Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Last Night in Indonesia (May 14)

A new phrase I had learned was particularly helpful when street hawkers tried to sell their cheap ($1.00) watches or taxi service, or even suggesting that they might have a lady friend who I would find interesting. The phrase was absurd in its delivery, but effective in its use. I would point to myself when the venders began and say, "Aku bongol". The meaning is simply. I am deaf. It never seems to dawn on the hearer that it is strange that a deaf person would know how to pronounce these words, but they just quit talking and walk away explaining to others not to bother the tall white man because he is deaf.

But while walking beside the beach in Kuta, Bali, my last night in Indonesia, I could not convince them of my being deaf, so I decided to cross the street and get away from them. Then I saw him. My first reaction was that it was some kind of a trick.

This was Kuta Beach. Young studs and studettes came from all over the world to surf and party. They wandered around the alleys and lanes wearing very little, putting their tanned, muscular, perfect bodies on display. While still in Java, two man servants at the house of Gi had been massaging me and told me that my body was not perfect, that my stomach reminded them of that of a toad. This was an unflattering first. They said that they would like to visit Bali. Said one, "I would wear sunglasses and look like a tourist." But I had been in Bali and had seen the tourists. There were no sunglasses in the world that would make this young servant from the countryside look like a tourist. My suggestion to this young Moslem was that he best leave the sunglasses alone, since they would give more the appearance of terrorist than tourist.

And now in Bali, with hundreds, even thousands, of these tourists walking around who still had several years before their flat tummies would remind any one of toads, I sat looking at one of the most imperfect bodies I had ever seen. This guy had a gimmick the likes of which I had never imagined. I must stop and talk to him, possibly even sneak a look behind him and see how he did this. But I was so obvious that it drew the attention of passers by almost immediately, so I sat down on the street about 4 feet from him. It was about 8:00 in the evening, and being dark, we were not as noticeable now that I sat down. But also being this close, it was obvious that this was no trick. The man had no legs. None. He seemed to have very little body past the waist. He looked as if he were on the beach, and had half buried himself in sand. I asked how he was. Fine. If he came here often. Every day. Where he lived. In a mosque about half a mile away. Finally, I asked how he had lost his legs. He had been born with no legs. He rested on a pair of flip flops and just sat there in the dirt hoping someone would offer him money. Did someone bring him here? No, he came alone. He would use his hands as feet, and walk on them, suspending the full weight of half a body in the air as he walked along on hands and arms. He said the half a mile took about 15 minutes.

At this point I wondered how much money it would take to make him happy. There obviously wasn't enough. I just sat there dazed. I wondered about prosthetic legs, and asked him if he had any stumps. His shirt hung to and gathered about him on the ground. He lifted it and showed me that he wore a simple pair of briefs, and that from either leg hole there protruded nothing save a round mound of flesh, to which nothing could be attached to give him legs. He told me that he had attended school, but to what advantage. He could read and write, but how could someone go into a place of work as such a freak?
Thinking of persons in the US who cannot walk, I realized that he needed a wheel chair. Oh, he said, that was a dream never to be realized when one received barely enough in a day's begging to relieve hunger. Then, without even thinking about how it could be accomplished, I told him that we must go and buy a wheel chair. Adjis, this 37-year old legless man, told me that we could catch a bus for only 40 cents each into the city of Denpasar. One person had stood near us during our entire visit. This person was a Taxi driver. He immediately said he would take us to look for a wheel chair. Adjis whispered to me that we must make sure the driver used the meter. Wayan, the driver, agreed to do this. Before I had even gotten to my feet, Adjis was beside the back door of the taxi, and while I walked around to the other side, he was in with the door shut. His ability to transport and lift himself without any aid was a fascination.

