Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Becak Adventures in Jogja

It was 6:40pm and we were waiting for an Uber to pick us up from the hostel. Our friend Rafi had a ticket for the train at 6:55pm. We knew the trip would take at least 15 minutes, but the Uber was running late. A Becak (Rickshaw/tuk-tuk) pulled up to the curve. We all looked at each other and began negotiating with the becak to take us to the station.

Before we knew it we were zooming through the street in the open becak, the wind blowing in our hair. We drove for a long time down the lit streets on Jogja, we started thinking the driver was lost. We kept asking how long until the station. He was uncertain.

Finally around 6:54 we arrived at the station. We saw the train waiting at the platform, the announcer calling for departure. We ran through the entrance, down a long corridor, and across the platform to the ticket counter. When the ticket takers and station police saw us running down the platform they told the train to wait by holding up their hands to the conductor. Rafi ran through the gate not even stopping to print her ticket. She jumped on the train just as it was leaving the station.

We were so relieved. We walked back to the becak, which was waiting for us at the entrance. We still had not paid him. We told him to return to the same place, he didn't seem to understand us. Another person came to help translate. Finally we said sama-sama (which means same) and he seemed to understand. We headed off back to the hostel.

After about 5 minutes the becak began to slow and then finally puttered to a stop. We looked back at the driver with perplexed looks. He said "tedak bensin" it took us a couple minutes after he began running and pushing the becak to realize he had run out of gas. He started asking people on the street "Bensin" and people din't seem to have an answer. As he ran pushing us, he became out of breath so Constance and I began asking "Bensin" to everyone who was on the street. Finally, after 10 minutes we found a Bensin. Usually these are little wooden stands lined with plastic and glass bottles.

Ten minutes later we reached the hostel safe and sound!


  1. Its so good and pleasuring to hear that she got onto the train or the things would have gone somewhat wrong. By the way the story of becak and bencin was interesting.

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