Sunday, March 01, 2009

Oman and Nurul


A week and a half later I returned to the Menteng Hospital. A very young and pretty nurse told me that Oman had recovered from his typhoid and gone back home. But, Nurul, Oman’s aunt, had died as a result of her blood poisoning. I called in at Oman’s house to commiserate on the death of Nurul, and to remind the family that Oman would need to return to the hospital later in the week for a check up. Oman was painfully thin, but he was a normal colour and he was playing with a large plastic toy car.

When Oman’s father, Joko, emerged from a back courtyard, I prepared to launch into a verbal attack. But Joko presented me with a parcel, inside which was a black and gold batik shirt.

"Thank you, Mr Kent," said Joko, grinning.

We shook hands and I wondered if I had slightly misjudged the man.

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