John & Paula Oliver
New Tribes Mission
|How to Drive in Indonesia|
Copyright © 2017, J & P Oliver
Last Updated on February 1, 2017
Have you ever driven in a foreign country? It can be interesting.
In Indonesia, for example, most folks don't drive on the right side of the road; if they do, it can be risky because of all the oncoming traffic.
I also noticed that while there are indeed quite a few cars on the road, the roads seem to really belong to the motorbikes.
Most families can't afford a car, so the 100-125 cc motorbike is the family transportation; literally, you can see a family of 3, 4, or even 5 people squeezed onto a motorbike seat.
To operate a motor vehicle in Indonesia, you must understand the transportation terminology in an entirely different way. As you observe the traffic, definitions that you thought were above redefinition will immediately be redefined.
The following definitions have been created to reflect actual usage, as seen in action on the roads of Indonesia:
In Indonesia, the Road includes not only the paved portion of the highway, but also what others might call the verge, the curb, the sidewalk, the front yard and the roadside restaurant. The paved portion of the roadway is generally one lane wide (not one lane in each direction, but one lane).
Rapidly blinking the headlights can mean many things, including:
It takes years, sometimes entire lifetimes, to learn this subtle and intriguing intuitive nonverbal communication skill. Generally, however, you have about three seconds.
When sounded loudly and frequently, the horn sets up an invisible energy barrier protecting the vehicle and its occupants from all harm. The faster the vehicle is going, the better the horn works. This is the central concept of Indonesian motoring.
These colorful white and yellow markings wish a hearty “Selamat Datang”, or “Welcome”, to every traveler. They serve no other function.
In Indonesia, seatbelts are absolutely unnecessary. In fact, not only are they not worn; they are not even provided. Passengers are fully protected by the horn.
The national sport of
What to do when not passing.
Accidents can happen, but they are usually the result of a malfunctioning horn.