First Journey : part 1
Bandung, May 3rd 2009.
My name is Feisal. I have been lived in Bandung since I was three, and Bandung is my hometown. Although I have lived here for a long time, I think there still many things that I don’t know about Bandung. I think Bandung is a unique city, and so many things can be explored here. That’s why I start my journey in slum area in Bandung.
I see a construction of a massive and sturdy flyover road. Yes, it is Pasupati Flyover, the new icon of Bandung. This town has a branded image which is different with the other towns around the world. People say that Bandung is a place for the creative, unique, and innovative people. At a glance, if we are searching this town, the site looks different with the others. There are so many graffiti created by the youth of Bandung. Many people think this is a Vandalism action which destructs the beauty of Bandung. But, many people in Bandung said It’s one of the unique.
Now, I am on Jalan Tamansari, the “residence” for the poor people. It is a slum area. I feel so disgusted here. Then, I continue my journey and take a rest for a while in a place that they usually called “Warung Nasi”*. Even this place definitely doesn’t look like a place for having meal. It is the only place for them to have a meal. Tables and chairs that arranged under the flyover are good enough for them to gather, have a meal and chat together. The important things for them are, they protected from sun bright, rain, and still can gather with their friends. Because of their togetherness they still enjoy their life, no matter what happened to their life. This togetherness is the first thing that makes me so amazed of their life.
* Warung Nasi = small stand just on the edge of the road, sells some foods
First Journey : part 2
In Warung Nasi, I order a plate of rice with an
egg. Just rice and fried egg, because there was no other menu there.
Maybe many people think that rice and fried egg is a strange meal. But,
for people who live under flyover, rice and fried egg is a very
delicious meal. While I was eating, some of people in Warung Nasi
looked at me. Maybe it was strange for them to see me here. Yeah, I’m a
stranger here, no one knows me. But, It just happened in a moment,
after that they continue their activity. Even I was a stranger, but
every people there were very kind to me. They were smiling at me
although they don’t know me.
I looked around “Warung Nasi” and suddenly shocked when I saw mound of wood in the open air kitchen. Then I realized that Mrs. Ishah still uses wood for cooking. It’s so ironic, that in this modern lifestyle, there are still group of people that use traditional way for survive because of economic problem.
After I finished my lunch, I still want to know more about this place. So, I ask the owner of this Warung Nasi, Mrs. Ishah. Mrs. Ishah is an old woman who own Warung Nasi, cooking, and serve the visitors. All things are done by her. After a few question, I know that Mrs. Ishah life is very hard. In one day, maybe she only gets 25.000 rupiahs4 for her life. It is a very small amount. But, she still can continue her life, with 25.000 rupiahs per day.
Beside of that, I also saw 2 old men listened to radio. They heard about news in our country. About economy, politics, etc. They also commented the news. They still care about situation in Indonesia. They still love Indonesia, whereas Indonesia didn’t do anything to help their life. The governments are too busy with other things. Other things that government thinks more important than just a slum.
First Journey : part 3
Then, I continue my journey to another place
under the flyover. I saw a little kiosk there. So, I walked to that
kiosk, and I saw some people were sitting there and had a chat. At the
kiosk, I chatted with an old woman there, Mrs. Mainoh. She was very
kind. She has a beautiful smile. Although she was old, I can see her
beauty from her smile. But, behind her smile, she has many problems.
She told me that economic situation in Indonesia makes her crazy. Price
always increased from time to time. In one day, she just gets 40.000 or
50.000 rupiahs. But sometime, she doesn’t get any money in one day. She
also told me that 4 months ago she had asked for a loan. But until now,
she still not gets any loan from the government. But, she can’t do
anything. She just can wait for it.
When I passed the slum, I saw many houses there. But actually some of that house doesn’t look like a house. Some of the house is just covered by cloths and banner. But, there’s no other way to live. They have to hold out in the situation like that.
It was so ironic. Under so many luxurious cars that belong to rich people passed through flyover, there were so many poor people. Bandung a historical city, but it still keeps so many suffer here.
Although it was just a slum, I feel proud to visit it. Because now I know the other side of Bandung, the “dark” side of the historical city. Not every people know about it, even maybe the government authorities also don’t know about it. But, after this journey, there were many questions in my head. Why it can be happened? Where are the governments? Do the governments know about life under flyover?
It was so hard to be answered, but I sure there will be an answer for my question.