Jakarta: City of Hope

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A decent looking teenager sit beside me while I was waiting for a  taxi at Plaza Senayan. He blurted, “Sister, do you have a job for me?”

I winked at him for a second, still playing with the iPhone. This is Jakarta. Where you could meet all kind of people that will do anything to get into your pocket. I’m just as skeptical as 99% of Jakarta people. So I asked him almost with zero interest, “What kind of job do you need?”

“Anything,” He said almost instantly.

“Where are you from?” I asked him, while updating my status on Twitter.

“I came from Bogor… I go to Jakarta, to get a job….” He said. His eyes look tired and sad.

“What did you do for a living in Bogor?”

“I worked on printing company… Engkoh back to Java and close his business…,” his eyes wandering.

I nodded. Thinking hard. Analyzing.

“Astaghfirullah, it’s dark already…,” he smiles bitterly. “It’s my second day in Jakarta, sister. Yesterday I stayed in a mosque. I must get Rp 175.000 for my parents in Bogor.”

“What for?”

He mumbles stuff, bills related, that I can’t understand. I decided to stay quiet.

“I went to Palmerah market to get a job. Helping people carry their stuff. I got a client and he paid Rp 3.000. But somebody came and grabbed me by my shirt collar. He wanted me to go away.” He told me his story with very expressive way.

“Oh no, you can’t just go to Jakarta and jumped in the traditional market. Premans are everywhere!” I said to him with concern.

“Yes… premans are truly there, sister. I thought they only in movies.” He said, almost chuckle. Laughing his own pain.

I sit still, drowning in my own thought. Thinking. Try to decide. Is he for real? Should I help him?

“Sister… people in the taxi line… it must be easy for them to get Rp 175.000 right?” He said, almost wondering.

“Of course, they’re rich people.” We watched as Alphards, Ferraris, Mini Cooper, Volvo, BMW, etc come and go picking their owners.

“How did you get here from Palmerah?” I asked him after minutes of silence.

“I walked,” he smiles and touching his torn shoes spontaneously.

Silent sigh in my part. I have decided to help him. But how much? All that he said he needs? Or part of it? Or…

“Sister, I must go now…,” he said, smiling. He didn’t know where to go for sure.

“Wait! Are you gonna go home?”  Stupid question.

“Of course sister, after I get that Rp 175.000. I still have Rp 7.000 in my pocket. I can go back by train once I collected the money…,” then he excused himself once again.

“Wait! Come here!”

I put my iPhone and grab my purse. I decided to help him, all that he needs. I don’t want to regret my entire life for not helping him.

“Take care of yourself. And go home as soon as possible! It’s very dangerous outside.”

He’s  not a street kid. He’s risking his life for Rp 175.000 because his family need it so badly.

He gasps and whisper, “Alhamdulillah… thank you very much sister….”

I nodded quickly. Refused to see his eyes. Then he walked away.

I let out a heavy sigh. If he’s telling the truth, then he just one out of thousands people trying to find fortune in Jakarta. Some made it, some lost in the way.

As the taxi drove us away, I asked to Jakarta: how many dreams can you made come true tonight?



A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO & Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.


  • Setyagus Sucipto

    Bukan hanya di jakarta saja, banyak kok kota-kota lain yang kejam. Dan juga banyak orang yang jujur dan tidak jujur walaupun kata kuncinya ikhlas.

    Gw ingat sebuah pepatah beri mereka umpan dan ajarin mereka memancing lebih baik daripada memberi mereka sebuah ikan.

    *masih memikirkan gimana bisa menulis lepas lugas dan bebas seperti ollie :(


  • Udut

    Saya jg pernah mengalami ini, bukan di Jakarta memang, tapi situasi dimana kita punya kesempatan untuk berbuat baik dan di lain sisi, perasaan was-was bahwa orang tersebut ternyata hanya satu dari sekian banyak penipu. Pilihannya kemudian adalah membantunya dan berharap bahwa ia berkata jujur.


  • Roberto

    This list took a few hours to put together.I dont which scepific lines you are interested in but I am sure most carry what you are looking for.Good luck.Ari GolfJl Arteri Patal SenayanJAKARTA 12210021-9253678Ari Golf SportJl Alteri Patal Senayan 11JAKARTA 12210021-9117225Asia GolfJl Pintu Air Raya 11-BJAKARTA 10710021-3500693Bumi Serpong Damai Course Pro ShopJl Bukit Golf Kompl BSD Sktr 6-7TANGERANG 15310021-5374868Fendi SportsJl Andalas 147-AMAKASSAR 901560411-320873Golf 2000Jl Patal Senayan Raya 7JAKARTA 12210021-9169727Golf 56Jl Bintaro Permai Raya 56JAKARTA 12330021-7377172Golf HouseJl MH Thamrin Kav 28-30 Plaza Indonesia Sogo Store Lt 3JAKARTA 10330021-3107575Golf House Mall Taman AnggrekJl Letjen S Parman Kav 21 Mal Taman Anggrek 162 Lt 1JAKARTA 11470021-5639712Golf House ProshopJl Jend Sudirman Kav 52-53 Kawasan SCBD Lot 16JAKARTA 12190021-5279376Golf House Sogo Kelapa Gading MallJl Boulevard Kelapa Gading Raya Mal Kelapa Gading 168 Lt 1JAKARTA 14240021-4533349Golf TeesPerum Kertajaya Indah Bl S-204/116SURABAYA 60116031-5924366Golfers PlaceJl Metro Pd Indah Pondok Indah Mall 124 Lt 1JAKARTA 12310021-7506818Green ClubJl Jend Basuki Rachmad 106SURABAYA 60271031-5453330Hari BrosJl Pintu Air Raya 36JAKARTA 10710021-3802621Jakarta Honma GolfJl MH Thamrin 28-30 Indonesia Plaza 91 Lt 3JAKARTA 10350021-3107650King Stone Golf PTJl Imam Bonjol Kompl Mandarin RegencyBATAM 294440778-450748Mahardika TokoJl Sisingamangaraja 5-ASEMARANG 50232024-8318588Mitra Adhi Perkasa PTJl Moch Kahfi I Km 7,5JAKARTA 12620021-7875435Mitra Adiperkasa PTJl Boulevard Raya Golf GadingTANGERANG 15310021-5476975Mitradi Perkasa PTJl Raya BoulevardCIBINONG 16959021-8758365Pro GolfJl Dr Setiabudi 64BANDUNG022-2033115Pro ShopJl Dago Golf 78BANDUNG 40135022-2531013Pro Shop Gading Raya TokoJl Boulevard Gading Raya GolfTANGERANG 15310021-5467668Proshop Just GolfPerum Bukit Darmo Golf Bl G/2SURABAYA 60226031-7328178Raja GolfJl Panglima Polim 11-GJAKARTA 12160021-7206345Raja Sports TokoJl Pintu Air 25JAKARTA 10710021-3800332


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