Last night, you promised to meet your friends at 7 pm at a coffeeshop. All of you agreed. Looking forward to see you tomorrow night, one of your friends tell you that.
Of course, you hold on to such nice wish. On the next day, you leave the house at 5.30 pm, fearing you might get stuck on Jalan Soekarno Hatta for an hour. Weekends are hell. But good thing you were able to make it to the coffeeshop 30 minutes early. You look for your friends. You take the stairs and see whether they’re at the rooftop. No, they’re not there. You pull your phone from your pocket, and send your friend a message. Dimana? You stare at your mute phone. After an hour, they tell you, maaf baru habis mandi. OTW. It’s 7.30 pm, and the Americano coffee you ordered from that nosey waiter is now cold. Kok sendirian? She asks you. You’re puzzled on what to tell her. So you simply smile at her, and asks her for an ashtray.
15 minutes to 8, and your friends have not told you their whereabouts. You lift your phone and right now you’re tempted to call them. But you’re sungkan, Indonesian for hesitant. You’ve become Indonesian, Mick, one of your friends tell you. Not quite, I told him once. And of the things that might hinder me from understanding how things work here is their concept of time.
Nanti kita ketemu habis Maghrib ya.
Pokoknya habis maghrib. Jam 6an.
It’s now 8.30 pm, yet because you try not to lose control, you wear a smile — because you’re reminded of the fact that people around you don’t like those who aren’t sabar. You have to be patient, Mick.
9.00 pm. The ashtray is now brimming with cigarette butts. You’ve nearly consumed a pack of Marlboro Lights. Your friends tell you, gak jadi. Suddenly, they say, it is raining.
How do people get away with that kind of attitude?
Photo courtesy of col_adamson