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A Threatened Feeling: a Funny Experience (yet threatening)

It was on December 2007 in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia –the most hectic city in my country with typical level of crimes like any other big city (well... more or less perhaps...).

It was late at night, and I just enjoyed one of the film screened at the ninth Jakarta International Film Festival (Jiffest), Across the Universe. It was interesting, especially the music arrangement. But the part that I had to get a taxi that late was not interesting at all.

Previous weeks ago, an email from a friend came to my inbox. It was some kind of a chain email telling about horrible thing, a woman was raped in a taxi in Jakarta. Well, it could be fraud news (just like any other chain email), as way to advertise a taxi company (because at the end of the email, the person mentioned several recommended taxi companies).
Perhaps… It was just my hypothesis.

But, off course, I was co-opted by the story.

With some kind of mix feelings –tired (of long flight), cold (of the night air), scared (of the story I’d read before), I decided not to get any other taxi but the ones that were recommended. Unfortunately, I waited in vain. So, pushed by the fact I was exhausted and sleepy, I just stopped a taxi, the one without clear label.

So, I got on the taxi.
The driver kept smoking, though he still turned on the air-condition.
Hmmm… I smelt something not right –that made me more anxious.

He then asked where he should take me. I mentioned my friend’s address.
He asked again, about the route he should take.
Damn! I cursed myself… Jakarta was out of my reach (until now I am not in with Jakarta).
So, I just said confidently (though inside of me, I was scared), “Take any route!”

5 minutes later…
He offered me cigarette, and I said no.
Then, he stopped smoking, and shut the window.
Well, at last…
I felt something begin right.

Minutes later…
He asked me whether we should take Kreo.
Hmmm… what was Kreo? I asked myself.
It looked like he knew I was thinking. So, he began to start a conversation, asking where I was from.
Still feeling not safe (but trying to be polite), I just made fake answers.
He seemed to believe in me.
Good job!

3 minutes later.
No more conversation.

10 minutes later…

And after that…
Still silent…

I felt something not right.
Yes, it was!
We’d passed the turn!

“I think we’re lost.”
“How come?”
“Just ask!” I said to him with strong voice!

So, he asked.
To more than three people.
The answer was varied.

Then, there were number of young people, street racers.
I was suspicious they would give us false direction.
But, they were right!

So, I arrived at my friend’s house!

Well… it was funny to remember that experience…
I didn’t feel safe as a woman.

I am intimidated with the fact that woman is the target of violence…
Really not good feeling!


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