Mysterious Math on a Bus

(photo :

What are you going to do if you missed your last ‘desired’ bus? Get on a shuttle bus, which cost you more but equally convenient? Well I won’t. Yesterday I arrived at the Jombor bus terminal (Jogja) on night and found that no more patas (cepat dan terbatas, fast and limited) bus were available. Some people offered me to take a shuttle bus but I refused them. Why? Nothing but I wanted to take something cheaper or at least equal with patas bus. Fortunately there was on remaining economy bus, but it didn’t go to Semarang. It last stop is Magelang terminal. Though I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to get a bus to Semarang or not, I still decided to get on that last available bus.

Then I sat next to a mom and her daughter whom explained to me how to go to Semarang from Magelang. I thanked her and then, as usual, back to the socmed world. Pardon me and please don’t do the just same thing I did. But then I started to talk to her.

“Hai Bu, is there any business you do in Jogja?”
“Oh yes, I sell Sumbawa honey and rica-rica enthok.”
“To whom?”
“Well, mostly I sell these to civil servant and lecturer.”
“Wait, isn’t it prohibited to sell something in the government office?”
“It’s fine, I already acquainted the people.”
“Hmmmmm… so you also went to universities in Jogja I guess.”
“Yes. I can enter at the break-time.”
“When did you depart from Magelang?”
“At 12 PM.”
“And you always go home at this time.”
“Does your daughter have something to do in Jogja?”
“No, I just can’t let her stay in the house alone. She’s blind.” And the amazing story begins…

I look at her. She looks just like normal people I told you. If her mom didn’t tell me surely I won’t aware that she’s blind. Unfortunately, that’s not her only problem.

She had a synthetic body-frame attached on her body. Without that stuff, her body won’t grow normally. What I call normal is growing up. That’s because the little girl aged 12 is having a seriously-bad-kyphosis, at least that’s the name of the disease as told by the mom. What made me shocked was when the mom told me that without the body-frame her lovely daughter’s body will be rounded like a ball or an armadillo. Blind and kyphosis, that’s why she can’t let her kid stay in the house alone.


Body-frame for kyphosis (photo :


Every 6 months she had to replace the body-frame with the new one, the older won’t fit anymore, she’s still in a growing phase. And the treatment cost her Rp 7.5 million. Not a small number, not at all. Even my tuition fee was only Rp 4.5 million/semester.

“How many persons are there in your family?”
“It’s seven. We have five kids to feed and sent to school.”
“So, at least you have to spend Rp 70,000/day only for the meals.”
“Actually my family spent Rp 225,000/day for our living.”
“For sure? That’s a lot of money! Then, how much is your husband’s income?”
“Rp 40,000/day.”
“Really? So you have to cover it. I bet your business is running well!”
“Not really. One day I can get more than Rp 100,000 but another day I can get nothing. I had one day when I had Rp 100,000 in my wallet from home, but I got nothing from my business.” I was frozen-tongue for seconds.

Then she jumped into the story when she became a maid in Singapore. The decision to work in Singapore was because of her blind daughter. She wanted to get more money for her daughter’s medical treatment. Something she thought would never be able to do if she stayed in Indonesia.

She worked for a superclean boss. The way her boss wants his house to be clean is so much different from what we usually see in Indonesia. Everyday she had to clean the house to the every corner. Pulled the wardrobe, clean the floor and the wardrobe itself was her daily work. The bedcover must be replaced every two days and weekly refreshment of the atmosphere of the house is an obligatory. What I’m trying to tell you is she had to change the position of house’s stuff every week. They are the TV, jar, sofa, wardrobe, bed, paint, photo, fridge… too many to mention. Ah, one more thing… she did it all by herself.

She finally had time to take a bath at 12 AM. Time to sleep? Meh! There are many things to do afterward! Preparing the catering and then cooked em till the sun rose again.

“What time did you go to bed?”
“No. I never slept when I was working for him.”
“Gimme a break! You gotta be kidding!”
“No I didn’t. I never had any chance to get a single sleep for three months. That made me feel crazy, stupid, and confuse.”

That was mindblowing! I’ve watched an episode from Spongebob Squarepants series when Mr. Krab, Squidward, and Spongebob didn’t sleep for 40-50 days and that was more than enough to made the trio out of their mind. Spongebob then had a Krabbypattyphobia.


My eye bags has eye bags! (photo :


If you think she was a legal worker, pardon me to say that you’re wrong. She went to Singapore legally with an agency, got a maid training which she finished in only 10 days. So then she resigned after that terrifying 3 months. That resign decision was actually not permitted so she was fined and compensated for only Singapore Dollar (SGD) 40/month from the normal salary SGD 250/month!

The next bosses was none better than the previous. After spent 1.5 year works in Singapore she decided to return to Indonesia.

“After my bad time in Singapore, I realised one thing. If I had good time, then I won’t go back home for years. Who’s going to take care for her? I believe that this was His plan to made me go home, I still have this kid to take care.”
“I see… Is she your first kid?”
“No she’s the third. The first is now on a accounting study at one college in Jogja, the second is studying in SMK, wants to be a nurse so she can take care of her sister she said.”
“You have a university-student kid?”

It was hard for me to understand that. She and her husband must have Rp 225,000/day for their family living cost. The dad only made Rp 40,000/day and the mom made an unknown income. Lucky day means Rp 100,000 or more, unlucky day means below Rp 100,000 or no money at all! Even combined, that was still not enough to cover the daily expenses of the family!

“That’s His secret.” she smiled at me “you can try to calculate it but I’m sure you won’t find the answer. I’ve tried one and still no answer.”
“That’s something never learnt to me as a business management student…”
“You know what are the keys of life?”
“What are they?”
“Sincerity, no moaning, and be grateful for everything you have.” … “If you have money, give at least 2.5% of them to those who need it more than you. For me, I better no eat rather than watching someone starving.”
“Where did you learn that?”
“Life journey and words from Uje.” Yes, the same Uje who passed away several weeks ago. “Give, give, and give since from that giving you will receive even more. Ask any professor to do the math and the answer will remains a mystery.”

I am unemployed for months and sometimes it makes me desperate. But from now on I knew something that probably will open my door of new chapter of life as an employee. And that starts from missing a patas bus. What a plan of His.

©Shesar_Andri, 27th May 2013
at home sweet home, enjoying transform into Snorlax


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