Monday, June 4, 2007

Oase in the Desert

The emergency of needing a white, round shaped crackers, or the Jakartans might call them "kerupuk", has never worried the citizens of Rawa Belong since 1990, the year when Mr. Yono started his business.

Indonesia Prattler spotted this beautifully handmade business cubicle that provides almost everything for its customers amidst the elite houses in the neighborhood. "I chose white as the primary color of my business cubicle with a purpose, I want it to look posh," Mr. Yono says with a smile while scratching his balding head, which is the result of hard-thinking to escalating his business. "It (the color) was recommended by Mr. Akang, the designer of this cubicle," he says again. Indonesia Prattler could not agree more as its poshness blinds the eyes of every single passerby.

Mr. Yono is a true entrepreneur, he arrived at the capital city of Indonesia from his hometown of Brebes back in the 80s - when gasoline was still at its most decent price, U.S. dollars was still below Rp. 1,000 and Michael Jackson was still black - with nothing but a few pieces of clothing and very little fund. He went straight to the eastern area of Jakarta and opened a similar business, selling everything a housewive would ever ask to stop her crying child, everything a maid would ever need in the kitchen; from the delicious temu lawak juice, lovely colored pairs of flip-flops to the scrumptious durian candy.

He did not last long there as his business wasn't doing too well. He moved around to several other venues when he finally concluded his business adventure by reconciling his posh cubicle in the Rawa Belong region. "(My) business is doing very well here," he says "when people couldn't find the things they want in a big supermarket, they always come here, everyone will end up coming to Mr. Yono's for anything," he says again with giggles. He has added a wide range selections of clove cigarettes, fresh variety of monosodium glutamate loaded snacks and a fine collection of heavily caffeine loaded energy drinks into the list of items he sells, it does not stop there as he recently added the flavorsome 'Yono's special coffee mix' in his menu for his arduous customers. These new items bring him massive profit each day.

But let's don't forget this middle-aged gentleman's sense of fashion. He wears a button-down shirt, tucked-in in his dress-up pants everyday to cover his well sculpted and tanned body. His taste of fashion swoons numerous of young ladies, proven by his recent marriage to a fully blossomed 18 year-old lady.

Mr. Yono is apparently more than just an entrepreneur; he is also the subordinate of the vice secretary of the junior associate security team. When a couple of years ago crime was at its height, the leader of the community proposed him personally to be responsible of closing and opening one of the most crucial street gates in the neighborhood: the street where his posh cubicle located. Celebration was thrown by the locals, A-List guests from the community were invited to the feast of the year, roast lambs was certainly the main course. Rumor has it that the celebration midgets Paris Hilton's birthday bash in Japan. This was done because the chief of the local community was confident with his choice, that Mr. Yono is the right person for the job. "This job is very important for our security," Mr. Yono says with no smile on his face, indicating the seriousness of the matter, "we can never joke around with crime that always seeks opportunity to happen," he later added.

When the time strikes 11PM, Mr. Yono does his gate job and firmly closes and locks his cubicle doors. "It's time to go home now", Mr. Yono says while getting his fine, state-of-the-art, two-wheeled, non-motored vehicle out of the back entrance of the cubicle. He waves good-bye as he is pedaling away to Kampung Alam, a back-to-nature residential area with wood-based houses, unmanufactured small paths and a lot of trees in the backyards. For Mr. Yono, tomorrow will be another beautiful day to do business, another beautiful day to serve his customers but of course, it is going to be just another day to make profit.

Mr. Yono sets a prefect example for all of us to strive to go through everyday life. His strong character of discipline and responsibility to help the community is a necessity for every single citizen to look upon. Individuals like Mr. Yono to his local community really is a reminiscent of an oasis in the desert.

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