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Jakarta Post

Ridiculed, intimidated: Cyclists bear cruelty as third-class citizens on Jakarta's streets

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 12, 2019   /  06:05 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Rahmat Hartolo, better known as Pak Payung, 75, patiently waits for customers outside Jakarta Kota station in West Jakarta on Tuesday, Sept.10. 2019. The mobile wear repairman is often a victim of intimidation by other road users. (JP/Budi Sutrisno)(JP/Budi Sutrisno)

“Bicycles, once considered treasures, are now undervalued by some people. When you are riding them on the streets, they may see you as the least worthy to share the space,” said Rahmat Hartolo, who is better known as Pak Payung. Standing under the scorching late morning sun on Tuesday, the 75-year-old was looking tanned and thin as he gave friendly greetings to some commuters coming out of the Jakarta Kota Station in West Jakarta. Beside him was an aged and fragile bike, on top of which was piled a used suitcase, a bicycle tire, umbrellas, bags and other junk. Pak Payung takes pride in his classic, old-school mobile repair service when he travels around the city on his bike to offer his skills. Pedaling through the years, Pak Payung has not only been a witness of how advancement has shifted people’s lifestyles but also, unfortunately, a victim of intimidating b...