One Day


I live on top of a hill. A hill in North Sumatra.

So yesterday I had one day off. Thirteen days of working straight and I only got one day off. I will tell you some other time how that is possible. And don’t worry, I didn’t feel cheated. Maybe a little. Actually, not really. As I said, that’s another story.

I got my millions a few days ago and I don’t know what to do with it. Millions in Rupiah doesn’t amount to much really. But still, I don’t want it to be lying inside my cabinet. So I decided to find a bank and deposit it in my account back home.

The struggle started with looking for a car. I have been so used before to fending for myself, to doing things my way, to being on my own. I don’t have my own car in Indonesia. So I am at the mercy of circumstances. I am usually treated like a princess here but I learned that even a princess needs to wait.

An hour has passed since I requested for a ride. Finally, I got one. And just when I thought everything was settled, think again. I have to find a driver. What the F. The person who usually drives me around is engaged as of the moment. I have to wait. No way. I cannot wait. Though that was what I have been doing for quite some time. I would have wanted to snatch the keys from the security and drove myself off but I remember I haven’t driven a right-hand drive ever, that the Indonesian roads and drivers can kill me instantly, and most importantly there was no key. It was with another person. Major effing eeeew. So there, another 30 minutes of waiting. Finally, car, driver, keys ready. Oh yeah. An almost empty gas tank. Very nice. That’s another 15 more minutes.

I was praying to high heavens that I will still find an open bank. Living on top of the hills with only rows and rows of coffee, tea and tomatoes as neighbors, a civilization takes a long time to come by.


After some very bad road and a heavy rain, I finally reached town. We stopped by the first bank we saw. It was a 10 square meter bank. It doesn’t look good. No, sorry. They cannot do my transaction. It is too complicated for their system. I have to go to the center, they said. And that is like 2 hours away from where I was. Ok.

I did not give up. I told the person driving me around to bring me to the next bank, and the next bank and the next bank. Same story. Holy bank.

I gave up. I am really in the middle of nowhere. What was I thinking? If the nearest McDonald’s is 4 hours away from where I live, then I should have gotten a fairly good idea of the capacity of the place.

There was nothing else to do. I just rewarded myself with some retail therapy. Indomaret. Their version of 711. The same size as well. The best one I can get. The closest to a shopping mall that I can find.

Just one sweep of my eyes and I have covered the whole place. I did my shopping as slowly as I can if only to satisfy the commercialist in me.

Fifteen minutes and I am done. That’s it. Offffffffffffffff.

Then we did the uphill drive back “home”.

Oh, I forgot.

They were insisting that I bring somebody along to do the translating for me as I do my business.

Tidak perlu.

I said no need.

Look who is confident?

My Bahasa Indonesia managed to get through the locals.

With the help of my hands and feet of course.

3 thoughts on “One Day

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