Some friends then invited me to join and joke until almost nine sharp, when we were going to went home. One by one friend started saying goodbye, so did me anyway. I also said goodbye to Ira. After shaking my hands, she held up a piece of paper without saying anything indeed. On that piece of paper, there was Ira’s handwriting which round and fat as well.

HOOIDRIFT 89A
ROTTERDAM, HOLLAND

That was apparently Ira’s address in the Land of Windmills. I received that piece of paper, nodded at her and passed. We parted in silence. It’s really bad to be separated in that way. That was the first time I felt alone in this crowded world. I was really upset and disappointed.

Our family moved to a suburban village. Father managed to build a house there. Because of building the house, his debt was piled up, and our family ate from the mother’s meager pay. My father became Principal at Dharma Wanita Unibraw Elementary School. Brawijaya University really wanted to make a school like our school under the Institute of Teacher Training and Education. In addition, he still served as a Vice Principal in my former junior high school.

Mother then worked at Dharma Wanita Unibraw Elementary School as a class teacher. Previously my mother worked one roof with my father in PPSP IKIP Malang elementary/junior high school as an honorary employee who received tuition fees and BP3 contributions from parents of students there. This time, at the behest of my father, my mother taught at the newly established elementary school. My mother was indeed my father’s college friend at IKIP Kediri. Now the IKIP Kediri was already a name, aka it’s already disbanded. Just like my father, she majored in Mathematics. My father then moved to IKIP Malang. Because of mate perhaps then they finally got married.

My mother was very miserable when leaving and going home from work. Often, she rode a motorcycle with father when he left and went home from work, but more often by taking an angkot, public transport somehow like the jeepney in the Philippines. Angkot which goes to Cipayung Street, where my mother and father taught past Janti Street, close to the Bentoel Cigarette Factory. Towards and from Janti Street to our house, my mother had to pass a steep ravine on the border of the Mergosono Hutment and Bumiayu Village. Bumiayu Village and Mergosono Hutment are separated by a suspension bridge. Bumiayu was the village we lived in.

Years after my father’s debt used to build the house was paid off, my father still did not provide a living for mother. His money was used himself, we the children and our mother had eaten from mother’s small payment. Of course, we become malnourished. If my father looked at the mother’s cooking and was not interested in the cooking, he would have dish outside, the most often was at Mariam Soto Stall in the Kebalen Traditional Market I told earlier. Soto is Indonesian food somehow like soup on the western tradition. It’s easy for him because he could ride the motorcycle there.




(picture taken from pixabay.com)