In the last days, I reconsidered the meaning of the word ‘job’. I grew up thinking that basically having a job means spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer, and being employed by a company.
Again, something that I consider normal for others is the other way round. That’s the best thing when living in another continent, getting to know people whose idea of ‘normal’ is opposite to yours. Till today I had plenty of shocks already, ranging from burping in the office to spending evenings praying, from avoiding any alcoholic drink to having coakroaches in houses, from eating with hands to spending one hour in the traffic to drink a beer in the nearest bar.
Few people do work in companies, but the majority of them has a little commercial activity. As someone said, creativity comes from lack of resources. And many of them literally invent their occupation, filling a gap in the less structured economy. Main reasons are, I guess, the absence of tax control for many activities and extremely cheap price of labor. And well, things are simpler, without laws over laws like in Italy.
The worktime is also not fixed, so as weekend closing time. The result is that sundays are normal days, where all shops are open. Especially shopping malls, where locals like to spend most of their free time.
But as usual, pictures always describe things better than words. Here I tried to shoot ten jobs you probably won’t find in Europe. A popular occupation is surely street vendor. Roads are overcrowded with them, they provide cheap and good food. Let’s say 90% of my calories😉
Second, already talked about in previous blog entry. The Ojek . They are so efficient compared to rest of transportation means, as easy is to find one =)
Parking man generally are no use at all, but every single parking spot is somehow ‘taken’ by one of them, which asks his 2,000 Rupiah fee – 1,000 for motorcycles.
Traffic is a disaster in Jakarta, so why not making money out of it? Many people reinvent themselves as ‘traffic auxiliary’, directing traffic flows from a crossroads. And cars actually thank them giving them a small money.
Another group of people that take advantage of traffic is the beggars. In the proximities of big traffic junctions, they jump in and out of buses, spending maybe 3 minutes in each and asking each passenger for charity.
Housemaids are also very popular, given the low cost for hiring. Their job is very useful, since they provide cleaning, cooking, clothes washing and ironing.
In the center, in peak hours only cars with at least three people car drive. No surprise people offer themselves as passengers.
Never seen before, some people wander around in the neighbourhood with a sewing machine repairing clothes.
Tropical rain is also an occasion to make money, since it comes suddenly and lasts for less than 1 hour. These people carry around passengers under their umbrellas.
But the most popular job ever in Indonesia is surely the Singer. Everybody here can play a guitar, and groups just go back and forth playing indonesian love songs and asking for money.
Jakarta is nice in these days, and we interns are enjoying our last parties before Ramadan starts and clubs will close. Great changes are expected, and I’m very curious to see what will happen =)