||Well! This afternoon I am alone at the office
in our home. I am going to work very hard, and get a lot of things done
... nobody to disturb me, all to myself!
||Before I start, I'd better phone and order
2 gallons of drinking water as there is none left.
||I am distracted by a kleng kleng kleng sound
on the street. It is the bakso and es campur seller, pushing
his food cart. To make sure that people don't have to go outside their
homes to know what is being sold, every seller has a different sound or
music to identify them. Let me see, am I in the mood for bakso,
little balls made of meat and flour with noodles and soup? ... No! Am I
in the mood for es campur, a drink made of jelly, fruit, fruit syrup,
condensed milk and crushed ice ? Maybe later!
||Turn on the computer, start up ....
||The laundry boys bring my washed and ironed
clothes into my room. Thank you very much.
||The boy from the 'water shop' delivers the
water. Need to pay first .... no, I do not have any change, don't you?
No? Oh, you will bring it later? Okay.
||The neighbour is bored and wonders if I might
be bored too. Let's have a drink.
||Jeruk manis! Jeruk manis! The orange
seller passes by on his bike. We still have oranges in the fridge, so do
not need any at the moment.
||Another tune from the street ... the ice
cream man with his cool box full of ice cream treats.
||The neighbour is going back to her own house
again, just clean the glasses and get back behind my desk again.
||Okay, the computer is ready. I click to open
||La la laa, la da da di di da burger, burger! This one sells, you might have already guessed it, burgers and hotdogs.
Pipa leiding, pipa leiding! It's the
tukang kran (plumber). He has an old sports bag filled with all kinds of
tools on the back of his motorbike. Should you have a problem with your
taps or pipes, then he will come and have a look. He will look at the tap
from all possible angles saying hmmmmm and aaahh a lot, he will then open
the tap, close it and look at it again from all different directions. Then
he will state his price and we open our attack: Of course it is far too
expensive, last time the price was only this much, for that money I can
buy a whole new tap, for that money I better repair it myself. Now we mention
our price and the seller defends himself stating: But it is a lot of work,
the tap is really leaking a lot, I have to make a living too, you know,
etc. Finally, after a lot of arguments from both sides, a deal is made
on the price and the man can start his work ... but fortunately today all
the taps are working as they should so I don't need to call the plumber
as he passes our house.
||Excel is open now, now where is that file
that I had to work on today? Let's see!
||Plok plok sounds the pangsit mie ayam
seller, offering a plate of noodles with chicken and vegetables.
||C-drive, then to the map 'My documents'...
||I hear some noise, and someone shouts 'permisi' followed by a live and especially-for-me music concert. An Indonesian hit
is sung with the help of a fake guitar, a tambourine made of metal bottle
lids and a drum made of an empty plastic drinking water gallon bottle.
They are after some change ... let me see, where in heavens name... all
day I have seen coins around the house, but now that I need them .... there,
found them. I go outside and the coins only have to touch their hands in
order for them to stop playing the guitar, tambourine and drum. They have
reached their goal so why bother and finish the sentence in the song, let
alone the word. While holding their breath, they go to the neighbours'
house and continue their song exactly where they stopped it for me.
||Okay, back to looking in the 'My documents'
folder and then...
||The boy from the drinking water brings back
||So I was looking in 'My documents' and then...
||Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut tuuuuuuuuuuuuut, the
bread seller, selling bread of all flavours. The bread has a sweet and
sticky taste here because apart from flour, water, yeast and salt, they
also add sugar and butter. So when you eat a piece of plain bread, you
get this peanut butter feeling in your mouth. The different flavours are
chocolate, cheese, chocolate and cheese, chicken and banana. Apart from
the bread, they also offer a lot of different cakes. However, I bought
'real' bread yesterday in the city centre so I am not interested.
||Plok plok plok! Fried rice or fried
noodles. I assume you understand!
||So I was looking in 'My documents' and then
to the 'Nerindo' folder...
||Sapu, sapu! A bicycle with a mountain-like
two-meter-stack of plastic buckets, bowls, brooms and plastic items . everything
you can imagine for the household. He has all the models in at least 5
different sizes. Should you be looking for something special and think... naa, he cannot possibly have that too... all you have to do is ask and
he will abracadabra pull it out of his collection like a professional magician.
||I click 'Nerindo' and...
||Sol sepatu, sol sepatu! The shoe repairman
normally has the front wheel of his bicycle up in the air . as he carries
all his shoe repair tools at the back, including his anvil. That is just
what I was waiting for, my leather pen case is broken and my shoes need
repairing. I get up, go outside and clap my hands so that he knows that
I would like to use his services. He turns and parks in front of our house.
