Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Looking Nomad

Wahyu Supriyana is a true nomad. He makes his fortune by selling, buying and trading whatever goods he can find along his path to find his soul mate. Indonesia Prattler spotted this well-trimmed bearded man at Pasar Buah Batu in Bandung not too long ago.

Indonesia Prattler amazed by the excessive quantity of goods he brought along to sell at this market. Arm saw, screwdriver, chisel and pump just to name a few. Most of these items were obtained not with money, but by giving others a hand. Wahyu travels the Java island mostly by foot, and whenever he sees someone who needs help he'd voluntarily give all he has to overcome his/her problem. "They would usually pay me with goods, like this sickle for example, I got this from helping an old guy saving his wife from drowning in a creek in Tulungagung. I usually refused for any compensation but they're all always persistence", Wahyu said with a big grin. Well, we can't blame them now, can we, Wahyu? You are such an angel.

Wahyu sells the items he's gotten to eat. He could gather a great sum of money in one day, yesterday alone he scooped 54,700 rupiahs. A staggering a mount of money! So staggering he had to wrap-up earlier than usual to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, which he usually gets to enjoy once in a bluemoon. When Indonesia Prattler asked why would he travel such great distance, he replies, "I am looking for the love of my life. When I was 26, I had a dream that the love of my life would be living here in Bandung. But, having no money to come here, I decided to start walking from my hometown Purwokerto. This was almost 8 years ago."

Wahyu is very accustomed to this way of nomad life. He claims that he would never want to stay at a motel or the-like for he loves the open air. "Why would you want to limit of what you can see with walls and roofs when you can see this beautiful scenery God has created for us. Besides, I am saving my money to marry the love of my life I am yet to find", Wahyu says while brushing his thick mustache.

Why settle down and calls some place a home when the land under the big blue sky is all yours?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tofu for Life

Amidst the rotten smell of dirty feet of becak drivers mixed with the fresh smell of formaline-swabbed fish, shrimps and poultry in the Ciputat traditional market, lies an exceptionally simple tofu stand of Mr. Waskito's. With seven stacks of huge trays for each variety of tofu – yellow and white – Mr. Waskito tries to make ends meet for his two bossomed wives and his 3 sons that are due to enter the higher educational institution next season.

Mr. Waskito, 52, formerly owned a high-end superstore in the celestial district of Cibinong. Not the economic crash that caused his busines to rock-bottomed, it was none other than this gentleman's greedy brother-in-law's ex-girlfriend's uncle from his second wife that ruined his classy, money-making and high-end Nutri Soy Groupies Inc. nearly 3 years ago.

"The Nutri Soy Groupies Inc. (NSG) was my baby, my father started it with selling a few bags of tofu back in the 60s, and the both of us made the company grew like there was no tomorrow", Mr. Waskito says. "But now... I don't want to talk about it...", says Mr. Waskito again while shaking his head and punching a fist onto a nearby filthy cardboard.

Mr. Waskito was a victim of a crime that the executor known today as a "con-artist". Nevertheless, this gentleman is able to stand on his two feet again. After Mr. Waskito sold his beautiful four-storays fortress in the Cakung area, he and his family moved to Ciputat, staying away from old, bitter memories of his fancy life-style in the north.

When Indonesia Prattler asked Mr. Waskito about his tofu, his eyes shine in a warp-9 speed. Mr. Waskito's tofus are homemade. He explains that both of his wives, comprehending their jewelries possession is relied to the tofus, make them every morning to be sold at pasar Ciputat by their lovely husband. "Tinah, Marni and I realized that my only talent is selling tofu, so that is what I am going to do to support them for the rest of my life", states Mr. Waskito while handing-out 2 bags of yellow tofu to Hj. Dede, his most loyal customer.

"My wives fully understand that their lives depend on these simple square-shaped soys. They never fight anymore, instead they work together as a team to support this big family of ours", Mr. Waskito says with a big smile, which Indonesia Prattler assumed as big as his manhood to satisfy both of his wives every night.

Mr. Waskito, his two wives and his business break the cultural taboo and its understanding that having multiple wives would actually break a marriage apart. They are not falling apart, au contraire, they are standing stronger each day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

High Toll-erance

Indonesia Prattler savored the joy of the yearly "mudik" tradition of Indonesians just recently, and on our way, we came across a good-looking lad whose charms are nicely kept inside a glorious tollbooth. The somewhat flirtatious gentleman wished that we would not divulge his real name and merely gave the permission for us to use his initials for this rather rushed interview. Enjoy Ms. Brandy's amazingly amusing encounter with one of the city's most eligible bachelors, CP.

How long have you worked as a toll booth executive?
About a year and a half. I wouldn't say I'm an executive, though. My work is pretty much hands-on. I don't like being classified.

Ah, pardon my ignorance Sir.
No problem. And um, please, don't call me 'Sir'. I'm not even 29.

We understand that there were changes in the toll fare. What are your opinions on the matter?
I don't quite get what the fuss is all about, really. To me, there are worst things that the people should be protesting against and take actions at. This is just a small thing. We need Jakartans to focus.

How do you see Jakarta's worsening traffic?
Well from where I'm sitting now, it is quite bad. Therefore people need the toll road more than ever these days, and that's where I came in.

How do you feel about what you are doing?
You would never imagine how gratifying it is to be sitting here in this booth, receiving money straight from the toll road users. I know it might sound pretty silly, but I love seeing the smile on their faces whenever they exit the toll road which usually means they're already close to their respective destinations. But to tell you the truth, I loved the old system much better, when I sit on the entrance booths and giving out entry tickets.