The drive into Denpasar was about 20 minutes. When we were getting into the city, I realized that we didn't even know where to go at 9:15 at night to buy a wheel chair. When I mentioned this, Adjis said that they sold them at the 24 hour pharmacy. He had seen them there on display. Wayan knew the place and we drove there. I had hoped that Adjis would just stay in the car and I would go in and buy a wheel chair and bring it out and put it in the trunk. But no. The taxi had hardly stopped when Adjis was bounding across the parking lot. There were about 15 people in a waiting area watching TV until their prescriptions were filled. But when Adjis came through the door, the TV lost all appeal. Together we went up to the counter. Adjis was down just over knee high and I had to do the talking. It had not occurred to me how difficult this would be. I found myself hardly able to speak as I told the gawking woman that I'd like to buy a wheel chair. There were none in stock, but I could place an order and pick it up on the morrow. Maybe I could have in another place, but not Indonesia. Adjis would never see his wheel chair if we didn't get it together. I explained that at 7:30 the next morning I would leave for Hong Kong, so we needed it tonight. She said again that we would have to wait. I looked at Adjis. His face said that he had already waited 37 years, and that he knew it was foolishness to have hoped.We left and everyone behind us began to jabber. Back in the taxi, I thought of the scores of wheel chairs in the Adventist Hospital that I had brought from the US in a container with other hospital equipment, and that if we were there, they would just give us one. Wayan asked if we were going back to Kuta Beach. No, I told him we needed to go to a local hospital. The watching crowd was larger at the hospital. The clerk in reception listened to my request to purchase a wheel chair, but assured me that it was impossible. He called the Doctor in charge of ER to come out to speak with us. Dr. Wartawan (the name actually means reporter, and I suggested that had his parents known his future, they could have simply named him Doctor, rather than reporter) was Hindu. Over each ear he sported a flower petal making him look like some young optimistic creature from a perfect and happy forest. But he too said that there was nothing that could be done before the morrow. Adjis said he thought he'd just go to the waiting room and watch TV. After he left, I turned to the doctor who had watched with me as Adjis had propelled himself out of the room and up onto one of the benches where about 30 other persons were waiting and watching. I told Wartawan that I could not imagine even one day sitting in the dirt in only my shirt and underwear and walking with my hands, going around the city and through the traffic. He went to a telephone and made a call to his home. His mother, he told me had recently died, and they had a brand new wheelchair at home that she had used.

Wartawan's sister refused to part with the wheel chair. Now he told the receptionist to find the source of wheel chairs for the hospital. Within minutes the information had, and the receptionist called the number. Yes, a wheelchair could be purchased from him tonight. He would bring it to the hospital. When I explained to the man that I only had a credit card, and not the $200 in cash that the wheel chair would cost, he said it could not be purchased that night. He would take it to the pharmacist in the morning. After trying to work out something with the hospital cashier (to no avail, as she would need to ask many people if it could be done, and it was already after 10:00 PM, and those she should ask were at home in bed, I called the man again who sold wheelchairs. Could he deliver it to Kuta Beach, I could get money from an ATM there? No. I would go to Kuta and get my ATM card and come back and get the chair. This was approved.

It was decided (by myself) when we were driving back to Kuta Beach with Adjis beaming from ear to ear and talking without pausing for breath, that we must find a restaurant and have a celebration. I knew just the place. The Kori. You see, in the Kori, everyone eats comfortably, sitting on grass mats... On the floor. And so, it was just the three of us. A Moslem Beggar who lives at a mosque, a Hindu Taxi Driver and Adventist Minister. Completely unaware of Jihads and differences of doctrine, all united and rejoicing over a wheelchair, impossible to obtain (we had been told), but waiting beside the table for the meal to finish.

If you'd like me to e-mail you a picture of Adjis and his wheel chair, drop me a line.


Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Charlie Chan and the Mushroom Soup

Hi, Jeffus. Whassup?

Armed this morning with lots of paperwork, money and addresses, I headed out to find out where my 20' container of household goods might be located. I caught the # 15 bus down subway station and then to King's Road and the Freight Forwarders. I didn't even know if they would speak to me. The lady from the hospital had called them for directions and when they couldn't tell her if I should turn left or right when I came up from the subway station (this being because they were not certain which exit I would take from the station) she laughed at them for the space of about 4 minutes, asking them if they every found their way to work 2 days in a row.

I found the shipping company and the most amazing elevators I have ever seen. When you want an elevator, rather than pushing an up or down button, you key in the floor that you wish. Then the key pad tells you which elevator (A through H) will take you to the desired floor. The elevator arrives and you get on. There are NO BUTTONS in the elevator at all. It just goes to the floor that you punched in while standing in the lobby. I went to the 25th floor, with no stops what-so-ever. It was my own chartered elevator. They gladly took my money and said that now I could arrange for the unloading of the container outside the apartment building. Edward Li, the agent for the shipping company said that they worked closely with another company that was "downstairs". I had visions of programming the elevator again and asked which floor. No, Edward told me, this company executive was waiting on the street in his car. I could meet him there.

