As a seller of STMJ (Honey, egg and ginger tonic), Mas Salim had both ups and downs from the flood in his kampung
Afternoon, mas. Your cart is dry, so I guess you didn’t come from down there, yeah?
Actually I did, early this morning, so I’ve already dried out up here.
Oh I see, so what time did you come up here?
Well, the water started to rise around half-past four, exactly as the call to prayer started. I had only just got to sleep two hours before, but was woken up because my body was already wet! So I immediately saved all my stock and trading tools, as well as my wife’s sewing equipment and machines, and stored them inside the mosque. See, I brought 10kg of palm sugar and this large pan. Heavy, right?
Oh, so you don’t normally start trading at this time?
No, I don’t. I sell Jahe, STMJ, and it’s just not suitable for the middle of the day, right? Normally I start in the evening until late at night. That’s why I didn’t get much sleep last night.
But I guess today, when it floods and it’s raining, it’s a great time to drink Jahe?
Yup that’s right.
So your profits actually go up because of the flooding?
Yeah, that’s right, but there’s a lot of losses, too. Earlier after I ate, had a coffee and a cigarette I wanted to go back down and collect all the clothes from our house, but the water had risen to quickly and all our stuff was already submerged, soaked! So I just came back here. Fortunately my wife is back at her village in Java at the moment because she’s heavily pregnant.
Oh yes, that’s definitely good, family safe and still able to make some money.
Yes, actually it’s much better to have a flood than a fire, they often happen in Kebalen too. After the flood our things can be dried out, but if there’s a fire then everything is just lost. Normally the fire would only affect a specific place, too, but the flood affects everyone, and they all come out on the streets like this. Not bad for new year’s day, huh?
Oh yeah? So you’re still smiling, mas?
In these kind of places it’s easier for traders to sell things, y’know? There’s more people, and it’s more ‘alive’ than those tall, elite-style buildings.
Okay mas, thanks a lot. Happy new year!
Yeah, same to you.