web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: A Post Post
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Monday, February 12, 2007
A Post Post

Heavy clouds have cleared away, and the house have survived. We didn't have electricity for a while (my neighbour was wrong -- they did shut us down), and the phones weren't working for a while, but we're okay. During the worst of raining, we had only about 3 inches of water -- that's just a puddle compared to the rest of the city. Our greatest emergency was getting in and out of the car without soiling our shoes. We missed a couple of days of school, we couldn't access the internet, but hey, there was never a time when we were hungry or sick or stranded in water.

The same can't be said about the thousands of people still living underneath flyovers.

It's the most futile, wretched thing : to be sorry for the displaced many and to be able to help no more than a few. My friend Mbak Lela, a Jakarta Post veteran, spent her bonus on food and medicine and with her husband, she went round to as many shelters as she can to distribute the rations. We're one of the most miskin Malaysians in Jakarta, we didn't have a lot of money to spare, so we did the best that we could : help just one posko banjir at a nearby kampung which needed some baby formula. I think it helped alleviate our guilt, more than it lessened their burden.

My husband told me a story he heard on the radio, at the peak of severe flooding. Schools were closed, roads were submerged in water, and according to Mbak Putri (half of my favourite morning talk-show - Mbak Putri and Mas Rafiq), the rich tante-tante's of South Jakarta had nowhere to go. So what do they do? The tante's and their children inundate supermarkets and buy everything in sight, just in case the flooding gets worse. Now, Mbak Putri said, while she was enjoying the sight of pretty tai-tais ruining their hairdo's in the throes of panic buying, she noticed two women, very plainly dressed, buying lots and lots of blankets. She asked those ladies what the purchase was for. Oh,we just wanted to give these to the poor people who are suffering from cold in the flood shelters, they said. They paid for the blankets and bundled them into a bajaj and left. In the meantime, observed Mbak Putri, our over-cautious consumers waited for supirs underneath porches, with trolleys laden with food.

Ya, tapi tak tahu juga kan? Maybe the food was bought for people like Juriyanto and Mardani, in the flood-stricken, poverty-stricken Kramat Jati. Their eleven month old baby, Satrio, fell sick after they took refuge at a shelter. Preliminary medical treatment didn't help, and last Thursday, before they could bring him to a hospital, the baby breathed his last.


This is just so sad. Am glad to hear that you and your family survived the flood unscathed.

In times like these, you just don't want to hear stories of human selfishness, because I guess it just makes the situation seem even more desperate. I wonder what was going on in their minds, these tai tais, while they were waiting for their supirs. Were they afraid of not having their favourite jams for breakfast? Or their usual cup of tea in the afternoons? Did they think that their supirs had no families to go back to, because I can imagine that these men might have their own families to look after during the floods...
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