People / Work


(3) Let in rain…

Some Russian spies tended to express a rather ambiguous phrase, nothing could be better than a bad weather.

_MG_0005The bad weather was often favorable to their work, and served as a guard in difficult situations. Whatever weather conditions occur, people will be able to use it for good reasons and even get some kind of benefit.

Here’s, how these nimble boys in one of Jakarta’s suburban stations turn a bad weather into pocket money. The worse the day, the better. The guys have noticed hiding the passengers under the umbrella, who just got out of the bus and are heading towards the station. This stage is quite short, maybe a couple of minutes away. It may not be much, but it’s not small, if you take into account the agility and trick in which way the client is persuaded.

Most of them use cunning maneuvers, catching the customer from the back, follow him – and after a moment, without saying anything, the victim is already under the umbrella. It is rather uncomfortable to refuse … In the meantime, other boys who have learned some phrases in english, in an almost intrusive way, are blocking pedestrians and, being smiling, point out, – an umbrella? When it rains cats and dogs, who is going to refuse the boy’s kindness, to get wet after a moment later.

Umbrella, in Latin means umbrosa, – a shadow/shady. The shadow, in the true sense of the word, served as a retreat from the sultry sun and rain.

From the primeval point of view, the primitive man used huge leaves of palm trees and eucalyptus trees that were salvation. They were held above the head of the priests and rulers during the ceremonies. Over time, the head cover was enriched with various ornaments and formed a circular shape. Already 4000BC, China used a parasols, that was shaped like today’s umbrella. It was covered with rich ornaments and embroidered from finer materials and served as an integral part of the woman’s wardrobe.

Slowly the umbrella conquers the whole of Asia. In Egypt, in Assyria, it appears around 3000BC. It was a symbol of greatness, under which only pharaoh could sit. Even the entry into that shadow was punishable by death. In Japan, too, it was a symbol of an elitist society. In the Japanese woman’s life, it occupied an important role as it protected the woman’s face from the sun’s tan. The pale face indicated belonging to the aristocracy.

_MG_0012Most people in Asian countries used umbrellas to protect themselves from the burning sun. Consequently, the materials used gave practical significance. The parasols were mostly embroidered from silk material. They were enriched with ornaments and symbols. Each clan or society, with its symbol, highlighted its affinity with society. They were also different for certain professions. However, what was typical of sun-guards made in Asian countries, they always had a bright colors.

Slowly parasol begins to conquer Europe, and adapts its name the umbrella, that best suits its usability. Also, at the very beginning of the conquest, an umbrella in society serves as a luxury commodity for rich people. In Europe, it has found a universal approach, and in both cases the parasol and the umbrella are common with people everyday. The umbrella has preserved its original form, but in terms of color, it claims itself in gray shades. Older people use it as a walking stick. However, not all European countries took this luxury product with folded hands. In England for example, triggered fierce battles between umbrella fans and couches, as the latter could earn well, just during the rain.

In the 20th and 21st century, the umbrella has modernized its look. It has a smaller shape and is lighter in weight for the ladies. It is folding and easy to fit into your bag. Consequently, it is everyday with you.

And if you suddenly are surprised by the rain, then you know, you have  a friend with you, who will never leave you. … and then sending a smile to the rain, you hit the song, let it rain, let it rain! Just as the guys think in Jakarta, the more it rains, the better.

P.M. Indonesia

(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!


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.


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 can be  found here everyday, on a small quay, in the island of Lombok, Indonesia and continues to entertain the tourists.

P.M. Lombok