Whisnu Bagus Prasetyo, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday night made an impromptu visit to Balinese locals in Keingetan hamlet in Singakerta, Gianyar.
The president came with no proper security, with only an adjutant and a few presidential guards. During the impromptu visit, Jokowi went from one house to another, distributing grocery packages and envelopes with Rp 2 million ($134) inside. Jokowi also conversed with the locals, even asking how they were doing and why they had not slept late at night.
A man called Ketut told Jokowi how he had a pinched nerve and had to walk on a stick.
"Om swastyastu [Balinese greeting], he asked my name. If I was healthy or not. I told [the president] that I was healthy, but have a pinched nerve," Ketut said, talking about his conversation with President Jokowi.
Ketut admitted that he did not expect Jokowi's visit.
"I was delighted, and tears kept running down my face. It's not because I'm sad, but it's very rare to be given a blessing. Thank God, I got to meet the president before I die," Ketut said.
"I feel touched ... I feel on top of the world... I cried tears of joy," Ketut said.
Another local Wayan Brata admitted he was surprised by the president's visit. He even called it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the president. "It was a surprise to see the president. For the first time in my life I got to see the president," 71-year-old Wayan said.
Wayan said that Jokowi asked him about his daily life, health, and what he did for a living.
"[He asked] 'are you healthy? What do you do?' [I told him] that I am taking care of my two grandchildren, and I would tend the shop just outside during the day, a friend gave me coconut leaves," Wayan said as he recalled the president's visit.
Jokowi has been synonymous with impromptu visits, locally known as blusukan, even back in the day when he was the Surakarta mayor.