Just Scraping By: Everyday life around my home

Blogs, Ethical trading & business, Labour rights, Women's rights article written on the 30 Sep 2010

English / Bahasa
My neighbours are an elderly married couple. They don’t have permanent jobs so to support their everyday needs they keep chickens. Besides this, the grandfather also works as a scrap collector and rubbish scavenger in the environment surrounding our homes.

Every time he picks up rubbish, he separates out the old scraps that he thinks can be sold to a scrap buyer. This is how they manage to afford to eat each day. They actually have a number of children, but the lives of their children and their children’s families aren’t very different from their own lives, so they can’t rely on their children for support.

As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from the situation faced by my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by.

Have a question?

I might not be able to respond straight away but I’m happy to answer your questions about my life in Indonesia and my job at the sports shoe factory.

Related Indonesian Entry – Bahasa Indonesia

Bekerja keras hanya untuk sesuap nasi: Kehidupan sehari-hari di sekitar rumah

Tetangga saya sepasang suami istri yang sudah tua. Mereka tidak punya pekerjaan tetap, jadi untuk menunjang keperluan sehari-hari, mereka memelihara ayam. Di samping itu, si kakek juga menjadi tukang angkut sampah dan pemulung di sekitar lingkungan kami.

Setiap kali mengangkut sampah, beliau memisahkan barang-barang bekas yang menurut beliau masih bisa dijual ke penadah barang bekas. Dari situlah mereka bisa mendapatkan makan sehari-hari. Mereka sebenarnya punya beberapa anak, tapi kehidupan anak-anak yang sudah berkeluarga itu juga tidak jauh berbeda dengan situasi orangtua mereka, jadi tidak dapat diandalkan untuk menyokong keperluan orangtua sehari-hari.

Sebagai buruh yang hanya menerima gaji kecil, saya terkadang ngeri membayangkan masa depan saya. Saya takut bahwa jika sudah tua kondisi saya tidak akan terlalu berbeda dari tetangga saya yang sudah lanjut usia tetapi tetap harus bekerja keras hanya untuk sesuap nasi.