Indonesian President Joko Widodo walked for several kilometers in scorching heat this week after his motorcade got stuck in a major traffic jam.
In an almost unimaginable scenario for most world leaders — accustomed to traveling on wide open streets secured by police —Widodo and his entourage were forced to walk 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) in Cilegon on Thursday to attend a military event.
Widodo was scheduled to participate in a parade marking the 72nd anniversary of the country’s defense forces in Banten province — about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Jakarta.
“I asked how far we still had to go. ‘Three kilometers, sir,’ the driver answered. Well, I then got off the car. I had better walk,” Widodo told reporters, according to the state-run Antara News. It said he opted to walk after waiting for 30 minutes in his car.
Following the President’s cue, several high-level officials, including the defense minister and the chief of staff, took to the pavement.
Indonesia is notorious for heavily-congested streets, especially in the capital of Jakarta, where short drives can take hours.