Whether it's preserving fish or adding fresh flavor to warung drinks, ice is very important for Jakarta's culinary economy. But for small businesses, especially those on the roadside, it's impossible to bring a refrigerator to make ice at the sales location. That's why there is an informal category that focuses on behind-the-scenes services, including an ice maker.
Afternoon Bang, what are you doing?
I'm just about to get some more ice.
Where's the ice, Bang?
I put it under the tarp over there.
How can you just do that, doesn’t it melt really fast, Bang?
No. If I store it like this it can last 3 days. Yeah, there will be some losses too but there’s no other way. If you order ice blocks it’s better to order quite a lot so you don't have to pay for the driver to go back and forth.
Oh yeah that makes sense. So, Bang Ahmad, where did you order the ice from?
I ordered it from Kebon Kacang, where I live.
But you sell it at Cikini?
Yes, because there are already many ice sellers there. If you sell ice, you have to find your own place because if all the stalls have bought already, how are you going to sell it again? Ice can last 3 days but I can't if I don't sell it!
So you sell to warung, then? To make ice drinks?
I sell to warung, yes, but there are others who want to buy it. For example, if there are fish, they need ice to keep them preserved.
Oh right. So how far do you normally travel around?
Pretty much just locally around here, Cikini and Kramat.
Siap, ok Bang. Be careful on the road.
Siap, you’re welcome.