The Ojek Diaries: Surviving my first moto ride

The Ojek Diaries: Surviving my first moto ride

Letters from Jakarta

Ojeks One needn’t look far to find an ojek driver in Jakarta.

The ojek, an agile, resourceful creature on the streets of Jakarta, is one that locals know well. Where cars are stuck in rush hour traffic, ojeks weave nimbly through the gridlock to get their passengers where they need to go.

Until today, I had resisted the call of the ojek due to a number of safety concerns — primarily that, having never been on a motorcycle in my life, I would fall off, hurt myself, and make a fool of myself in the process. But, being that ojeks are a popular, economical form of transportation here, I felt it was time to give it a go.

An ojek sign doubles as a pants rack An ojek sign doubles as a pants rack

Not far from my apartment, I scouted out a homemade sign with “Ojek” spelled in block letters hanging next to a cluster of motorcycles. I asked one of the drivers for a ride to a nearby…

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