Wednesday, December 12, 2012


During the time I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, a friend of mine's father led us to this port in city centre. They were sending cement and wire meshes for building foundations to other islands, and the other islands would send wood back for selling.

These boats were traditional, I mean traditional, they were completely made of wood.

Logs and boats in full view, the workers move on thicker logs to get on and off the boats

The people who unload these boats, are paid 20-30 dollars total (USD) per one truck. That money is shared among the people loading/unloading the boat. It's not that much.

The worst part was that since it was Ramadan month, they were fasting during the day, no food, no water... moving wood logs under the hot sun. Plus, they have to feed themselves/their families.

Our tour guide of the boat. I could imagine being the tour guide, even for a few minutes, earns them a lot more than moving the logs.
The development of Jakarta is very segregated. The rich live the rich life. The poor live a completely different life. The average working office lady starts out at 1.5 million rupiah a month. For those that don't know the exchange rate, that's 1 USD to 10,000 rupiah. So, that runs down to 150 USD a month. Hence forth, food is relatively inexpensive, all the food I've taken pictures of that is on my FB did not exceed over 100,000 each.

This particular dish was 64,000 rupiah, the most expensive single dish I've had in Jakarta.
I had said this on my Weibo: In Singapore/North America, an iPhone is a third, or a quarter of a month's salary. In China, that would be a month or two's worth. Indonesians, on the other hand, have to save half a year's worth of salary to be able to afford an iPhone.

The difference is staggering.