Hard-work is Finally Sweetly Paid

It’s early in the morning. You can still feel the cool air outside when you open the window to let the morning air fill the kitchen. You yawn and stretch out like a lazy cat while heading toward the fridge next to a dining table. When you open your fridge, you realize you are running out of sugar. Why are you keeping the sugar in the fridge anyway? Ah well, people’s preference!. Other than sugar, everything is there on the counter in the kitchen or in the fridge. Somehow you can’t live without sugar. How can you enjoy your tea? how can you bake your brownies?

You are not even ready to go out yet. Look at your hair! the mirror on the wall says “You need to fix the messy arrangement.”, somehow you have to force yourself for a short shopping sooner than later: yes for sugar only.

Can’t I do it later, please? The devil’s voice speaks.

Since when are you being such a procrastinator?The angel brings you to the right track.How cool is that!

You are all set when you notice your wallet or purse is empty with currency. A long sigh is heard the entire kitchen.( You are still in the kitchen? I thought you were outside the door already! all set you said.)

Now you need to spend more time outside the home to withdraw some money. This is just beyond your expectation, really. Feel gratitude please as the ATM machine is only a few meters from where you live.It is still early, and it’s Saturday. People must be spending their lazy time on their couches, hammocks ( at this early? come on! overdoing!) or heading to the airport for weekend getaway somewhere pristine.

You chocked nearly fainted in blue! The line is absolutely like a big Anaconda (read : way too long for Saturday). You sluggishly walk toward the line like a hungry cute ( of course you have taken a shower, fixed your flying hair) cat needing for milk ( milk with sugar).

Phew! you hang your head in relief as to finally one more person in front of you.

Come on! make it quick!

One minute has gone for a holiday. Another minute comes. You start to wonder what the person in uniform ( how neat! yes some people work on Saturday, and some of them have uniforms) is doing there. Why is he taking years? what happens?

You are trying to take a little peek by jiggling! poor you little cat you are too small. “Small is cute” you say in a full confidence. Scratching your head a few times (of course you have washed your hair; it’s not itchy, just upsetting.) Oh my! the person is now speaking on the phone in the language you understand. He is transferring some money to SOME people, not a FEW! You hear the ATM machine is making some noise spitting out the ATM card of a person whom you think is a boss.

The person smiles at you nicely, and says sorry for keeping you wait too long.You return the smile reluctantly.

It’s not a matter of being friendly, it’s a matter of standing here too long while the stomach is rumbling already- Says you in a gloomy face.

Now it’s your turn…

It’s only sugar. I won’t need more than IDR 50,000. – Your voice speaks up while your finger is busy pressing the buttons on the machine to enter the password to your bank account. Then incident happened-the screen says “NO” to a 50,000 withdrawal. Enter bigger amount to withdraw-take it or leave it. Ah well, deal with IDR 100,000.

BEEP BEEP BEEP, the machine just spitted out your ATM card. And one nice banknotes of IDR 100,000 is on your hand. Now, you are all set, really all set- well it is hoped.

The supermarket is not big, and it opens at 7 AM already.What the heck? why is it jammed with people? what is wrong with them? you are a bit pessimistic to have a short line at the checkout counter.

Another Anaconda – you say

You walk toward to aisle of Sugar and sweet things. You grab a one-kilo package of sugar. Again, you have to wait for a longer line. You can’t stop peeking people’s baskets;

Cans of olives, bottles of syrup, packages of frozen meat, strange vegetable, bars of chocolate, diapers, fruits

Gee- what are people making? on Saturday? why? – says you in a very strange tone of voice.

I am hungry. I only need sugar. Let me pay mine first, please! says your inner monologue in a complete desperation.

Waiting for 20 minutes is already putting your nerve! enough! You lose your cute smile, you even don’t look at the clerk when he is doing his job.

It’s Rp. 5,500- says the neat clerk politely. (Yes,you are paid to be polite even for a hungry annoying customer.)

Your eyes are beaming with happiness as the clerk puts your sugar in a plastic shopping bag. ( Plastic bag?yes bad for environment-sigh- hope for some improvement.) You hand out the 100,000 IDR.

Sorry,do you have small money?

(What? why should he ask me that? can’t he just take it? should I tell him how hard I get this money ?)- your inner monologues keep on bombarding you with questions and you are tempted to spit them out.

No- says you

Rp. 500?

(Didn’t you ask for small money and I said NO? )

Smile in disguise – No, sorry

( Shouldn’t he the one who is supposed to say sorry for questioning my hard work getting THIS sugar and Money?)- yeah you are egoistic.

Finally, after some politeness strategy saying No to small money. He takes your money, and gives you the chance. But, you are shocked for the completely new experience.

You are supposed to get 94,500 IDR – correct calculation, right?

But you get only Rp. 94,000

Where is the Rp 500?

He gives you sweet candies- three of them. And he says “Candies are the change is that okay?” but this is actually a rhetorical.

As a newcomer, how can you complain?

You leave the supermarket learning one thing : If 3 candies are equal to 500 Rp. I think I have a promising side job; I collect 30 candies, and give them all. I will get Rp.5000 ( correct calculation, right?). So, I will only add one coin Rp. 500, then I get another package of sugar.What a life!

You come home fatigue, and forget your breakfast. It’s already BRUNCH! and you save the candies in a special jar called “Piggy Bank”. Your hard work getting up early, standing in line in annoying ATM machine, being rejected by the machine, again standing in line in a supermarket are paid off . Yes by candies! and candies are SWEET. So what? LOL

Message : It is common that you will get candies for a chance in Indonesia. Why? I don’t know when this “strategy” started.


7 responses to “Hard-work is Finally Sweetly Paid

  1. Haha Lulu,
    We gets candies for changes in India, too. Apparently we always gets them on highway tolls, too. It’s interesting!
    You post always light me up!

    • really? wow that’s nice! perhaps this supermarket culture is nearly the same in Asia, I am happy to know this, not necessarily happy about this. That’s really interesting fact about India. We share the same culture, and it makes me smile.
      Thanks Tes!

  2. Lulu, that’s a hysterical story!!! Did this really happen to you? You must have been furious!!! Good job making it humorous.

    To get candy as change in America is almost UNHEARD OF, unless it is some strange town. I think a lot of people here would be offended if they were given candy instead of change.

    Verschiedene Welten, huh?

    This story made me laugh. I think your ending is perfect: “…again standing in line in a supermarket are paid off. Yes by candies! and candies are SWEET. So what? LOL”

    Yes, LOL, Lulu!!

    • Hehe, sometimes I like hyperbole. Well, this happened to me once, but I only sweetened it with more details. I am glad to know that my sense of humor still works, thanks to you JP who reads it, and it’s nice to know it does make you laugh, eheh.
      I guess I want to tell non-Indonesians as well, that they will encounter this when they are in Indonesia, so I have aim to achieve: to prevent them from having a sudden cultural shock when this happens to them.Although surprising cultural shock may be such a memorable experience, but at least they know us before they come here.
      hehe would you be so kind telling me was ist das? Verschiedene Welten? Welten ist “world” richtig?
      Thanks for sharing the laugh JP! it is a kind of encouragement to me, you know.

  3. Pingback: Discarding Lu’s 9 July’s Thoughts « Lingua Franca·

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