This began to take on the shades of a Charlie Chan movie. We got on the elevator and went to the lobby level. Out the door and "Jackie" was waiting in his dark, expensive car. I was to get in and we would talk business inside. Jackie told me that he would need to look at the parking situation at the hospital and at the elevator going up to the apartment. He was more than willing to give me a ride to the hospital. This took on a very appealing note to me. I had seen (when walking the several blocks between the bus and the subway) a shop that had Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup on sale. It was the American label, I was certain. I had just seen it in the window of a little two-bit shop as I walked past, but saw that written on the cans was the price of HK$8.00. That would be $1.00 in US currency. These were the big cans, 50 oz, and it said right on the label, "Food Service Size". That was cheaper than cans one-fifth that size if purchased at Walmart.

With all this in mind, I demurred riding back to the hospital with Jackie. I told him that I had to make a stop at Queens Road first at a little shop there. Oh, he would be happy to swing by there and let me get what-ever it was that I needed. Yes! I had been wondering how I would survive carrying 3 of those big heavy cans on and off busses in flimsy plastic bags. This was ideal.

Jackie and I drove along. All the way he was telling me how rich Americans were. This seemed strange to me, coming from the man with the luxury car, giving a ride to the man trying to figure out how to buy a cheap can of soup. I just assured Mr.-dressed-in-expensive-black-suit-wearing-big-diamond-ring that not all Americans were rich. We stopped at the shop and my eyes had not failed me. The soup was American and it was that cheap. I bought a full case of 12 cans and a coolie carried it out to the trunk of the poor Chinese man. The trunk flipped up and inside was the leather golf-club bag, black like the suit. And a few other expensive looking items. We got up to the hospital and Jackie looked around. Then he wanted to see my apartment. This, he assumed was proof of my wealth. He walked from room to room, amazed at the space and general niceness. He would call me back with a price for unloading the container.
Just after 2:00 he called and said that the price was $5,500 dollars. That was over $700 US. And that for some laborers to work for 2 hours. When it was all over, I had been asked questions such as, "Do you have a lot of expensive things?" "Does it matter if your things are broken?" Maybe he didn't want to arrange the unloading, or maybe he wanted a new bag for his golf clubs. Anyway, I have my soup safely in the cupboard. And, Allied Van Lines will do the job for $2,500.

Monday, May 20, 2002

The plague

From: TuanMartin
Date: Monday, May 20, 2002 1:29 AM
Subject: The plague

I tried everything to stem the flow during the long Saturday night that I was suffering form my intestinal distress. I was not even aware at the time that so many others were also suffering from the abdominal wringing that I was going through. Same dish different disciple. About dawn, I tried some charcoal tablets. But by now my whole digestive tract was out of commission.

When I was being checked by a doctor at the hospital, he looked at my tongue and then stepped back. Was I aware, he asked, that my tongue was black, and how long had it been this way? I thought a minute, and then remembering the probably cause, told him it had been black since taking the charcoal tablets earlier on. He seemed relieved to think that the plague would not be hitting Hong Kong after all.


Friday, May 17, 2002

The Wok

Too many woks. I have too many. But when I saw this one in the market, I knew I had to have it. The woman selling the wok also knew she had to sell it. So, she came up with a real line. "Aaaah", She said as one wise with years of learning, "This is a very old and special wok, it is from Europe." I suggested that woks were not a European thing and she immediately transported its origins to Japan. In spite of her persuasion, I bought it any way. It was iron, but not too thick, and a smooth surface. When I reached the Gi's house and began to scrub the wok, I realized that it had a hairline crack in it. I put some oil in it and placed it over a flame. It did not leak badly, but it did seep through just a little. Enough to make a greasy spot on the outside of the wok. I couldn't return it. This wasn't Wal-Mart. I decided that I would take the wok to someone who would know just what to do.

The cook at Gi's told me that he knew of someone who would know the solution to this dilemma. With directions received, I took a rickshaw just beyond the bridge past the university. And there he was, a man who specialized in torch welding. He would put a nice smooth seam on the outside of the wok and stop all leaking.

