Fri, 03 Jan 2003

'I want a new mother for my children'

Despite the uncertain economic and politic situation in the country, people are still optimistic that the New Year will bring better things. Some Jakartans share their dreams for 2003 with The Jakarta Post:

Samsudin, 38, a sidewalk vendor who has been selling instant noodles in Muara Angke, North Jakarta, for four years. He resides in Tanah Merah, North Jakarta:

Actually I have many plans for 2003, but the most important thing is that I want to get married this year.

I've been a single father to my three children for 15 months since my divorce from my wife in Lampung. I failed to save our marriage after 17 years together.

I cannot bring up my children alone. For the time being, my brother looks after them at his house.

I regret that I cannot raise my own children. I feel sorry for them.

So I want to get married soon to provide a new mother for my children. I just hope the woman I have in mind won't postpone the wedding for another year.

I hope this will be a good year for me to start a new life with a new family.

A'as, 41, works for a bus company in Muara Karang, North Jakarta. He has worked here for 20 years and lives in Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta, with his wife and three children:

I don't have many dreams besides supporting and bringing up my three children.

I don't want them to miss out on their educations because I can't afford it. In addition to my Rp 430,000 monthly salary, I can get about Rp 20,000 from bus crews, which is only enough to pay for my meals and cigarettes.

Fortunately, I have been saving money under an insurance scheme to pay for their schooling since my eldest son was only two years old. I have saved Rp 15 million.

I have a dream that next year my eldest son will graduate from high school and continue on to university.

Iyan, 23, has sold lighters on buses for two years. He lives in Pejompongan, Central Jakarta, with his wife:

I don't have any big dreams for 2003. I'm just a poor city resident who struggles hard just to survive.

I dream that in 2003 there will be many more people interested in my goods.

Normally, I only net between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 daily.

I buy my merchandise in Kota, West Jakarta, and I have to spend some Rp 150,000 a day to buy the goods.

I would be happy if I could raise my income to Rp 80,000 a day. Well, that is my simple dream. I need a lot more money to support my family, especially if someday I have a baby.

Joko, 32, works at a shoe polish company in East Jakarta. He lives with his wife in Cijantung, East Jakarta:

I think having my first child is the only dream I have for the New Year.

I have been married for almost three years but so far I haven't had a baby yet, despite the fact that my wife is a full- time housewife.

Perhaps this is because I never feel relaxed, even when I'm at home with my family.

I'm fed up with my workload. Many times I bring unfinished work home with me.

Now is the time for me to seriously think about having a baby. I plan to do it naturally, without medical treatment.

My next plan would be to quit my present job and look for a better job, so I would have more time for my family.

-- Leo Wahyudi S