Thu, 20 Nov 2003

'If only I had the money to go home for Idul Fitri'

Many people are preparing to go home by train, bus, ship or plane to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families. With an estimated 2.11 million people preparing to leave Jakarta, transportation operators have upped fares, forcing many to cancel their plans. The Jakarta Post talked to several people about the issue.

Suyoto, 41, a mechanic, lives in Glodok, West Jakarta with his wife and two children. He was born in Batu Retno, Wonogiri district, Central Java:

This year is the fourth Idul Fitri I will celebrate here because I cannot afford the bus tickets for my family to go to my home village. Especially during the exodus season when the bus fare triples. I better spend the money for our daily needs.

It's sad that I won't be able to visit my family members back home ... If only I had enough money.

Aries Wijaksena, 28, is an employee of a private company on Jl. Pilar Raya, Kedoya, West Jakarta. He lives with his parents in Puri Indah, West Jakarta:

I have to go to visit my grandparents in Ciamis, West Java, this year. In the past two years, I never celebrated Idul Fitri with them due to my hectic activities and tight schedule here.

This year, I am planning to travel with my motorcycle. I never return to my home village with public transportation as all tickets must have been sold out. Besides, I think it is more fun to have an adventure with a motorcycle than by a public bus or train.

Efriza, 34, is a vendor at the Tanah Abang textile market, Central Jakarta. She lives in Kebayoran Baru, West Jakarta with two siblings. Her hometown is in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra:

I cannot celebrate Idul Fitri this year with my parents because I don't have enough money. But I did last year.

Mudik (exodus) is actually important to me and it has become a tradition. Most of my extended family live in the West Sumatra capital Padang, and Lebaran (the Idul Fitri holiday) is the perfect time to visit them. But what can I do if I don't have the money?

-- The Jakarta Post