One of the best things about visiting a country where people have so little, is that they know how to maintain the little that they have. Anywhere else, the wok would have been thrown away. But not here. Years ago when a wok in the US fell from its peg on the wall and hit the floor, the man who did welding in Chattanooga told me that if he should attempt welding a cast-iron wok, it would crack from side to side. But here, where people have to rely on experience rather than book knowledge (after all, how many woks did the man in Chattanooga have notched on his welding torch?) it could be done. It was decided by those working in the welding shop by the bridge, and by some who were visiting, and by a passerby or two as well as by my rickshaw driver, that brass was the best metal for repairing the wok. And, I must admit, it looked really spiffy, this black wok with a gold line like lightening across the bottom of it. I watched in fascination as the work progressed.

Maybe it was the fascination that had me so engrossed that the sound made me jump. It was unexpected, this sound. It was a sharp quick sound. How else can one describe the sound of a wok splitting in half. The crack was so fast, and so sure. Where once oil could barely seep through, one could now hold it up and watch a big-screen television on the farther side. This signaled the end of the welders labors. He extinguished his torch and then, almost as if he had been reincarnated as a welder from Southeast Tennessee, he said, "If you weld cast iron, it will crack all the way across. It can't be done." He left the wok lying where it had fallen, split asunder and went to some other task. Neither he, nor any of his advisors looked at me again. I and my two woks had ceased to exist. I picked up the pieces and went back to Gi's in the rickshaw. When I saw the woman from the market and told her what had happened, she asked me, "Why don't you return it? I would have given you your money back." Even I have my limits.


Delayed Reaction

On Sabbath when I finished church at the Academy near Lawang, I decided to ride home on an Ojek. That is as a paying passenger on the back of a motorcycle. It was about 14 miles. It was a fun ride. I had always wondered about the useless helmets the people wear when they ride on motorcycles. Now I wore one made even more useless by its small size. It sat right on the very top of my head, kind of like the hats worn by snowmen. More the letter of the law than the spirit.

We were like a weavers shuttle back and forth through the traffic. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Two days later I was began to be afraid and nervous. This time I wasn't on a motorcycle, but in a vehicle with a driver heading off for 12-hours of driving to Bali. It was when I saw how this driver was apparently trying to run over motorcycles, that I got afraid for my life retroactive. Ignorance is bliss.


Auntie Ming and Auntie Sumina

Auntie Ming had taken my dirty hand, grimy from the market, and shook it. She in her fine house filled with teak and porcelain. A few days later I had eaten my breakfast and started out to the market again. I wished to buy a couple of items that can be found only in Indonesia. Something was lodged from breakfast between a couple of my back teeth. It was distracting me as I walked along. My tongue was weary with snooping around the area trying to find a solution. Then I remembered that I had some dental floss in my back pack. I got it out and began to thread it between teeth. I had begun at the front and was almost to the tooth when I saw this woman, who later I was to learn was Sumina. She stood as I passed and smiled at me. She looked about the same age as Auntie Ming. I smiled at her, and at that point she extended her hand. I stopped as if the target of a stun gun. She was standing in a cement enclosure. Three walls and an opening in the 4th, It was a trash site. Hot fetid trash steamed around her. She had been digging through it with her hands, looking for scraps of paper, which she was collecting after flattening them out. Recycling. And now she stood with an outstretched hand and a smile. She wanted to shake hands with me.

She told me her name was Sumina. I smiled back, a smile of resignation, and shook the moist, gritty, sticky-yet-slippery, filthy hand. I had let go of my dental floss for this social occasion. And now, I let it fall into the garbage heap. Let my tongue worry. Better my tongue than my stomach.

I passed that same garbage heap several times before leaving Malang. Auntie Sumina was always there working. She did something for me. She gave me an opportunity to be as polite as Auntie Ming. The last day as I was passing, I took Auntie Sumina's picture. Then I gave her $5.00. She cried a little and then gave me a big dirty hug. Beside where she had been sitting, sat a young fella in a yellow uniform, designating him as a trash collector, and therefore to be avoided. He was enjoying the shade this midday of an especially large pile of trash. He stared as Auntie Sumina came from the trash to hug me. But I was more mystified by him than he by me. How could he just sit there by that nice old lady and not hug her? I guess it takes a little time.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Niagera Falls

At the edge of the city of Lawang is an old hotel called the Niagara. It was built a century ago, and at the time built was the tallest building in Southeast Asia, and boasted two elevators. Originally, it was not built as a hotel, but as a Villa where the family Lim could spend leisure time. Auntie Ming mentioned it to me. We were in one of the old godowns at her house on Klenting Street, and she was showing me a large brass gong. There were several sets of old Javanese gongs in the storeroom, and this one was enormous. The mallet was so heavy she could not lift it from its peg. She told me I must sound the gong, so I did. The deep response was a surprise, but too deep and full to be shock. When the sound died down, she told me that the man Lim had died just after the completion of his villa at Lawang. His demise convinced the family that the five-story mansion was haunted and they sold it.

