Bambang, 19, a newspaper seller from Lombok, shared his day with The Bali Times
I wonder why the authorities want to stop us; we’re only trying to earn money to buy food.
I moved to Bali a month ago and went straight to work as a newspaper seller, so everyday I wake up at 4am, pray, have breakfast and pick up the newspapers at 5am.
When I first started working, I could only sell 30 papers, but now I pick up 75 papers every morning.
As soon as I’ve picked up my papers I go to Jl. Gunung Agung and try to sell all my papers before the sun gets hot. Even though I’ve only been working as a newspaper seller for a month, I’m enjoying it. My brother has been doing the same work for three years.
In the last few days we’ve had to watch out because some of my friends have recently been caught by public order teams, but were released, thank God. I’ve never been caught but it makes me anxious, and it’s more difficult to do my job. I wonder why they want to stop us; we’re only trying to earn money to buy food. We don’t have any skills that we can rely on.
At 10.30am I go home, but usually I still have some unsold newspapers, so after lunch and a break, I go back out again. I usually go to Jl. Maruti, near where I live, and sell the papers at a discount because I want to make sure I sell them all. All my friends working as newspaper sellers do the same thing because don’t want to lose money. It’s better to sell them for less than keeping them around the house.
I can work in Jl. Maruti with my other friends until 5 or 6pm. We never sell newspapers together; only two or three people sell around each busy location. There are some negative aspects of working as a newspaper seller, though. For example, you need to have good stamina to walk around selling papers all day. My brother is even tougher than me. He walks to a location twice as far as mine to sell his papers, but recently he started riding a bicycle, which makes it a bit easier. The other bad thing is when we have to deal with the weather, like in the rainy season. I have to take shelter to protect the newspapers from getting wet. The worst times are when the rain falls until nighttime, which means that I can’t sell.
Generally I do enjoy my job, though. I get to read the newspapers every day, so I know what’s going on, and I feel like I’m always gaining knowledge. I left school when I was in the second grade of senior high school, but I intend to go back someday. I don’t know when because I’m just beginning to enjoy my work.
After 7pm I go to the newspaper counter to give them the day’s money and take my percentage. I go home about 9pm, and chat with my brother and cousin. This is one of my daily activities that makes me forget how tired I am. I admire my brother a lot, because he has worked hard as newspaper seller for three years, but I know it’s also because it’s fun.Filed under: One Day