Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Public Gardeners

Amidst the ever heavy traffic of metropolitan streets, Burhan is fulfilling his duty of watering the city plants to keep the city green. Accompanied by his colleague Rahmat, who drives the gigantic six-wheeled vehicle, they stroll around the area that was once well-known for the wealth of its residences in the southern part of Jakarta.

"I tried so hard to get this job, I went through series of tests," Burhan says with tears streaming down his eyes memorizing the unusual activities he needed to perform during the one full week of tests.

Burhan wakes up everyday at dawn, waiting for his partner Rahmat at the corner of touch alley nearby his beautifully hand-built 4x4 meters fortress. "I want my kids to inherit this fortress of mine in the future," he says even before Indonesia Prattler initiated asking questions regarding his now eight year-old home. It shows how much he loves his stunning pile of wood. However, Burhan is yet to be married, he glazes a fine-looking young lady whom also a dedicated pre-paid cellphone credit staff across his home; "someday I am going to marry her," he says while puffing his clove cigarette, "but first, I need to be brave to go there and talk to her," he says again while absenting shred of cloves from his mouth.

Burhan is a Tangerang native, Indonesia Prattler has suspected it due to his consistent ultra-high tone voice every time he articulates his thoughts. He said it was a tough trip for a 16 year-old boy riding the D-01 bus from his origin to the most southern tip of Jakarta. Due to the insufficient budget, the only form of food he could afford to purchase for his snack during the entire three-hour trip was fried peanuts. "I could never forget how suffering it was," Burhan says "but now, I can afford a pack of nasi padang for lunch," he says again while giggling. It is an enormous progress, indeed.

As often as he possibly could, Burhan wears the same outfit he wore the first time he arrived in Jakarta each time he is performing his watering duty. He said that the trousers were made by his step mother, the teared back-pocket of his jeans trousers caused by his father emotional waft; he was crying, begging and pulling his trousers to keep him from going away. "I tears my heart out every time I see this ripped back-pocket, but it also encourages me to work hard so I can send money home to help my father's cricket ranch to grow," he adds while turning his head away, hiding his watery eyes. When Indonesia Prattler asked about his pink t-shirt, he stated that he does not have any good reminiscence about the 100% cotton piece of clothing, he embezzled the t-shirt from a nearby store, "it's just a reminder that I shouldn't do the thing I've done to get this t-shirt anymore because I have a legit job now," he says. He later added that the word in front of the t-shirt makes his love to it grows infinitely, "it encourages me to be sure, to be faithful all the time," he states while pointing at the word Yankee on the t-shirt, which he surely convinced that it is a misspelled Indonesian word of yakin.

His colleague Rahmat has arrived, driving the huge water tank vehicle. When he was asked about his career path and if he has any plans to excel it in the department he belongs now, he answered with an even higher tone, "as long as these two hands of mine are still strong enough to hold this hose, and as long as my buddy Rahmat is still able to drive this truck, we will always be the city's dynamic-duo, watering grasses and plants on every single boulevard and avenue," Burhan says with shaky voice, describing his noble intention of making Jakarta a beautiful metropolitan.

"Show us green, and we'll wet 'em!", both of them shout as if it was their motto.

How could Jakarta ever repay these heroes?


miund said...

OMG. Okay I don't know where you guys are going with these kind of posts, but I do find your feature articles hilarious!

kudos for a freakishly giggly blog.

may I ask when the 'society page' will be published? hope you don't have too much botox in them :D

johnorford said...

great blog!