Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Job with five legs

South-east Asian countries suffered a major economic influenza in 1997. For a country like Singapore it was merely a hiccup, Indonesia, though, is still recovering from that flu. Many Indonesians had to deal directly with the consequences of the economic crisis. Many lost their job. Many turned to the informal sector (informal should not be read as illegal). I heard that there are now much more kaki-lima’s than a decade earlier. Kaki-lima literally means five feet; it is a push cart which is used to prepare a meal right in front of your door. And in Indonesia food has sound, a kaki-lima that has sate for sale is announced in a different way than, for example, nasi goreng. So from far one can hear one’s favorite dish being on its way. From the kaki-lima in the picture above one can buy mie baso (i.e. a noodle soup with small meatballs), which is very delicious. Once I met a kaki-lima man who worked a decade ago as a cook in a posh restaurant.

No comments: