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EINDHOVEN - Just recently I even had Indonesian television on the internet. I regularly listen and read reports and messages like they are presented over there. We all know there is no better result to get than the duo of "Gus Dur" ( Abdurrahman Wahid ) and Sukarnoputri ( Megawati ). Of course the Wiranto-army thought about a coup d'état, but they didn't, because they knew they would get a war between Indonesia and the rest of the world for sure. It only were the first democratic elections ever in Indonesia, and Indonesia is one of the most rich countries in the world. If there was nothing to get, the world wouldn't care more or less about Indonesia at all.

Our evolution learned us that one of the three magic words, God, Money and Health, won clearly. Nowadays I write in my letters and other stories God as well as Money with a capital "M". Money doesn't make happy, but is most important in this world. Above all it's not easy to enjoy your happieness without any money.

Pathetic Trading

In the tourist places like Kuta and Ubud ( Bali ), and undoubtedly somewhere else either, young women who are to lame to work can rent a baby to get money from the tourists, begging at tourists that is.
You, me or any other tourist wandering through the streets like a wandering wallet are the obvious target of this apparently 'pathetic' girls. The women, who have a needle in their hands you are not allowed to see, are waiting for you to pass by. Then they see you, they inject the needle into the baby's back, and so they cry like crazy, to show you they are in terrible hunger for days. With a sound, almost crying, you hear the girl say "Aduh, kasiaaaaan, anak
ini sakit, ngga’ bisa bayar dokter, minta uang". Then I ask in proper Indonesian where they rented the child, and to show me the needle.
The girls just don't seem to hear the question and go on talking about the fact that they don't have any money to buy any food, and they would like to see some money from me. Of course I do the same and do my 'thing' again, now in Jawa Kasar.
In this kind of Balinese street trading and other forms of prostitution are normally no Balinese people involved. In the 70's I dropped by in Afghanistan once in a while. The effect of the Balinese babies is much worse there. In that country there is really not enough food, there are no unused fertile pieces of country. Afghanistan consists for about 80% of salt/sand areas.

In one way or another you/me get to meet someone, most of the time a youngster. In the first conversation you will be introduced to eachother with mimics and body-language. It's clear that the contact is wanted. At a given moment the unavoidable question whether you would like to meet the family.
Arriving there you meet the family, have a seat on the floor or somewhere else. During the conversation you get a cup of tea and the atmosphere slowly changes. You discover that the father of the family is ill and can't work. The doctor is unaffordable and brother and sister can't go to school because there is no money. The cup of tea you get was the last one they had. Then they point to you, the big, fat and over all rich European which should feel morally harassed. He gets his wallet, puts some banknotes on the table.
In those early years I was fooled by that once, so this time I will watch closely what I'm doing. I watch to my watch, and say that I have to go away before I'm too late. Not showing that I don't have a watch at all. I walk out and say 'Tudelu', leaving the bewildered family behind. That means that if they want to contact me again, I already say: "Kalau ada pamrih langsung saya pergi!"



Posted in Politics @ 09 March 2000 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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