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Jakarta Post

How much did you earn today? How much for your cigarettes?

  • Hasyim Widhiarto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 13 2009   /  11:21 am

Spending almost all day sitting on his motorcycle Iwan, 30, an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver at Slipi intersection, West Jakarta, thinks nothing is more relaxing than drinking a glass of hot, black coffee and smoking a pack of cigarettes amid the scorching heat and choking haze from passing vehicles. Working from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., he has to take turns with dozens of other ojek drivers to pick up passengers who want to use their services. He earns between Rp 40,000 (US$4) and Rp 70,000 a day, and lets at least Rp 10,000 of his daily earnings go up in smoke buying cigarettes. “My wife has repeatedly told me to stop smoking so that we can start saving money,” he said. “But, how can I? I have nothing else to do except smoke while waiting for my turn [to get passengers].”Iwan is just one case in the Health Ministry’s data, which shows that 34 percent of citizens more than 15 years o...