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JAKARTA - Describing myself I am the thin slim 100,000 rupiah note that was printed years in a government workshop.The day I was born I was transferred to a bank with a bunch of my friends who were one by one were leaving for the free world.
Having a picture of Sukarno and Hatta on myself I thought I would be treated more respectfully than my other low value friends I was always proud of my paper quality which was so superior to them and ranking the highest among them gave me a feeling that I would be treated more carefully and respectfully with my owners. But fate had their own plans.
The day came close when I was stripped out from my bunch and was handed over to my first owner who carefully kept me in his wallet. I had no idea of what would be the outside world but I was ready to face the destiny. And from then I am being exchanged from one wallet to another enjoying their sometimes stinking, sometimes good leather all the time.
Describing my till date life experiences I would mention that I enjoy the best hospitality when I am in the pockets of poor people who take care of me like I am their newborn kid. Even though they hide me in clothes and cupboards for a long time, they exchange me only when they are in a really urgent need to get something in exchange of me, and most of the time its school fees, or I would into a warung, or land into the stinking wet traditional vegetable markets.
And once when I land in these situations, I always wait for the time that hope these low class owner s drop me in a near by bank or so I would meet new friends and could get a chance to have a different class of new owners.
Secondly describing my life experiences, in fact I always get tired when I reach in pockets of the rich. Because instead of thinking of my hospitality their mind always works on the plans on how and when are they going to use me, I who has their freedom fighter leader printed on myself is always being treated like a hard working slave, from clubs to movie theatres, from supermarkets to shopping malls these rich exchange me so fast that I hardly ever get a chance to stare at their faces.
But sometimes there are chances that I may land indirectly from the rich to the poor as well. Once I was being paid to a pembantu at home who was so happy to receive me, and took care of me well. She packed some of my colleagues from the envelope and send to a nearby post office which she could exchange my friends for her family in kampung. Because of my good looks she chose me to be with her and everyday she used to stare at me dreaming a new dream everyday in how she would be using me for her needs.
And after several months she made her mind and exchanged me to a nearby salon so that she could groom her hair in such a way so she could have her hairstyle like her most favorite dangdut singer.
Chances of living lonely is more when you get into the hands of these poor people who dream on looking on me, but I also get ready to work hard day and night when I land into the rich pockets as well where I find a lot of friends in their wallets and safes where I get a chance to chit-chat and share their own life experiences with me.
But among these I really hate the tourist people who visit my own country who take me as their companion who look at me like I am a pain in their ass, they want to get rid of me as soon as possible. Their eyes normally are searching for the daily money exchange prices so they could get fetch a good exchange value out of me. These people are those hunters who wait for their prey to make the exact move and then attack, the same way they wait for the most reasonable exchange rates, but sometimes when their time has really come to end they exchange me to any price available because they know I would be just a mere piece of paper in their country without any significant value.
And now after years and years of moving all around my country I have now landed in a piggy bank of young rich Indonesian kid, who also plans every day in what way he would be using me. I have heard sometimes when he talks with her mom that he is soon going to exchange me to buy a internet game voucher Ragnarok so he could play along with his friends on the internet.
Sometimes when I get a chance to relax in a piggy bank or around the clothes of poor people I think of my own experiences which I have gone through. My looks may be not so good enough today but I am still of some value. How much is the difference in a dreams of a person, the needs of a person. How much I value to them, their tears, laughs all depend on me. And how would be situation of these people who are unlucky to have me, I always pray to god that because of me please donít let somebody unhappy, I hope I had some wings of my own so I could travel to the poor people more, so I could satisfy their hunger, needs, education, rather than going in the hands of those people who misuse me for buying drugs and other useless things. I hope I had a freedom of speech and expression so I could advise these people to go on the right path of life and show my fellow owners of my country the right way.

The plastic Rp. 100,000 banknote with Sukarno and Hatta

Written by Aliakbar. Story & Photo copyright by Aliakbar 2004.

Posted in General @ 19 February 2004 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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