People / Work

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(2) Becak, becak.., please..!

The best way to explore your country. Call it as you want, anywhere in the world, either becak, rickshaw or.., but on the wheel, alas – it’s an adventure!

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Hi, take my becak..!

  Suligan 70, laughed from the heart … and added, “I am sure a million kilometers were driven in my life, or close to it.” And really, when I watched him as he jumped on the bike and called out, “do you want my Becak, Becak? … let me take you to .., I believed, that this tireless man could drive millions of miles more in the rest of his life.The late sixties, Suligan was left without a job and decided to start a new business in the tourism industry. He liked the flexible hours and the salary that would be due on a daily basis. At the beginning of 1970’s, there was a big influx of tourism and could make a good profit. He still remembers those good days when  could earn up to 100, 000 Rp a day.

How many becaks were changed by driving millions of kilometers, I asked? On this question, I find it hard to answer. I’ve assembled my wheel to be, as much as possible light. I am not young anymore. Ever it happens, that the whole family sits on the wheel. Father, mother and children,- together, four and even more. I can not refuse, (Sighs heavily). Then there is the hard pedaling, especially uphill. Sometimes a lack of strength. Then the wheel needs to be pushed. With tourists it is easier. My age they perceive as self-evident, and now and then help to push my becak. It was a hot summer when I met Suligan in Jogyakarta. Together with his friends he played cards in a shady place, and from time to time, with one eye watched passing by passengers. I decided to help him and asked for a small tour. The old man gladly shipped me through the crowded city streets. I didn’t urged him, because of the hot summer day, the man was really seedy. I thanked Suligan for the tour and wished many kilometers of rolling, rolling on…

P.M. Jogyakarta

(1) Berth boys

When I asked the boys, where are your clothes, they laughed and said, that, we don’t have. Here, at the wharf, the boys spend all day waiting for a mortar passenger ships, a place where begin their independent life for existence, and for some it was the first job to earn a living.

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Hi you, drop a coin!

  They were such, as were born. The only outfit that highlighted the boys on the background of the clear ocean waters, was a chocolate color tan. Boys – rather more children, a sense of shame still did not know. It was a strange feeling to them, and in front of all eyes, completely naked, they showed their art of diving. It was so freely and naturally, that no one raises an objection about the nature of children’s free play.

When the first tourist ship appeared on the horizon, the coast began alacrity. Boys amicably split their working positions, and waited for the ship to dock on the coast. They knew what to do and how to attract tourists. It was enough, to utter some word phrases in English, which was supplemented with rather challenging gestures. Tourists liked that. But the most attractive moment was diving into the water to catch a throw in coins. With, acrobatic prowess, the boys jumped into the water, and in a moment emerged out, to show the captured money.

They jumped and dived, jumped and dived with excellent grace. Their beautiful chocolate tan, glistened in the brilliant sun. Wet skin did not dry yet, when once again had to jump in the water, so, do not miss any piece of money. Watching the boys diving, sometimes it seemed that they lack the breath to jump on and on … Cash coins sometimes were severe and rapidly sank into the ocean depths. Do ever happen to shoot past the coin, I asked the boys? It sometimes happens, the boy snapped in militant tone. However, everything is pulled out. As for a missed coins, you may receive public ridicule. It’s a pretty big risk to dive to the very bottom.

In terms of time you’ll be the loser, because coins are flying one after the other and better still catch them in the shallows or air. In particular, the amusement of tourists cause, to see the coin catching in flight. About this neat gesture, you can be assured, that you will get another coin from the same client. Which of the boy will be entitled first, to catch the coins, are arranged  by the same boys. Each have divide work field, and care should be taken with a degree of respect, if someone gets more. Among them there is no common boiler principle, each has earned as much as is. Right there on the pier, the boys formed a fine hiding places. About how much do they make the boys talked quite restrained. So carefully watching, it could be argued that each earns about $ 10 from every ship landed.

Is it enough or not, it remains a mystery? No matter how well they earn, the boys are found here everyday, on a small quay, in the island of Lombok, Indonesia and continues to entertain the tourists.

P.M. Lombok

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