It has been raining for three days: some of palm toddy association members (karma sekaa tuak) are spending their time in the warung, drinking tuak.
“I prefer sleeping at home to going out – but I can’t stop drinking tuak,” says I Wayan Geris Geris (Sleeping Soundly).
No comment from the others.
When it rains nobody really wants to comment: they prefer drinking tuak and eating peanuts.
Everyone is surprised when someone comes into the warung without permission and takes a bottle of tuak and sips it.
“Oh My God, I had looked for this address but I couldn’t find it: I didn’t realize that Denpasar has changed a lot,” says I Made Jadul Dusun (Old Fashion and Countrified).
I Made has never been anywhere: the farthest place he has been is to river where he usually takes a bath, or to the meeting hall to watch cockfights. He had been to Denpasar when he was a child, when his mother took him with her to sell sweet potatoes and salt.
Just this morning he went there again. He was asked to deliver (bazaar) vouchers to a banjar in Denpasar.
“When I arrived at Monang-Maning, I saw a big lake. It used to be rice fields, but now water is everywhere. I can’t understand why they enjoy living in houses on the lake?
Everyone laughs loudly. How silly I Made is! How come he doesn’t know that the houses often flood.
“When I passed Buagan, Jematang, Beraban, Pengiasan, Tulangampian, Kerobokan, I felt sorry for the people in those areas. How can one live in a small storey-house – sleeping, working, dry clothes in there, etc.
Everyone laughs loud: they are sure that I Made doesn’t know that the ‘houses’ he refers to are called “Ruko” (shop-houses) and “Rukan” (house-office). He might not know that ‘modern’ means ‘efficiency’, and a modern town must have lots of high buildings – no matter how tight the space is – and one building should be higher than the next.
“What a silly man you are, Made! Why do you feel sorry for people in Denpasar? When one lives in a Ruko, it means he is rich. Don’t you know that a “ruko” costs hundreds of millions of Rupiahs? So when one has a “ruko”, it means he is rich and has much more money than you do for sure,” says I Wayan.
I Made says nothing: he can’t understand how these rich people can stand living in tight “ruko” or “rukan”.
“I could never imagine living in that kind of house. How can we escape when there is an earthquake or a fire? We might get trapped inside and get burned. And if there are more and more “ruko” and “rukan”, the land might sink into the ground – what will Denpasar be like?
I Made might forget: if the “ruko” and “rukan” are sunk into the ground, there will be more and more ‘Denpasarese’ living “on the lake.”