Prostitutes smash streetlamps with slingshots

Frequent passersby may have often wondered why the leafy junction under Jl. Sentra Primer flyover in Pulogebang, near the East Jakarta mayor’s office, often goes without adequate light. The place is well-known for transvestite prostitutes soliciting clients.

  • slingshot – a Y-shaped stick with a piece of elastic fixed to the top parts, used esp. by children for shooting small stones
  • passerby – someone who is going past a particular place
  • leafy – (of a plant) having many of the flat, usually green parts that are joined at one end to the stem or branch, berdaun rindang
  • transvestite – a person who wears the clothes of the opposite sex
  • solicite – to ask for something in a persuasive and determined way

Officials have been baffled, too. They have often found the lamps broken or destroyed, but soon after they are repaired or replaced, they receive reports of the same problem from the public.

  • baffle – to cause someone to be unable to understand or explain something

The issue has long been in the spotlight, but not until very recently was the mystery uncovered: The transvestite prostitutes love minding their business under cover of the dark. So they purportedly use slingshots to smash the high-voltage streetlamps.

The flyover is located just across from a leafy wood that makes it a favorite hangout spot for transvestites. Law-and-public order authorities have got rid of food vendors from the busy road, but not the streetwalkers.

“They use slingshots to kill the lights because they like it dim there,” 45-year-old Sirait, a sanitary worker in the area, told Friday.

The report said that of the 10 streetlamps in the area, only eight were functioning.

Dede, a local resident, said the authorities seemed desperate about the vandalism. “It happens all too often,” he said.

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