I have been here in Bali since October 10 and every day I use Go-Jek- the motorcycle taxi from home to work vice versa and to Kuta Beach. I cannot drive a motorcycle, that’s the main reason. I could have tried to learn tough, consider I am a learner and eager to learn diving despite I couldn’t swim. However, I just like the idea of spoiling myself with Go-Jek. I don’t need to drive myself, don’t need to think about how to rent and pay the fuel or even worry to leave my motorcycle at home while I am on the field, which will take half of my monthly hour in Berau, Kalimantan.
The other reason is that I love talking to people, listening to their stories and learning something new about life, from other people life. That is also the reason why I decline many offers from the driver to be their regular customer. No, thank you. I like to have a different person who takes me from one point to another.
I believe that every person is an amazing creature with the unique story. One day I met an old driver. He is from Malang and has been living here for 20 years. He said Bali is super nice to him, enjoying sunrise and sunset on the beach, laid back then one day he realized that he has a gray hair and lost his tooth, he is aging! He was a tour guide, but Google has taken away his customer with providing the tourists more information what to do and how to spend a holiday in Bali. Who needs a tour guide now-days. He consciously understands that life is changing, and he needs to adapt the change. He learns how to use a smartphone with the internet from his son. Then he became the Go-Jek driver and learns how to use Google maps. He survived. He said Go-Jek has given him life and save him from a ‘crazy life’ of a tour guide. Because, as a tour-guide, he couldn’t say no if his customer took him to drink alcohol. I gave him three stars for his story.
Then I met a young man. He graduates from university in Yogyakarta. At the beginning, he was just trying to live away from his family, started to work in Bali. This year marks his 8 years in Bali. I have seen enough of everything in Bali, from the cheapest place to the most expensive one. How did he do that? He said from friends to friends and friends, that’s the idea of networking. He earns about 7 million IDR a month. Compare to his fellow graduates in Jakarta, he is lot richer! But home is always Yogyakarta to him, next year he will move back to Yogyakarta to be with his mother. I gave him three stars for his story.
Well, I don’t always talk to my Go-Jek driver, or sometimes the Go-Jek driver doesn’t bother to talk to me either. I gave them three stars for the quietness J
Yesterday one Go-Jek driver was trying to flirt with me. He came from Gili Trawangan and he does many things to earn money. He is a driver, a massage therapist with Go-Massage and also a ticket agency for people who want to travel from Bali to Gili Trawangan. I did ask how much is Go Massage per hour, he said around 65K IDR. ‘Mba nya mau massage? Buat mba nya saya kasih diskon khusus’ ( Do you want a massage? For you, I will give you a special discount?) he even giggled while driving. I said No. of course not! I gave him two stars!
Tonight, for the first time I put four stars for the Go-Jek driver.
He is Isa and he came from Solo. His late father was Chinese and during the riot in 1998 his family lost everything. Not even the insurance company paid them for all the damage. He was in the second year of High School when his life changed that time. Economically devastated and his family got discrimination. His sister was being looked differently at school as she has typical Chinese. Isa is lucky because he has Javanese face like his Javanese mom. To save his family, the father moved and brought his sister to Bali and start all over. Bali is a safe place as it welcomes everyone from everywhere. Isa and his mother moved later on in 2002 and Bali had become his home ever since.
I wish Isa a very best luck in the world. I hope he can forgive what bigot people had done to his family and find happiness here in Bali.
So yes Nadiem Makarim, you have so many great people who are working with you and depending their livelihood on Go-Jek. I am not the biggest fan of the idea of sharing economy, because, in the end, it is all about making a profit. I know you are a good man with a good heart, don’t let business turn you into a monster. Nadiem, you need to collect those people stories, they are your assets, by listening to their very own stories of life, you might change someone life, their life and others like me who lovingly hearing them talking.
You can hire me to write those stories, or anyhow, hire someone else who has been a better writer 🙂