|Courtesy of www.economypedia.com. This look exactly like many of the men I mentioned. There are often not the bags you see, just a heap of trash.|
I've spent time wondering why they don't mechanize the way we (the US) has, aside from the obvious cost. I've come to realize that it's the same reason as for other professions; for the garbage men, the maids, the doorman, the store attendants, the offices that have secretaries, copiers and janitors all in to service an office of 5. Jakarta has a population roughly estimated between 13 and 21 million. If Jakarta were to employ people in a more efficient way and obtain more machines to help with the work, half the city would be unemployed. It took me months to get used to having a maid at the EF house in Pluit. Since I was old enough, my parents stressed the need to clean up after myself. After many years and thousands of repetitions to "put that away" or "take that to the kitchen", it did finally sink in mom. It made walking away from my two dirty dishes in the sink feel awkward.
I supposed the rationale I tell myself, as others probably do too, is that it provides a better life than they'd have otherwise. Many of the nanny's are young females with probably little or no education or other training. They often live with the family. The garbage collectors have a consistent job with consistent pay, more than say a fishmonger might be able to boast. The maids are often girls/women from the countryside who send some of the money home to family. In a societal structure such as Jakarta's, it seems all the 'help' might be in need of some.