Kamis, Maret 27, 2008

Semarang - Demak

“A tough girl!” commented one driver working for Bank Jateng Demak when he saw me preparing myself to ride my dearest motorcycle in the parking lot, after finishing giving English training to some employees of Bank Jateng Demak last Thursday 21 February 2008. It was raining cats and dogs outside.
For your information, it is around 35 kilometers from my home to the office building of Bank Jateng Demak located on Jalan Sultan Trenggono Demak, some meters on the South of the Great Mosque built by Sunan Kalijaga. I usually need around 45 minutes by motorcycle, with the speed around 60-80 kilometers per hour. However, to go home, I need a longer time since the road from Demak to Semarang is not as smooth as the road from Semarang to Demak. I cannot speed around 60-80 kilometers on my way home. One employee of Bank Jateng Demak told me that the road from Semarang to Demak was one heritage from the Dutch Colonial government. (Remember the history lesson you got at school, Daendels inhumanely forced Indonesian people to work to build a very long road from Anyer to Panaruka from 1808 till 1811.) Meanwhile, the road from Demak to Semarang was built during Soeharto era. The condition of this new road is even worse than the one built in the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Because of the rainy season, on my way back to Semarang by motorcycle, I saw the different condition of the road clearly. Look at the picture below.

A workmate jokingly said to me, “The road from Demak to Semarang is not like ‘Kaligarang’ Ma’am, but it is like ‘kaligaring’.” (NOTE: ‘Kaligarang is a name of one river in Semarang. Kaligaring means a dry river. Imagine the condition of the surface of a dry river at the bottom.)
What conclusion can you draw? Not much corruption done during the Dutch colonial government. During Soeharto era? You say it.
Last Thursday was the third time I had to go home from Demak to Semarang by motorcycle in the heavy rain. I am tough? Ask my dearest Abang for that. LOL.
To be the breadwinner is absolutely not a piece of cake. And women surely can do it as well as men. And I am very proud to do it for myself, and for my only Lovely Star.
PT56 11.55 25022008

Flood ... flood ... flood

It has been raining very often in Semarang recently. This is understandable because this is still the rainy season. However, as far as I remember, this rarely happens. I mean, not to see the sunshine for several weeks in succession in Semarang is not something very common to happen, despite during the rainy season. Due to this, I have become somewhat spoilt, especially in terms of taking a shower. I have to boil some water first so that I can use warm water for shower. Besides, I always depend on the dryer in the washing machine to dry the clothes I just wash.
However, this post will not focus on this kind of thing. 
Last Thursday February 21 on my way back from Demak after teaching at Bank Jateng Demak, I was trapped in a flooded area. I had to ride my dearest motorcycle at that time because Pak Har, my ‘ojek driver’ LOL, couldn’t give me a lift. His car was broken, he said. That Kaligawe is always flooded when there is big rain is something everybody knows. And I already know the alternative way to avoid Kaligawe, that is through ‘the artery road’. Nah, the flood recently also reached the ‘mouth’ of the artery road. Willy nilly I had to pass the flooded area and I didn’t have any idea how deep the flood was.
When I was thinking what I would do, a kid, perhaps around ten until twelve years approached me, asking me politely,
“Wanna pass the flooded area Ma’am? Here, let me help you. You get down from your motorcycle first and I will push it to pass this flooded area. The machine of your motorcycle will be safe. And you just walk behind me.”
I knew the boy just needed some money from me. And of course I didn’t mind it at all. So, I let him do what he said and I followed him while taking some pictures of what was going on around me. I have read articles in the newspaper how flood could give people a chance to get some extra money. And I experienced it myself. 
Here are some pictures I took at that time (around 09.00 am Thursday 21 February 2008).

My dearest hometown, with its common problems, especially during the rainy season.
PT56 11.25 25022008