December 17, 2008
Imagine having to wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning, at a holiday, to be on the 5 AM car heading to the airport, in order to catch the 10.50 AM flight.
That’s what I had to do today.
Hence I couldn’t help but fell asleep on the car.
That’s right, all the way from Bandung to Cengkareng airport. The whole 4 hours. (I wonder why it took that long)
I checked my 16.2 kg luggage in, and headed toward the boarding room.
The boarding room was mostly vacant; it was only 9.30 and there’s 1 hour left before boarding the airplane. So I slumped myself on one of the metallic (hideous) chairs, and since I figured I shouldn’t sleep in the boarding room lest I drool or (God forbid) snore, I opened the book I’ve chosen for my journey home: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. But I could really read the book for only 15 minutes.
I did not have the faintest clue that I have seated myself back-to-back with two most loud, most gossipy and slightly racist ladies. They were speaking in fast Hokkian, and quite loud too, so I thought they must’ve think I’m from Jakarta and hence wouldn’t understand a word they’re saying. (Ha! Hokkian is my mother tongue. And so is gossip. XD)
Their conversation was casual enough, about how lady no. 1 had just moved to her son’s house in Jakarta less than a year, while lady no. 2 have lived there for years. Lady no. 1 complained that she can’t get out of the house, there’s no one to drive her around, bla bla bla… I kept on reading about Scarlett O’Hara.
Lady no. 1: I have four sons, my youngest is 34 now. Just married and had a child.
Lady no. 2: My, four sons! At your age? Surely, you must have married young.
Lady no. 1: Oh, no. No, I did not. I am 65 this year. I did not marry young at all, when I got married I was 25.
At this remark my head shot up from my book. I almost turned myself 180 degrees and exclaimed, “WHAT!?”
Lady no. 2: Oh, then you sure don’t look your age.
At this remark, lady no. 1 laughed rather shyly (but did not deny the statement).
Lady no. 1: My second son’s wife is from Jakarta. My first son’s wife is from Medan. I told my other boys to look for Medanese woman. These women from Jakarta *clicked her tongue* they just went “Yes, yes,” when you tell them to do something, but they’ll never do it.
Lady no. 2: Yes, yes, they’re spoiled, aren’t they. But most young people nowadays are, too. My daughter-in-law hired one nurse per child. She and my son have three children, so three nurses. Women these days can’t do a thing themselves. They always have to hire help.
Lady no. 1: Yes, you’re absolutely right. I raised all four sons myself. Women nowadays can’t work.
Blablabla. One more reason not to get married. Chances are you’ll get one of those in-laws, who might be sugar and spice in front of you but trash-talk you with a total stranger.
Lady no. 1: And my eldest son has just adopted a child.
Lady no. 2: Oh?
Lady no. 1: Yes, they didn’t have a child and I’ve been urging them for ever so long. They adopted one from Medan. I told them to look for Chinese child. We don’t want some native child now, would we?
Lady no. 2: Of course not.
Lady no. 1: What horror it would be, to adopt some black child. *laughs*
Lady no. 2: *laughs*