Just a moment, get my things . how much will it cost all together? 10,000
Rupiah? Ok. Just get this man a cold drink, it is always so warm on the
street. He starts on my shoes.
||Fuut fuut! Putu, a steamed sweet made
delicious with the grated coconut on the top with melted Javanese sugar
in the centre.
||While my shoes and pen case are being repaired,
I can continue my work on the computer. I am now in the 'Nerindo' folder
and open the file that I need. It is called 'urgent work'.
||Sate, sate! Probably not so difficult
to guess, the sate seller. Most of the time, you can choose between chicken
and goat meat and it is prepared on a small barbeque fixed to the stall
or bicycle. When done, it is served in a pool of peanut sauce with a fresh
cut red shallots, sambal and lontong, sticky rice in banana leaves.
||Sol sepatu! My shoes and my pen case
are repaired. Thank you!
||What a noise, an amplifier on full volume
shouting out Indohits. It is the jamu seller selling herbal drinks
that, in some way, do you good. They give you energy, help you to lose
or gain weight, make you look younger, improve your sex life, heal migranes,
stomach ache, backache and other problems you might have. You do get earache
from all the noise, though.
||Kling kling klong klong, kling kling klong
klong! An older man with a kind of doll-like instrument, singing a
song and playing music. He always finishes his song but he always looks
at the amount of change you give him and depending on the amount, he decides
how to greet you. This can vary from just a 'hmmmmmm' to a friendly 'thank
you very much'
||The file 'urgent work' is opened, now just
look for the papers that I had to add to the file .
||Siomay, siomay! The seller has a frozen
collection of sausages, siomay, chicken nuggets and other snacks in his
cool box on the back of his bike.
||Trom trom roffel roffel trom trom roffel
roffel! Should there be any children playing in the street, then you
can invite them to a real circus act with a little monkey that can ride
a bicycle, roll around, play cowboy, jump through a hoop in the air and
perform other spectacular arts. The little monkey is very motivated to
do his act as his boss pulls the chain around his neck every 3 seconds.
||I was working on these papers, let me see,
these ones are already done and these ones not yet . so I will start working
on them now then, tick tick tick tick .
||Soto! Nice chicken broth with rice,
egg, fried onions and spices. I really like it but I am not hungry now!
||The telephone rings and I explain that our
company Nerindo is a one-man-company and when I am in Indonesia, a two-man
company . we are very small.
The conversation goes as follows:
Is this Nerindo Mentari? Yes! Can I speak to your export department
? I am sorry but the person in charge is not in at the moment! Allright,
then I will try again later, whom do I ask for ? Let me think who again
is responsible for our export . I think you can speak to Ari Kiswarianti,
she is our export expert so to speak. Then I will try again later, thank
you very much, goodbye.
||Tick tick tick tick. Work is going great
. or is it really?
||Pot kembang, pot kembang! A tropical
garden on top of a push cart, pulled by the seller. This must be hard work,
especially with the sun on his head. The seller halts and shouts out asking
if Ari is home, as she really likes plants and they have something special
for her. Sorry, she is not in today, maybe next time. Would you like a
drink? Yes? Just a moment. Nice and fresh, right? See you next time!
||Ronde ronde! A warm drink made of
ginger and something else. As I do not really like ginger, I have not yet
studied all the ingredients yet.
||Chick yen, chick yen, bakpao yang asli (a
song with music)! The famous bapao with different delicious fillings.
||Tick tick tick tick tick tick, one paper
down, 49 to go.
||Gordin, gordin! A complete collection
of curtain sets for the whole house on the back of his bike and the curtain
rails hang somewhere between the legs of the seller.
||Tok tok tok! Bakwan, the bakso but
without noodles and cabbage.
||The neighbour comes home from work and to
unload from all the stress at his office, he treats his family to some
horny karaoke songs. I vibrate on my chair, the glasses in the kitchen
move and the street cats gather in front of the house
||I cannot work with this noise, I am going
swimming for an hour at the pool nearby.
||I meet a friend at the swimming pool, what
a coincidence . he is a swimming instructor. We go to his house for a chat.
||The swimming instructor brings me home on
||A plate with rice, vegetable and egg on my
lap, prepared this morning by our maid, Mbak Rom.
||Indonesia is sleeping so I can finally get
some work done.
| The next day
||I would like to note that some sellers passed
unnoticed because I was busy doing something else. There were at least
60 more of the above mentioned sellers and also those selling the following
dishes: Pempek, tahutek, rujak manis, siomay rebus, tahu campur, onde
onde. Unfortunately, I do not have time today to explain to you what
they consist of. This afternoon I am alone at home/at the office so I am
going to work very hard, get a lot of things done... because there is nobody
to disturb me, all to myself!