Rural Life: Beautiful or cruel ?
As a new family, a small wooden house was rent by us in rural area in South Kalimantan. A wooden house which half of the house built on the top of the river and half a rest of that house built at the shore of the river. Rural people in that area always took a bath, washed their dishes and clothes at the river. Beautiful? Yes, rural life was beautiful but it was also cruel for me, especially when a crocodile and a thief broke the back door of my house.
Rural Life: Beautiful or cruel ?
It's me, Lila Bangsawan. Bangsawan is a family name of my husband. I met him in Bali - Indonesia in 1990 and he took me to South Kalimantan in 1993 because the whole of his family lives there. I came from Bandung - Indonesia. My family is a rich family in that city. But, because I married with one of Dayak's men, so I had to follow my husband to the land of a thousand rivers, named South Kalimantan. Kalimantan is the biggest island in Indonesia.
As a young man, my husband tried hard to make his own business in trading. At that time, his business was still a very small business. He earned little money for us. That was why, we had to rent a house in Kuin, a rural area at the edge of Banjarmasin. Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan province. It was no matter at all for me at that time because I love my husband very much.
It didn't matter at all, until I found a fact that I had to live in a wooden house at the edge of Barito river. Barito is a biggest and longest river in South Kalimantan. A wooden house which half of the house built on the top of the river and half a rest of that house built at the shore of the river. When waves of the river came, the house was shaking. Walking on the wooden floor of the house was also frightening me. But, then, I got used to that situation.
Another shock hit me, when I knew that the wooden house didn't have any bathroom. So, this is for your information readers, rural people in Kuin always took a bath, washed their dishes and clothes, etc..etc...at the river. Usually, women did their house works during the river flood. They did it early in the morning or evening. When ebb came, they did chit-chat with their neighbors. Well, I couldn't imagine that I had to do something that I would not want to do in Kuin. Was it because of love or It was a kind of tolerance toward my husband's traditional life? Maybe both of them.
For his trading activities, twice a week my husband had to go out of the village to other cities. During that time. I might stay alone taking care of my first son. We had a door at the back side of our house and there was a veranda where I used to wait small boats of (fish, fruits, and vegetables) sellers passing by or to do my home works. Actually, I loved the scenery of the river in the evening. But, I didn't realize dangerous things could come from this side.
Once, there was a rather big crocodile break through the back door of my house. I screamed and rural people came helping me. Luckily, my son was sleeping in his bedroom. The second, a thief also broke the back door and a knife was on my neck when I was reading in my room. He asked my some money, and I begged him to release my neck because I needed to open my cupboard. My son slept close to me, and I grabbed him as soon the thief released me. Again, I shouted and the thied run away. Rural people got him at the other side of the river.
Beautiful? Yes, rural life was beautiful but it was also cruel for me. I asked my husband for moving from that place. I couldn't take the risk any more. It was not for me but for my son.