Armed and Resolute, Alfini Lestari

One brave woman has earned the admiration of our Automologist, MAC. He wants our readers to hear about this pedestrian hero too…

As any pedestrian in South East Asia will tell you, we have become used to sharing the sidewalk with impatient motorcyclists who mount the pavement to gain a few extra yards. Regularly, I dodge manic bikers who seem to believe that they have the absolute right to take whatever shortcut they so desire, to rapidly get to their destination regardless of the danger to other commuters, especially those on foot.

Jakarta seems to be no different, with unruly bikers making the city’s sidewalks a virtual no-go area for foot traffic; that is, until recently, when a 34-year-old chef became fed-up with having to take evasive action. Unlike the other pedestrians, Alfini Lestari decided enough was enough and took direct action by blocking motorcyclists on the path, armed with nothing more than, well, her arms.

Alfini Lestari, armed and dangerous.

The picture of Alfini went viral on social media and was later featured on the front page of the Jakarta Post. Netizens applauded her direct action and expressed appreciation for her courage, but in the report in the Jakarta Post, Alfini seemed to be a little reluctant to wear the tag of hero. Apparently, she had been noticing the increasing incidents of motorcyclists encroaching into pedestrian domain since a change to the traffic laws in Jakarta, and felt that she just had to take action against the bikers.

Of course the bikers don’t seem to agree with Alfini’s actions, many of whom threw insults at her and told her to get out of the way, but this did not seem to dent her resolve to try and modify the behaviour of the Jakarta bikers, or at least those along Jalan Sudiriman. I doubt that she will win unless the local Police step in, but I applaud her valiant efforts anyway.

The brave Alfini Lestari.

The brave Alfini Lestari.
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