pur gunawan, the taxi driver

From: @ulma_nh
Sent: Aug 17, 2010 23:28

Our taxi driver is a 21 yo man with plenty experiences&knwldge of the city's undrworld :D

sent via Domikado
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/ulma_nh/status/21415895575

His name, as he told me, was Pur Gunawan. I'm not sure if it's the correct spelling or whther I misheard him but it was too dark anywy to check his ID. So let's jst call him Pur.

Pur drove us (me & iko) from Setiabudi One to our place in Radio Dalam on Tuesday night. Iko&his colleagues had to work on stuffs&they chose to do it at Anomali Coffee (just opened. Nice place). I joined a bit later after work & the whole gaiety with fellow Globians celebrating the Independence Day.

We left the cafe a couple of minutes before 11 p.m., or before the baristas hv 2 kick us out. Pur was outside with his "Manuk Mira" taxi, which most of the time we wud avoid whn going alone.

Pur was very chatty :D iko went silent the whole time. We were tired but I kinda feel obligd to ask him q's :p

He claimd that he nvr went to school. Pur has been living on the streets since he was little. That's where I started to get interested.

He told me that first he started off as a child busker, then a 3-in-1 jockey before becoming a metro mini bus driver, and then finally a taxi driver.

"I've just turned 21. My birthday was the same day as the start of Ramadhan this year," he said. Then he began citing the famous people he knew that were also August-born, including SBY and Marshanda.

When he was a jockey he was caught 3 times by the Police.

"They sent me to Kedoya [social institution] twice. The third time they got me they sent me away to Cirebon," he said.

The Police gave him Rp 20,000, which he used it to buy a bus ticket back to Jakarta :p I bet that's the same story for beggers&buskers netted by our dear friend Satpol PP. He also referred Kedoya as a prison, because he was locked up all the time.

He said that he hv friends who once sent to Cipinang for drug-dealing.

"They treated them bad. Every three days or so they got beaten up by the prison guards," he said.

At least the positive side is, that story has deterred him from anything drug-related.

I won't say much about his regular customers. Let's say he's familiar with that other side of Jakarta. Oh he could speak a little bit of Arabic too.

In the end I concluded that Pur was amongst the few bright n lucky ones. I believe that not that many unschooled child buskers could end up as a taxi driver with about Rp 3 million a month.

I didn't ask him what he would want to be when he's bored with taxi-driving..as we finally reached our destination.

But I did save his phone number.. just in case I need him for a story..or just in case ;)

Update: iko's take on Pur..
From: @ikoputera
Sent: Aug 17, 2010 23:40

Ini supir taxi kaya' wikipedia, detail obrolan bs dikembangin jd topik baru

sent via ƜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/ikoputera/status/21416789560

Lol...

when lost is in the playlist

prelude: musik mellow emg cocok utk mndukung mood nulis :))
(now playing: coldplay - everything's not lost)

I have to admit, from the six-and-a-half years I spent in Holland, the moments where i was at the lowest, stuck-in-a-rut type of moment, were those that really stick in my head. (note: i believe there's a research saying that negative memories last longer in your brain)

And true, only at these moments we found out who our true friends are, i dont have to mention it here, you know who you are :)

but this post is not frienship-related, coz nia and neysa have pretty much summed everything there is about friendship. this is about telling a story.

chapter 1 - utrecht
background song: beck - lost cause

i lived in utrecht for a while, about 6 months, for an internship. it was between february until august/september 2005.

it was quite a gamble. I had to manage to survive the 6 months with the little money I had left in my savings account. I realized that moving away from amsterdam meant that i might not get part-time jobs as easy as the sin city, and having to work office hours also laid another obstacle in finding a matching work schedule.

however i found an affordable room in the middle of the city, cutting my transportation cost because after that I walked to office and home every single day. It wasn't that far, about 30 minutes walk.

i did my internship in an NGO called the AEC - Association for European Conservatory (music schools), my boss was Martin Prchal (he's a Czech), a very nice man. He offered to pay my rent as an exchange for my salary.

So rent was taken care of, there was still the issue of food :p

i still got overwhelmed whenver i think of it. I always felt thankful to God that I'm still alive and well until now.

to sum it up most of my diet during that time consisted of bread.
i took home leftover breads from meetings (better than had it thrown away), put it in the fridge, and ate it sparingly.
in the office i would rely on chewing sugar cubes, drinking up coffee (up to 6 to 7 cups a day), and yoghurt. why those 3? ahum because those are office supply :p plus coffee covered up the hunger.
the office building was also rented by other companies, and coffee and such, including bread for meetings, were accommodated by the building owner :p

i didn't do much groceries. only for bare necessities (such as food when there wasnt much office meetings :p), and at that time shampoo wasnt one. i used the liquid dish detergent at the kitchen to wash my hair. dont really remember about soap, probably i also used the detergent as well :p

ah my room. it was actually very small. a cramped 2 x 3 living hole. or mouse hole as elvin called it :) it only has a study desk and a bed frame.
the homeowner somehow 'forgot' to tell me that mattress was not included, so at the first months I slept on the wooden panels of the bed. it was not until elvin showed up and told me that i actually could use some of my clothing, blankets, sheets and all sorts to make it more bearable. she also brought me an extra blanket.

(Now playing: Gorillaz - don't get lost in heaven)
through a friend of mine I found a part-time job in the kitchen of an Indonesian food take-away shop. it was tough. i remembered that on the first day I had to peel one big sack of onions, i had cut marks all-over my fingers -_- i think i only worked there twice, i guess the owner didnt see my potential. but i knew that that friend of mine worked longer there. and she survived. my respect for her went tripled.

(Now playing: the killers - all these things I've done)
so what did i do on the weekends? relatively nothing :p i stayed home, hallelujah for unlimited internet! downloaded games, movies not so much because at that time I only knew very little about torrents.

too bad i couldnt remember how much money i had on my bank account. or how much I had left when I went back to amsterdam (I think I only had just enough to get my a$$ back there)..

one year later i read on the newspaper that my homeowner in utrecht had troubles with the police for illegaly renting out rooms. So the lady had a couple of houses which rooms she rented out, but in holland you cant just rent away your houses/rooms, its more complicated..tax & permit related. the newspaper also cited the police who said that some of the rooms were 'inappropriate to live in'. lolz.


to be continued...

(typed from a wordpad then sent it via my blackberry. Sorry for the spelling errors :p)

quiet sunday

we're entering the 5th day of Ramadhan..and today has been the kind of fasting-day that I'm familiar with: l a z y :p

i want to end the do-nothing-ness by trying to write a blog post.
no ideas though :s

when at other days my head would be so full of ideas, but no time for writing a proper blog post. today i have so much time in my hand yet clueless..well, picky.. on what to write.

im trying to search my head for issues that got me so wound-up lately. but today i somehow found them less interesting. being in a cozy room at my parent's house has managed to isolate me from the outside world.
plus the hunger keeps distracting me from any form of deep-thinking :p

(time lapse: 45 minutes to read online comics)

hmm..still none..

well, i'm going to wrap it up by saying congrats to blogger.com with its nice addition on themes and background images and its very very easy-to-use layout tools.

i would temporarily use this one until the next spark of inspiration :p :p

oh, i need to read a good book. not the heavy type. any ideas?