A'Ong, an old Dyak merchant from Borneo sells second hand treasures in Malang not far from the city square. He mentioned the Niagara. He remembered that when he was young and the Japanese invaded Java, many Dutch were interned in the Niagara in a concentration not befitting a villa. And so I went to see the Niagara.

It is much taller for a five-story building than one would expect. That is due to the fact that the ceilings are 16'. The original glass, etched with Lim's initials, is still in the large windows. The window sills on the outside of the building are done in a terrazzo, with Chinese characters worked into them. It is a red brick building visible from quite a distance, the proud work of a Brazilian Architect and rich Chinese merchant.I asked the man at the front desk to see the listing of room rates. The most expensive was just over $10.00 per night. It was a room with a balcony and inside bathroom, a medium-sized TV and king-size bed. The bellboy was called to show me a selection of rooms. He brought with him a great ring of keys and we set off up the stairs, since the ancient elevators have not been restored by the present owner. The present owner, a Chinese businessman from Surabaya, boasts that he is renovating the building. He is not. The beautiful European tiles that were on the walls, with patterns, sometimes going all the way to the ceiling, are being removed, and the walls poorly plastered. The vast bedrooms are having bathrooms installed. This is done by simply building a bathroom in the corner of the room. It is inclosed, but it does not have a high ceiling. Therefore it looks like someone has brought a large box with a door and set it in the corner. It is a little less than half as high as the ceiling in the room, so looks strange at best. The design in the terrazzo floor is interrupted by this invasion of a modern and cheap bathroom. The floor in the new bathroom is about 8 inches higher than the floor in the room. Strange.

As we came out of class of room called by the hotel the Baron Suite (barren would have been a more appropriate spelling) a young, angry looking fellow came down the stairs to give us a glare and hurry on down the lobby level. After he passed, the bellboy went to the window and watched outside for a few minutes. Then he came back and asked if I would like to see the tower and take some pictures. Of course! It was not allowed, he told me, but the owners son (who descended from the floor above and had left) was gone for the day. We went to the third floor and he moved aside a small stand from the stairs that said "Do Not Enter". We went on to the 5th floor and then on to the roof. From there the view was what old Lim had died for. All around the roof were large Chinese gods holding watch over the old structure. We went down to the 5th floor and went from room to room and saw what a grand place it was before the renovation was begun. Grand old toilets with a tank high on the wall and chains hanging down were not yet replaced by squatters (a simple toilet set right into the floor that is merely a hole with foot pads on either side where one squats rather than sits. The tiles in the bathrooms had not been torn out yet with the new cheap replacements. I had a good long tour even to the stables and kitchens. A large sign that could be read from the road said, "Niagara is Renovated". Maybe it should have read, "Niagara Falls".

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Madam Ming's Nephew

I think I'm in love.

