Medan 2016 (NSFW)

I know that my blog is full of all things zen and peaceful and calm, but please excuse this blog post for once because I’m losing it. I’m totally on the edge of my patience and now it’s time for me to lose my zen. There will be tons of profanity in this post, so please be advised. I’m going to delete this blogpost soon, I’m just losing my sanity now and would like to pour my thoughts somewhere and be heard (or read) for a little while.

Medan, the city I was born into and grow up in, holds lots of memories, But in those tons of memories, most of them are filled with complains and negativity. To which I basically practice my everyday zen. But today, going home from work, was one of the worst traffic that I’ve ever faced. The water is rising as high as a human ankle, and the traffic deadlock go as far as 3 km away. I watched Casey Neistat videos nearly everyday, and recently he posted a special video that shows hurricane Sandy in NYC is the scariest moment in his life. Well, we basically don’t have hurricane or storm, it’s just rain. But the streets are flooded anyways. There are cars on the side of the road as dead as Titanic and there are motorbikes flocking on the sides of the street looking for refuge and mercy from the rain and flood. It’s raining for one hour, and nearly the whole city is in lockdown. Any intersections will be dead locked, there will be cars trying to go somewhere it’s not supposed to be going and there will be people trying to manage the situations, but those people are not cops. The policemen during rain will tuck up on their soft warm bed, while we got stuck in 1 hour / km traffic. They are keeping their health and strength for the sunny day in the morning to hide in the bushes to hand tickets to people everyday.

The street got dug up every year. And the street outside of my house has been in digging process for about 4 years. Four fucking years, every side of the road that I passed through that 4 years are basically left in big piles of dirt and rocks. If they’re digging for sewer and drainage system, then why is there flood now 4 years since it first start digging. If it’s digging for internet connection, oh God please, there’s no fibre connection in this neighbourhood and the ADSL connection is fucking peace of crap. And they’re definitely not digging for cosmetic purpose, cause visually it left this side of the city looks like shit. I often saw people, ladies, holding their heels walking out of their house wearing sandals and walking on a piece of wood, because the driveway to their own property is basically dug up. And for four years, four freakin years, in which someone might have graduate college with a bachelor degree, or babies might have learn to say the word “fuck”, or four years in which 2 FIFA World Cup might have been held, four years that….fuck, you get it, four fucking years. In that four fucking years, I experience a live off-road driving for free, with my petite little KIA. There are holes everywhere, and I have to discuss on a monthly basis, which roads have been fixed and which have not. There are strategic planning on how to get home or how to get to work, everyday. I have to memorise every position and every depths of each holes along home to office. Compulsory off-road in the middle of the city, for free, where else can you get this experience. Only my beloved Medan.

Now let’s complain about safety. Since I was little, everybody has been saying that this city is not safe. And growing up, I feel like this is a real life Gotham, without Batman but only bad men. I remember how when I was a kid and try to walk the street, not on a pedestrian walk, sideroad, curb, whatever you call it where human walk, because there are none to be found. The side of the road are used for motorbikes to go faster, or in the opposite direction of the traffic. Or for food stalls to open their makeshifts restaurants. Okay, so i was walking the street, with one of my friend, and someone bigger and scarier would come and ask us for money. Mugging. It’s a very common thing when I was a kid. And now that I’m a grown ass man, mugging is becoming a mainstream crime here. And with the speed of the internet, we can hear about mugging, robbery, pick pocketing from miles away on a daily basis. Nowadays, it’s really common where the bad man would ride on their motorbikes and steal something out of someone sitting on another motorbikes and wouldn’t care if they fall. This sort of thing happen almost everyday. Cars being stopped and being robbed is also a common thing. With the streets being left in a condition where it’s not possible to drive fast, cars can’t keep up with motorbikes to catch the perpetrators. The streets are dark at night, there are no street lights in certain area and cops are famous for not helping out with ongoing crime. Certain cars have high demands of wing mirrors. It’s not uncommon for people to say that their wing mirrors got stolen and openly sold back to them at a certain price. Basically it’s like stealing someone’s wallet and send it back for money. Oh wait, I experienced that too. Dropped my wallet for 5 minutes, get back to where it fell. It’s gone. The next day, my cards are back without the wallet and the cash, and the person ask for money. Gave them IDR 50,000 but they asked for IDR 100,000 because they know how much it would’ve cost me to take care of my stolen ID. Oh yes, money is needed for bureaucracy here, even to report something stolen from you, you will need to pay the cops for them to help you. Oh by the way, all the latest governors and mayors have got into jail or investigated for corruption cases. So, probably this is the most corrupted city in Indonesia.

There is this one time I got my wing mirror stolen and I need to claim the insurance to get it back. But I need one piece of formal letter from the police stating that it’s stolen. So I went to the police station myself, made a report, and the police man openly haggles for price so that I can get the letter from police stating that I am a victim of stolen wing mirror. I’m a victim and went to police to be asked for money. In what the fucking deepest hell on earth does this kind of thing happen. So in conclusion, being a pedestrian is a luxury, so people drive car, but the roads are broken as fuck, it’s as if we’re driving rover on Mars, and then we might get robbed anytime and can lose wing mirror anytime without the police helping us. Safety here is also a privilege, not human right. Flood happen every time it drizzles and during times of thunder (or no thunder at all), there will be blackout. So electricity is also a luxury item alongside fast internet connection.

So at least you have internet right? FUCK YEAH. But this country is full of bigotry, they blocked sites like Netflix, Vimeo or Reddit for “explicit contents” but allow applications like Bigo Live where Indonesian girls stream sexual contents on a daily basis. And to complete all my complains, I gotta say that this city is pure fucking ugly. Billboards everywhere, ugly cables dangling around the city, people build shop houses just to be sold over again, without anybody ever open any shop there. There’s no parking lot in public places, heck there’s no public spaces. Everything is privatised and there’s not a single public park that’s safe for normal human. And for the advancement of a career like in my field, we need a public park where it’s free to roam and shoot videos and photos, it’s a horrible city. Take out your DSLR in a place you think is “authentic”, there might only be three possible outcome out of this. One is that you leave the place okay with shots that you like, second is you get robbed down to your boxer, and third is that they will ask for money because you shoot in area that belongs to them.

Good job Medan, good job. You really are a wonderful city and thank you for making me feel welcomed, if feeling unsafe and pissed everyday is a form of your welcome. And I hope one day when I leave this shit hole, I will send you a postcard of my own photo saying fuck you.

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JuliusTio

Homo sapient nearing the next stage of evolution

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