My Unusual Stories with Online Drivers — Part #3

#3 A Plain Man

Thursday night in mid-March is my last night after 3 months of living in the feel-like home city, Jakarta. That evening, at 7. I headed to the west of the city from the office where I was interning. The IEL University, a Dota 2 tournament between universities organized by is taking place. Tonight is the second and last time I have attended the event live. Apart from the fact that Dota 2 is a game that I really love and have played for over the years, they invited stand-up comedians Coki Pardede and Tretan Muslim as casters at the event. Because of their busyness, only a few matches had the chance to be cast by them and it was a coincidence that on my last night they attend it. A rare moment to attend the Dota 2 tournament live while at the same time being amused by their way of reacting to the match.

Because the distance from the office to the event location is so far away, I used TransJakarta to the terminal that was closest to the event location and continued the road by ordering an online taxi. The trip took quite a long time, at least 8 pm I arrived at the location. However, my arrival was not that late because the event starts at 6.30 and finishes at 10 pm so I can relish the event for at least 2 hours.

The match between Binus University and Indonesia University is scheduled to play that night. A fierce match made the room filled with shouts from the audience who watched it full of tension and unstoppable laughter also adorned the match from the antics of the stand-up comedian duo who gave their reaction to the match. 2 hours felt so fast that meant I was living in the moment until I didn’t realize that the match was over and the clock was 10 pm. It’s time to go home.

Because I want to go home quickly, this time I went home directly by ordering a taxi online although it will cost me more. I walked along the roadside while waiting for the driver to pick me up. Haven’t gone far yet, a driver took my order. However, after I waited a few minutes for the tracking point where the driver was not running and there was no message from him, I canceled the order. I don’t feel like I have walked far enough throughout the night and the lonely streets of passing vehicles. Not long after that, a driver named Cahyono took my order and asked where I was. Then I looked around myself what place that easily recognizable to give him a sign. After a few minutes, Pak Cahyono came to me and confirmed the order by saying my name. After I confirmed, I instantly got on his motorbike and started the drive.

“Just got home from work huh?” Pak Cahyono started the conversation. “No sir, I just attended an event” I replied. “Oh, I see” he replied briefly and after that, Pak Cahyono told an incident that had occurred to him the afternoon before. “This afternoon I was hospitalized for a while.” then I curiously asked, “What happened to you? and why?” he said, “My eye is twitching something big enough object so I went to the hospital to be treated by the doctor there” then I asked again “How is it going?” and he replied “Thankfully, now my eyes are getting much better and because my eyesight has started to blur, they told me to wear glasses, and today I have one” “But how can you bear all those costs?” “Lucky me, I am part of the government health program so that all health costs are covered by them”

After that, the talk paused because Pak Cahyono was grumbling about a taxi in front of us who was reckless and difficult to overtake. Pak Cahyono told me “Last week on Gajah Mada street, there was a taxi driver who behaved like this and we ganged upon him”. “They are so irritating, dude. just because they use a car so they can drive it arbitrarily. Though it’s not theirs right? when we want to overtake them, they are not given the way as if we don’t exist. It looks like there is no use of the rearview mirror for them” he shared his pissed. “Maybe they are ex-pilots, the plane doesn’t have a rearview mirror, right?” I asked for a chill, then innocently he answered, “I think so, dude”.

After a few minutes of silence, there was a taxi honking our way who had overtaken him. But it seems that Pak Cahyono is not aware of it and I choose to remain silent because my energy has run out tonight to assist Pak Cahyono beat him. Yet surprisingly, he asked, “Is the cab in the back honking at us?”. then I replied to avoid someone gets beaten up, “It looks like he’s honking at another vehicle sir”. “Oh great, if it is for us, we beat his ass together” he replied excitedly. “I’m on your left sir” I answered so that it seemed like supporting him. I just don’t want to get any situation on road.

Usually, there’s a system in online driving called Points which can be exchanged for some cash outside the charge for completing orders, the more points, the more money that can be exchanged. Points are earned after the driver completes an order, but points have a daily earning limit. When the driver has completed a lot of orders and gets the point up to the limit, sign to end their work for the day. Asking how many points have been obtained is my habit, sometimes these simple questions can lead to a more in-depth chat. So do I with Pak Cahyono, but his answer caught my attention. “I don’t take benefit of the points feature because it‘ll only force me to work harder even longer. I always come home in the middle of the night regardless of how much I have earned today because it is a blessing from God and I should be sincere. I also don’t have many expenses, if that’s enough for my food and rent, then it’s enough”. “Is there someone you live with? Like children or wife?” asked me curiously. “Nah, I live by myself, no kids or wife. My wife had passed away a few years ago due to sickness” he answered, who continued by telling about his wife, flatly, without feeling sad, like there was no burden. I feel sorry for asking and feel bad talking to him.

But then, it got me thinking that how rough your life, how hard work beat you, and how sad your beloved leave, life still goes on. Instead of being tied down with sadness, you can just move on through it and then come to terms with the situation.



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