Saturday, May 11, 2002

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.


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