I went shopping for antiques and other little treasures and the Rickshaw driver told me he knew of a great place. It was here in Malang. Malang is a good-sized city. The population is over a million. He took off through the crowded streets and ended up in the old city in China town. There not far from the Chinese temple was a wonderful old Chinese house with palm trees in the front. The only trees on the street filled with shops and businesses. I rang the bell. A serving woman opened the door a tiny crack and asked me my name. Martin. She told me that her mistress did not do business, but to wait. She closed the door and was gone. After she had been gone too long for my taste, I decided to leave. From the rickshaw I saw the door open again, so quickly returned to the door. Madam Ming would see me. Madam Ming was a tiny Chinese woman with graying hair. She extended her hand, but I told her I had been in the markets all day and my hands were not fit to shake. Quickly she withdrew her hand. She told me that she did not sell any antiques, but would be happy to show some to me. The house defies description. Teak ceilings and panels throughout. Seven bedrooms in the main part of the house and gardens and courts going off in every direction. The kitchens were grand and the informal dining room sat 12. In the many teak cabinets in the room were beautiful serving dishes and sets of china from Europe and the middle east. She told me that they had to eat in 2 shifts, there had been so many children in the family. Madam Ming was the 7th generation of her family to live in the house. She took me to the altar and showed me the ancestral tablets with the names of those to whom she prayed every day. She took me outside to see her gardens with Orchids, kemuning, gardenias, jasmine, ferns and begonias. We then returned to the family parlor and the one of the serving women brought us iced water and we visited about Madam Ming's family. She showed me pictures of her siblings at a reunion in Holland. She showed me the oil paintings of her ancestors. We looked at the teak paneled doors and the exquisite wood work. This had been done, she told me by Chinese craftsmen. Everywhere were antiques with numbers, as if for auction, on them. Madam Ming spoke perfect English, as well as Dutch, Chinese, Indonesian and Javanese. She expressed her sadness at seeing the Indonesian people leave their beautiful clothing to become hidden in the dark Moslem coverings. And then I realized that I must go. It was getting late.

Madam Ming reached and took my dirty hand and shook it warmly. Her fingers were gnarled with arthritis and she told me she hoped I would come again and visit with her. She asked me to guess her age. I guessed 75. No, 90, she beamed.

I decided to go again the next afternoon and take Auntie Ming (she had told me when I left and took her picture, that I must call her Auntie Ming) some sweet breads. The serving woman opened the door and asked no questions but told me to come right in. Auntie Ming was saying her prayers. Within moments, she had finished and we sat across from each other drinking iced water. The busy street outside was impossible to remember in this quiet beautiful setting. And then a side door opened. I, having come from Church, was wearing suit and tie. And there in the doorway stood Widodo, the seller of antiques from Taman Agung. He seemed shocked to see me, who the day before had been in his expensive shop dressed in shorts and a damp T-shirt. After a moments confusion, he asked who I was. "Oh, this is my friend Martin. What do you want?" He had come to take some of her furniture to his house. "Yes, yes." She said, and he closed the door. "That's my nephew, Widodo. He's selling my things."
I think I like the other Widodo who drives a minibus.


Widodo X 2

All week long, I have been snooping around second hand shops and looking at old junk. Po Hin, who I am staying with, suggested a place on the street called Taman Agung. It was Friday Morning when I arrived at the gates. What a collection of grand things this man. But the prices! I asked on two different items and found that it was hopeless to ask further. It seemed that he thought that Taman Agung (Grand Garden) was actually Taman Eden (Garden of Eden) found at last. I left before getting too interested. Theowner seemed to sense my poverty and looked at me as one might a dirty beggar. This man's name was Widodo. It reminded me of another Widodo. Fourteen years ago Jeri and I took the children Indonesia, and one day decided to take them all to the seaside at Ngliep. We needed for the 6 of us a vehicle just for us, not public transportation with 10 others. And so weasked the driver of a little minibus transport where we could find something. He said we could rent his. His name was Widodo. We'll call him Widodo A. We went to the beach with Widodo A. Had a great day and found out that he had not finished school. Over the next few years, Jeri and I sent him money to go to college. He went to a technical college, and it was very inexpensive.

As I left the shop of Widodo on Taman Agung, I thought of the other Widodo, Widodo A. I wondered where he was now. And so, Sabbath afternoon after finishing church at the Academy church and having a great lunch with the principal's family, I stopped in the town of Lawang, and walked up the street and down the alleys that led to Widodo A's house. Nothing had changed and his mother opened the door and grabbed me, pulling me inside with hugs and grins. I took pictures of her and her older son. (Nothing would do but that she put on her Moslem head dress before I could take a picture.) She assured me that her son, Widodo A, would be to Malang to see me that evening. About 8:00 PM, Widodo A showed up. We ate together with family. We had a great time even talking at length about the World Trade Center. After finishing his education, Widodo A had gone to Japan to work. And now he brought me gifts that he had purchased 7 years ago in Japan for Jeri and myself and kept while he waited to meet us again. All this from Widodo A, who had returned from Japan and worked in a business here until the collapse of the economy. For seven months, he had been without work, and now was driving a minibus again. While I wasn't too impressed with the Widodo of Antique fame, I'm glad he reminded me of Widodo A, because Widodo A is a pretty good guy.