Row of shade trees in front and behind us chasing slowly. The trees were moving closer and away, we were riding in a rickshaw along the way yo my first school. Trees that shading the passers-by were mostly tamarind. There are also some accacia trees. After a while we’ve entered Jalan Jakarta. That is, we’ve almost reached our destination. Laboratory Kindergarten IKIP Malang.

The most interesting thing about my city’s pedicab is the bell mounted on the steering handlebars. The bell is made of an iron ring for three quarters of an adult fist. Attached to the steering handlebars using the rickshaw tire pieces cut out to form a ribbon. If pedicab driver want to ring the bell, he would pinch the metal ring that emits a vibration “therrr, … therrr” which was very typical. It was an incredible horn. Creativity of Indonesian, no other countries could imitate it.

After paying the cost, my mother took my sister and guided me to meet my first teachers. We walked slowly approached the classroom. There are two local places of learning in that school complex which belong to IKIP Malang. First local for kindergarten and another local for grade one elementary school students in PPSP IKIP Malang.

One local was for TK-1, TK-2 and TK-3, and another local which was located opposite to them was for the student of class 1A, 1B and 1C SD PPSP IKIP Malang. Higher class located on another complex in Jalan Magelang Number Four. Also owned by IKIP Malang.

I saw a lot of kids of my were playing in the school yard. I want to burst join to play with them. But I’m ashamed to my mother as already told her that I did not want to go to school. I want to be a sepur tumbuk driver. And being sepur tumbuk driver does not need school. I cone my mouth in front of my mother.

“Oooooh, … that’s Mimit come,” said a teacher. Her flawless sweet and petite. I wonder how come she knew my name.

“Come Mit, Give your hands to Mrs. Yati,” my mother commanded me sweetely. I cone my mouth in front of my mother again.

Ooooh,so her name was Mrs. Yati, I thought. Mrs. Yati approached us and chatted with my mother. Adult conversation. I had absolutely no interest.

I noticed my surroundings, my eyes glued to a little girl on my age. She has waist long hair. His eyes were narrow and had very white skin. The girl was really very charming. Finished playing swinging then she played a round with other friends. She laughed happily. I wanted to play with her, but I hesitated. I turned towards my mother who was talking with Mrs. Yati sadly and desperate. But my decision was obvious. I do not go to school because my goal was to be sepur tumbuk driver. And sepur tumbuk driver does not need school.

In the hubbub of children playing on the school yard, suddenly appeared another teacher from a classroom. The teacher was tall and beautiful, but her face looked a bit stiff. She was soon joined to my mother and Mrs. Yati.

“Mrs. Toha, how are you?,” she said to my mother.

“I’m fine, Mrs Tutik, I should get my child to go to school,” my mother replied.

“Here Mit, shake hands with Mrs. Tutik,” called my mother.

I immediately met the three of them. I already noticed in other place that many groups of mothers were hospitable. There are six teachers on Laboratory IKIP Malang. Two teachers handled a class. A teacher for the small zero class and another for big zero class. So the class room is shared for small and big zero. In TK-1, Mrs. Yati dutied for small zero class and her colleague, Mrs. Tutik teaching for big zero class. Thus the division of labor between them an the first year I’d entered school.

pict by Emile Seno Aji