US ambassador takes train to Bekasi
An ordinary Joe: US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel get off from the commuter line train in histo An-Nur Islamic boarding school (pesantren) in Bekasi, West Java on Thursday. There was no "special treatment" given to the ambassador PT KAI, as Marciel bought the Rp 6,000 train ticket by himself and mingled with other passengers inside the carriage. (JP/Putera Satria)Apparently inspired by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan, who once used public transportation to travel to a Cabinet meeting, US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel did the same thing on Thursday as he boarded a commuter line train in his visit to An-Nur Islamic boarding school (pesantren) in Bekasi, West Java.
However, while Dahlan rode ojek (motorcycle taxi) for the final leg of his journey to the Bogor Presidential Palace, Marciel preferred to use the embassy's car to arrive at the pesantren, which is located relatively close to the Bekasi train station, at 9:30 a.m.
Trains arriving and departing from Bekasi did not suffer any changes in schedule due to the ambassador's visit. There was no "special treatment" given to the ambassador by state railway firm PT KAI, as Marciel bought the Rp 6,000 train ticket himself and mingled with other passengers inside the train carriage.
Around 30 police officers, however, were deployed to Bekasi train station to provide extra security.
"It's very similar [to trains in the US]. It feels good, it's fast," Marciel told reporters after his arrival at the station.
Marciel is slated to meet Bekasi Mayor Rachmat Effendi as well as the pesantren's students to discuss religious tolerance issues in the US and Indonesia. (sat/dmr)