In term of public transportation, living in Bahrain is similar with living in Bali. I mean, the public transportation here, in Bahrain, is not better than Bali, or even worse at some places.
Just like what happened one night (8/11/07). I was taking a sample of no objection letter from my Haj Travel Agent. I need it to reprint on our official head letter then ask my boss to sign it. I need this letter to issue my Haj visa, to enter the holy city Mecca.
I had just finished with the agent and when I looked at my watch, My God…! It was 10 minutes to go..! I was running like idiot, chasing the hotel’s bus. It starts 10.30pm from Novotel and should be passing the bridge where the driver dropped me earlier at 10.34pm.
I was running and sometimes walking fast. I was carrying my laptop bag with full of documents and of course the laptop, its cables, and my stationeries, it was quite heavy to me. Ok, I thought it might be good for me, just like, you know…, exercise, been long time never done it. I was sweat, rush, no time….!
And finally I reached the bridge, and I found a bloody huge dense traffic in front of my eyes. It was a perfect situation to yell…
I looked around I did not see any single bus moving across the road, but I found lots of fancy cars stuck in a traffic jam, right my sight. It was long queuing, and I thought the bus wouldn’t reach this road within 15 minutes.
It just like crazy, waiting for a bus at one of corners of a city park, in Manama city, capital of Bahrain. I was waiting and waiting, it already took 20 minutes.
I finally saw the bus, far away, crawling like a cocoon of moth, very slow. My 20 minutes turned to a bloody 45 waste minutes. I was yelling to myself, realizing how stupid I was and just wondered why a rich country like Bahrain does not have a good public transportation services.
I thought it was kind of ridiculous. People can imagine, how come, a small Kingdom that has everything, but does not care about it’s public service. Show me an affordable fare transportation. This is a rich country, in fact. Why they don’t just build road, setup the system, and so on… rather then let this traffic problem go on..
What is the measurement to value a good country? Its public service? Its modern lifestyle? Its people behavior? Its GDP? I don’t care…! I don’t want a fancy car, I just want a taxi, or a bus or whatever so that i can move safely to my flat…!
I know, most of Bahrainis or locals are rich people. Thay can have two or three cars at their garage. They have oil, tourism, trading, and prostitution, so that no wonder, there are lots of cars on the road…
Walk? No way… they don’t want to, they have nice cars. Car is cheaper here, particularly if you compare with Indonesia, car is such an expensive thing for us. But here, you don’t need to pay the tax, if you do, I don’t think it makes you headache, the government tax is nothing.
I am not good at automotive, but I know which one is expensive and which one is luxury vehicle, and damn… I saw lots of extremely expensive cars in this Kingdom.
Private vehicle is everywhere, poor transportation system, no train, lots of Saudi tourists travel with their own cars, petrol is cheap and what more…? Yeah… one more… people don’t want to walk….and they don’t care about global warming, eventhough the country has extremely high temperature during summer… as the result: TRAFFIC JAM.
..and I am here, a stranger, a little alien in the gulf.