Having been in Bali now for six weeks I have really got a good feel for the way the Indonesians live and the struggles they face day to day. One of my Sumatran friends is becoming concerned that he has no wife and more importantly, no children.
See there is no retirement pension in Indonesia. Your security in old age is your offspring. Without children getting old in Indonesia is very tough, hence why so many have large families in the developing World.
Another friend wants a new life in Australia, and who can blame him. An Aussie couple has offered him somewhere to stay in Perth to stay if he can get over there. Thatâ€™s the problem you see. An Indonesian passport costs 1 million rupiah ($100). This far exceeds what people earn in a month here.
It is ridiculous that the Government here charges this amount which is way out of proportion to everything else. On top of that to make an Australian Visa you need a bank account with a lot of money and you need a return airfare.
Is there any wonder why so many Indonesians risk their lives crossing over to Australia illegally in small boats? Unemployment in Bali is very high with many flocking in from other Islands in the hope of working in the tourist industry, such as my friends from Sumatra.
Next time you get on an airplane consider yourself extremely privileged. I know I will.