Paper Edition | Page: 2
Annual mass exodus: Vehicles inch their way forward on the Nagreg ring road in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday. The 5.4-kilometer road is the main artery between West Java and Central Java. (JP/Arya Dipa)The Idul Fitri homecoming has been marked by the success of many people who did not migrate to major cities but instead opted to head to small cities.
A case in point is the couple Mulyono, 47 and Alis Jawiningsih, 45, who left for Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 18 years ago.
With the determination and courage to lead a better life, Mulyono, from Weru, Sukoharjo, Central Java, and Jawiningsih, from Trucuk, Klaten, also in Central Java, migrated to Lombok and set up a business there in 1994.
Mulyono turned his hand toward making meatballs, or bakso, and became a bakso seller in Cakranegra, Mataram, while Jawiningsih sold clothes door to door. Their son, Suranto Sigit Prayogi, who was then 4 years old, is now 22.
Starting from scratch and with a loan, they now earn a monthly net profit of Rp 10 million (US$1,100) from their Sumber Mulyo bakso shop. The couple, who own a house and three vehicles, are planning to open a branch in East Lombok.
According to Mulyono, success is not always found in major cities such as Jakarta. Mulyono, who once worked as a factory worker in Jakarta for four years in the 1980s, said he did not like the city much. His wage was not equivalent to the cost of living, although he was still a bachelor at the time.
“It was very difficult to buy food then, so I decided to return home in 1989 and get married,” said Mulyono.
In his hometown, Mulyono opened a shop, but it closed due to bankruptcy in 1992. He changed profession as a carpenter when his friend invited him to go to Lombok and try his luck in Mataram. “Exploring a business in an entirely new place was not easy. Our main ally was determination,” said Mulyono on Sunday.
For the first five years in Lombok, they relied on loans almost every day because their business had not yet yielded a profit.
Mulyono decided to take a loan of Rp 1.7 million in 2000 and in a year the interest reached almost 100 percent, so he had to repay Rp 3.5 million. He started paying the loan in installments after two years running the shop. They were able to repay the loan in 2004, when they were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. “Now, we can return to our home in Java six times a year,” said Jawiningsih.
On the second day of the Idul Fitri holiday on Monday, nearly all popular resorts in major cities across the country were packed with visitors, causing congestion in and around these vacation destinations.
In Batam, Riau Islands, however, a number of commercial centers and industrial areas in Batam remained closed. People’s activities are expected to return to normal on Wednesday.
In Bandung, West Java, the provincial police recorded at least 31 fatalities during the Idul Fitri exodus, as part of the 2012 Ketupat Lodaya traffic operation.
“There were 109 traffic accidents which claimed the lives of 31 people,” Insp. Anik said on Monday.