Seeing the flood through the eyes of an innocent kid

Yesterday my bestfriend texted me late. She usually texts me around 10 am and we’ll continue chatting til evening. I was a little worried but then I thought she was just so tired and probably been busy. But then around late afternoon she texted me saying that her house has been flooded and now she was evacuated. Hours after that I saw so many sad photos of my hometown being covered by water. I contacted my sister asking whether everyone was okay and she said mom and dad are fine, she was trapped inside her school though (she’s a headmaster).

I lived in Jakarta only the first fifteen years in my life and another two years before I moved to Singapore. During those years, thankfully I never experience flooding in Jakarta. (While Bogor and Bandung were my ‘home’ in between.) I never liked Jakarta. The traffic, the rude people (yeah, I didn’t know there would be a ruder place than Jakarta until I live in Singapore) and the crime of course. I lived the first fifteen years of my life trying to escape. However my hope was elevated a little bit when Jokowi was elected as a Governor. I wish someday I could move back there, hopefully when the city is tidy and has less traffic. Yeah, my love to Jakarta is conditional.

This morning I read my sister’s tweet that she was still stuck inside the school because the flood outside the school is still impossible to pass through. I told her “ah kalo elo mah gue gak peduli. Si mami gimana?” (I don’t care about you. How’s mom?) She cursed me and she said “Kasian nih dua cacing gue makannya indomie doang.” (Poor my two babies could only eat instant noddle). I was shock to find out that my niece (my favorite little girl on earth!) and my nephew was stuck inside too! Apparently yesterday morning my sister was about to send my niece to school but the school was dismissed because of the flood so she brought my niece with her while my nephew was actually going to school where my sister is the headmaster.

Yesterday Jakarta was raining all day so the flooding around my sister’s school got worse. The water rose to the waist of an adult. (Funny to mention that in Jakarta we never measure the level of flood with centimeters, but with ‘dengkul’ (knee) ‘betis’ (calf) or pinggang (waist) with the highest level is the chest) So it turned out that my sister and her two kids were spending the night at school, sleeping on the mattress from PE class.

I was so sad knowing that but then my sister said that my niece and my brother were having a fun time with flood! How so? It turns out they think the flood is such an entertainment and they begged my sister to let them play in the rain on the flood. (WHAT?!) My sister of course didn’t let them. They however still found the flood mesmerizing and had so much fun just watching it.

I remembered when I was 7 or 8, I was so happy when it started to rain because I could play with the rain, until all my clothes are wet and if I think about it now, it’s so gross and I could seriously catch a cold or worse, got diarrhea (because some of the rain water might be swallowed). But then, I wonder why I was having so much fun? Was it the freedom I felt, the chilly feeling of the cold rain or the water sliding on my terrace’s tiles? Nah, probably because I was just a kid. Kid finds amusement in almost everything. In this case, my niece and nephew found it in flood.

Kids always see the silver lining on everything, even something horrible like flood. It’s because they don’t need to think about the broken furniture caused my floor or the money must be spent for fixing the car or stuffs like that. They’re just wanna have fun. And we, adults, miss to feel that way.

I really hope the rain would stop and the floods will gone. My niece and my nephew could play some other time. They would find anything amusing though. But more than being amused, what I want now is just for them to be safe and sound. We’ll have fun some other times, my babies. =)

May.