Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Count Our Blessings

According to MSN Money, inflation in Asia is out of control and the situation most likely will be getting worse in the coming months. For Malaysia, the 3% annual rate for April was a 15-month high, and Bank Negara is now predicting inflation will climb to 4.2% for all of 2008. *sigh*

But if we think our situation is bad, it looks like our neighbour country, Indonesia, is even worse. There's an article in NST today about Jakarta's urban poor that makes me realize how lucky our children are compared to some other children in other parts of the world.

The article reminds me of what happened during our recent trip to Bandung.

It was around 8pm. My husband wanted to alter the pants that he bought at one of the factory outlets. He asked our taxi driver who was waiting for us outside the shop and before the man could answer, there was this young girl about 8 years old who said "Pak, saya boleh tunjukkan" (Sir, I can show you"). So, my husband followed her.

After about 30 minutes, I saw my husband walking back and just slighly infront of him was the same girl who showed him the way just now. When he arrived at the place where I was waiting for him, I heard the girl kept saying "Terima kasih Pak" (Thank you sir) a few times. Then she left.

My husband was quite for a while during our journey back to the hotel. Then he told me what happened.

According to him, after the girl showed him the way, he gave her Rp2,000 which is equivalent to about 76sen. She was so happy and quickly she went to buy 2 pieces of bread. She ate one and she kept the other one. The way she ate it somehow showed that she was hungry and my husband asked her "lapar ya?" ("hungry?"). She answered "ya Pak. Ngak makan dari pagi" ("yes sir. I have not eaten since morning"). Later she said that the other piece was for her brother.

Anyway, my husband told her that she could go if she wanted to as he knew how to get back to where I was waiting but she continued to wait with my husband until the pants was ready.

My husband kept saying how lucky our daughter is. Imagine those children who have to do all sorts of odd jobs to survive. Rp2,000 which he gave to the girl may not mean much to us but to her it filled up her hungry stomach and maybe her brother's as well. And the Rp2,000 given to her was enough to make her waited for my husband to finish his errand.

This happened before the recent fuel hike. If life was difficult for them before, I'm sure it will be worse now.

We should count our blessings. At least our children are able to enjoy a much better life.


mamadou said...

Salam NaNa

Yes indeed our people and our country are the lucky one. Until now I still remember one of my conversation with the taxi driver in Jakarta. He have worked in Malaysia particulary in Segamat, Johor in plantation estate. He said living in Malaysia was really good, easy to get money but food is expensive compared to in Indonesia where tough to get money (work) but food is cheaper. He proudly mentioned to me, with money he brought home he managed to buy one house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta and possessed a car as taxi for his living in Jakarta.

We should gratefull as our life not miserable as others. I have seen many during my entire duty and travel.


McBudu said...

I was about to complaint about how expensive are the goods nowadays.... nampaknye tak jadi lo.... :-)

rimau manja said...

from my observation, our GOVT's policy of only making policies that seems a bit lopsided to benefit certain quarters will soon make malaysia like another jakarta and soon there will be KUALA LUMPUR'S URBAN POOR article..

the rich become richer, and the poor become poorer.....

for example, GLC CEO's are being considered for 100% pay raise, but the blue collar workers have to fight for their 3.5% pay raise. now what does that tell you?

but aaaah...yet again....we must always make the best of all situations. live with it and try to move forward. Positive thinking will always get us somewhere , negativity will stop us from moving.

NaNa said...

Salam Mamadou,

To those who have less, what we have is more than enough.

No doubt we yearn for more.. we always wish for better things in life.. but sometimes it would be good to just accept things as it is and be thankful to what we have.

Thanks for visiting.

NaNa said...

Hi mcbudu,

Actually I dah puas complaint. I grumbled when I filled up my petrol, I grumbled when I did my groceries. But then after a while.. I got tired of grumbling and complaining.

I realized that very unlikely things will get better. So, I set my mind to accept things as they are and be thankful to the fact that I can still survive... with very minimal change in lifestyle. :)

NaNa said...

Hi Rimaumanja,

I agree with you. The GLC CEO's pay rise... I think it is so ridiculous. It is not a one man show.. and yet when it comes to the rewars, only one man seems to benefit from it. How very unfair.

By the way, 3.5% now is almost like nothing. It is not even enough to cater for inflation rate, which keeps rising.

Zawi said...

Did you say Bank Negara's predicted that inflation will climb to an all time high of 4.2%? Thats unbelievable. If they say infltion will climb by another 4.2% by year end 2008 would be more like it. After all the price increase of fuel, they announced the increase of the price of cement. The approved retail price is RM15.00 for east coast region. How much is the retail price ex hardware shops in Pasir Mas? RM18.00. So hitting an inflation rate of 8 percent by end of 2008 is within us.
I am really touched by the story of that little girl. If I were your hubby, giving her a bit more for a decent meal for her would be the order of the day.

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

Yes, according to MSN money, that was what Bank Negara predicted. But as we all know by now, the effect of the fuel hike is tremendous. As you said, I'm also not surprised if it hits 8%. Even now I tink the rate has gone more than the predicted 4.2%.

As for the girl, no, he didn't give extra to her but we did give to 2, 3 others sebab kesian with what we saw.