lurk in packs. On their own, they wouldn’t likely say boo to a goose, but mob-handed, invariably courageous against a solitary victim.

And it gets worse, for the disappointed customer tried again, whereupon some uppity upstart told him in anger that he should hire a local ojek driver…

Nothing a kalashnikov couldn’t cure!

You can read the whole story here, but while there’s not a lot an individual can do in the face of such vile bullying, I can at least offer you the GoJek link –

GO-JEK Indonesia | An Ojek For Every Need

  – order from people who ask a fair price, and stick to it!