Street kids


One of the constants here in Batam, and probably throughout Indonesia (if not Asia), are the street kids bumming for money. They can range from about 8 years old to in their teens. (And then there are the punked-out teens and young adults who pester drivers at street corners.)

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Most of the kids in my neighborhood know me now and don’t bother me so much, but when I walk around with my camera, as I did last night, they want their picture taken. Last night, even the ojek drivers (motorcycle taxis) wanted in on the action.

Ojek drivers on the street corner in kampung bule. They may get 2-3 fares a day at $2-3 a ride, while sitting around all day or night waiting for a fare.

Ojek drivers on the street corner in kampung bule. They may get 2-3 fares a day at $2-3 a ride, while sitting around all day or night waiting for a fare.

The two kids seen here will walk around to the many outdoor warungs (restaurants) and serenade the diners for maybe 30 seconds with their out-of-tune toy guitars. You are then expected to give them some small money. These two were in the bar district mostly just looking for handouts without the music but they wanted their picture taken, so why not.

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And finally, there was a bar grand opening (actually The Last Pub just added a second floor) last night and this young lady performed her belly dance. The drinks and food were free. Food included delicious raw salmon, turkey, roast beef, deviled eggs, rice (of course), and some other interesting items.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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