Sunday, March 01, 2009
Could it be Chong?
Later that morning, while taking a walk alongside the Ciliwung river, not far from Bogor’s botanic gardens, I spotted a ragged-looking figure under a wide stone bridge.
Could it be Chong? I crossed a patch of tall grass to have a closer look.
Instead of Chong I found a teenage boy, a granny, a small girl, a few pots and pans, several sleeping mats and some plastic bags: a home under a bridge.
"Hello," I said, being careful not to go too close. I didn’t want to actually enter their bedroom.
They stared at me with frightened eyes. Or was it hostility?
"Do you live here, under the bridge?" I asked.
The boy nodded.
"How many people?"
"Five," said the granny, who managed a slight smile.
"Do you work in Bogor?"
"In the market," she said.
I took some money from my pocket and held my hand out in their direction. The boy took it, almost grabbing it.
"Thank you," said the granny.
Posted by Anon at 11:09 PM