Because seeing people's reliefs after being stuck in the traffic for hours brings peace to my soul. It's like I'm their savior. I'm Superman! Ha ha!

Wow, I bet that's quite a feeling.
Indeed. Especially when it comes to the ladies. It's always nice to see pretty faces smile than frown. Although, you know, I like how today's girls pout. I find them sexy.

Ah, speaking of women, you are literally one of the few very eligible bachelors in the fast lane. How do you divide work and romance?
To me it's all about professionalism when it comes to work. I might work in the fast lane, but romance-wise, I'm pretty aloof. My family says I'm too selective. Well I guess it's how you perceive 'love' in general. To me, love should be the opposite of work so when the time comes to merge them, it would be a perfect fit.

What do you consider a dream life?
Oh, do you mean the one I'm living already?

Well we... er... okay let's rephrase the questions: are there things in life you're still after?
I guess... not that many. It's probably hard to understand for most people, but to me life's good already. I have a fantastic job which not many people can do, a private office at the heart of the city, and easy access to women-watching. What more can a guy ask? Ha ha!

What are your opinions on Trans Jakarta Projects that are accused on being the cause of the city's traffic jams?
To tell you the truth, I again don't really see what the fuss is all about. These people never even try to see the lighter side of things even when they have so many options. There are alternative roads leading to even the most exclusive parts of the city like my neighborhood, for instance. So to me, rather than biting each other's tails and pointing fingers at one another, Jakartans should just try to take things one step at a time and re-examine what the core of the problem is all about. In the end, they are also the ones who are going to benefit from the facility. Why all the protest now? I don't understand it.

Are you a Trans Jakarta user?
I don't believe in mass-transportation. To me, having to commute with strangers every single day is just too mind-boggling. I prefer to ride my very own motorbike. I belong to a motorbike brotherhood.

A Harley Davidson?
That's for peasants. I despise its awful sounds. To me, my matic scooter is the best.

Do you have a dream car?
Lady, I've been doing what I'm doing for quite some time now. I know what I see everyday and if you really think I'm getting a car... let's just say I don't really want to take the toll (road).

We Are Still Here

Dear readers,

Having been buried with our less glamorous work than those featured in this socialite blog, we would like to apologize deeply for our temporary hiatus. However, since everyone is away for the Lebaran Holiday and we have the office all to ourselves... and tons of successful faces in pictures we took since months ago, Ms. Brandy and Mr. Scotch are back on Indonesia Prattler.

Coming soon in November: The Fantabulous Party People. Our very own society page, with vivid coverage to the most exclusive society parties around Jakarta, who's who among these distinguished figures and their quest to deliver the maximum entertainment. Also, don't miss the Top 10 It Parties according to MisFortune Magazine -our media partner (yet to be launched).

Happy Holidays to you all!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Long Wait for Passengers

Former chicken noodles vendors turned motorbike taxi drivers Ahmad and Khairul are seen fighting their droopy eyes waiting for passengers around Barito area. These natives Kemanggisan need to have at least 25 passengers per day to cover their families' needs, by using only one motorbike.

Ahmad and Khairul have known each other since they were infants. "We always got each other's back", said Khairul while biting a piece of green chili to accompany a big bite of baked rice wrapped in a piece of banana leaf. "When the rumor of rat meat was being used in our chicken noodles spread out, our customers left us and with very little money we are financing this baby boy together and trying to make money out of it", Ahmad later added while lovingly stroking the charcoal colored motorbike's seat. These two perfectly tanned individuals needed to submit a staggering 500,000 rupiahs for the down payment and another staggering 300,000 rupiahs every month for financing the exclusive two-wheeled beauty. A shocking value to be spent for only one item, indeed.

These two hard-workers have their own special way in attracting passengers; they touch the individual qualities of every passerby they meet, and steal their hearts. While other motorbike taxi drivers often times pointing their index fingers to the air indicating their availability to take passengers to their desired destinations, Ahmad and Khairul prefer to smile and point at their perfectly shined motorbike with their palms facing up and doing the please movement. Politeness is the key to get passengers. "This method has proven to work", exclaimed Khairul, now while consuming a piece of fried banana fresh from a pond of black, thick and hot cooking oil from a nearby snack vendor. However, their biggest challenge is, of course, they need to share one motorbike. "We have our own unique way to solve that problem, we let the passengers decide!", they shouted passionately with the sweetest grins on their faces. Ahmad and Khairul explained that each time a passenger comes and asks for their service the passenger will be asked to choose between them two to be the driver of the motorbike . "This is the only fair way to do it, and this makes us dress up to the nines everyday", Ahmad said. A very unique way, indeed. This explains the ever shiny balding scalp of Khairul that is polished with 50 cc of Mandom product every morning and the astonishing flat-front khakis Pasar Baru-made that Ahmad wears everyday to their work place, the Barito junction.

Around the high noon tea time like this is when the time goes very slow for Ahmad and Khairul. "I figure that people are busy in their offices while students are busy with their classes while the lazy-asses are sleeping in their huts, that's why there aren't so many people wondering around looking for means of transportation around this time of the day", stated Khairul. "This is when we catch-up with what happened with our kids, wives or life in general", Khairul added. They share stories as if they were soulmate; laughter and friendly punches on the chins indicating the solid friendship.

Ahmad and Khairul's friendship is the perfect case of unselfish behavior in a workplace. Though sharing a motorbike to make ends meet appears to be impossible for some, Ahmad and Khairul pull it off. They set the perfect example of sharing is caring, and we need to follow their footsteps.