A misfortune

I was early that particular Saturday I could find myself a seat near the window in the bus to Dampit.
An elderly Chinese man came sitting next to me, I greeted him but he didn’t answer.

After Krebet, still half an hour to go to Dampit…it happened!
The whole seat was wet, the Chinese had wet his pants.
I jumped up and started shouting at him; “Kotor! Kurang ajar!
(Dirty! Rude!)
The Indonesians started shouting at him as well.
The bus driver stopped and I got another seat.
The Indonesian women tried to help me as much as they could.
The men were really furious with this rude Chinese.
Everybody felt very sorry for me.

When I arrived at Dampit I guess I looked like a thundercloud.
My father looked very surprised and for a moment he didn’t know what to say to his very angry and smelling daughter.

I told him what happened, crying and being angry at the same time.
He said that I had to wait outside the car and he quickly bought some newspapers and put them on my seat.
I was not allowed to wet the seat of his car.
I looked deeply offended and then he started laughing.
But I couldn’t see anything funny about all this dirtiness…yet.
Of course growing up in the Dutch East Indies, teaches a child to understand and to accept that there are many different peoples from oneself.
But you also learn to get on with almost everybody. I have always liked the Indonesians very much and the Chinese people as well. But this time I was very angry with this Chinese man.

When we arrived at home I ran towards my mother and said; ”A dirty Chinese man had a pee in his pants and I sat next to him in the bus. I want to take a bath!”
I received clean clothes and I washed myself with all the soap I could find.
And then slowly I calmed down.

My father didn’t dare to look at me at dinner time, he was scared that he would start laughing again.
But I gave him a smile, that made us all laugh, I called the Chinese man a dirty pig.
Both my parents agreed.

The dirty clothes have been thrown away, I wouldn’t have worn them anyway.

Monday morning when my father had brought me back to the bus in Dampit
he said teasingly to me: “Be careful, don’t sit next to a Chinese!”

You bet!