Bus and Buskers

December 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m grateful that I don’t have private car, it’s one of the ways I could be in contact with the world ‘outside’ my milieu. Everyday I get on the ugly bus and blend in with other sweating people who are tired after work, fighting for seats. Today after a bad day that has been going on since morning, I take a bus home and thank god there’s one empty seat left. A busker gets in and starts singing accompanied by his guitar. Since I was hassled by a fake busker few months ago, I have developed greater respect for those who come to sing whole-heartedly. Buskers in Indonesia, aside from, of course, singing love songs, love to sing folk songs with theme of struggle, trying to make it in this cruel world as the unlucky ones. This one, however, is singing an old love song.. I forgot the title. Usually, when buskers get in and sing, people’s eyes would just wonder away, looking blankly at the streets or window, few will give money without even looking. This time, when the busker sing, a toddler sitting on his mom’s laps, keeps giving his thumbs up to him, cheering him up. He smiles back at the toddler while singing. The kenek, who is standing fearlessly at the bus door, is whistling the ‘background vocal’ of the original song. Their interaction strings a very nice conversation between random… but common people. I prepared a rupiah note for him. I’m sitting at the very back of the bus seat, and I notice that nobody give him anything, not even a coin. Before I give the note, a long-hair scary looking guy that sits next to me, gives him a rupiah note. Isn’t it nice when scary looking people turn out to be the nicest? Heehee. I thought these buses, kopaja and metro mini, that are as square as the old Khong-guan biscuits can, could tell so much about Indonesia and the people. They may not qualify for international standard but work just fine enough. They are wretched, but they survive. They are extremely exhausted but that’s life as we know it and we just continue to live. And unfortunately, they may not follow the proper safety procedure, because the price of life is apparently cheaper in Indonesia. I realized this when once our kenek, who was standing at the door, was thrown during a sharp turn from the bus and almost hit by another car. With wounds on his arm and legs limping, he ran to the bus to be scolded by the driver, for not holding on when the bus turning.

I don’t know why I’m writing this.. but I’m surely going to miss this place next year.


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