It’s been two months since Eko Susilo, a motorcycle taxi driver for a ride-sharing service (locally known as ojek online or ojol for short) last rode his motorcycle, which he says had broken down. But his drive to keep working despite the major setback has earned him viral fame in Indonesia, which may turn his fortunes around.
As shown in various viral social media posts about him, the 47-year-old Eko now makes food deliveries around his neighborhood in Bekasi, West Java using his mountain bike. Those who posted about him encouraged others not to give him a low rating on the app if he takes a long time making deliveries.
Manteman buat kalian yang order Gofood di sekitaran Rawalumbu, Bekasi. Kalau dapat orderan dengan nama driver Eko Susilo…
In an interview, Eko said he has frequently gotten complaints over the length of time he takes to deliver customers’ food, but he says they were forgiving once they found out about his circumstances.
It seems the viral posts’ message is well-received by his customers, as Eko’s extra effort has seen him regularly awarded with the coveted 5-star rating on the app.
“The first time [I delivered food on the bike], I was still not used to it, when I got home I got kerokan (a traditional Indonesian treatment in which a blunt object, usually a coin or ladle, is scratched repeatedly across one’s back) to treat masuk angin (a local term that literally translates to ‘wind entering’ but resembles the common cold). It had only been one week and my body felt like it was crumbling,” Eko said.
Even so, Eko said he eventually got used to his new mode of transport and currently manages to take 13 orders per day on average.
Eko said he has spent around IDR2 million (US$142) to repair his 10-year-old motorcycle to no avail, and now it’s just sitting at home.
But as soon as his story went viral, a fundraiser to buy Eko a new motorcycle was launched on local donation platform Kitabisa. At time of writing, they’ve raised over IDR18.2 million (US$1,295) out of the targeted IDR25 million (US$1,779).
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