Linking the two terms “happiness” and “hardship” together, Dinny was having troubles, reading aloud, but, it seemed that she loved the sentence so very much, stressed it several times…
Dinny sat, quietly, in a corner in the bookstore, flipping through the volumes of Indonesian books. I couldn’t help, but called out to her, she lifted her head to look, and I’d took a photo of her, smiling at the camera.
My friends and I opened up a bookstore, with the theme of Southeast Asia called, “Radiant Times”, it had books in languages from Southeast Asia, including Indonesian. All of these books, are prepared for the sakes of people like Dinny, who are from other countries who loved to read.
Dropped Out of School, Because of the Difficulties from Her Family
Dinny, who was from Cirebon in Java, Indonesia, had been outstanding in school since she was very young, always the top of her class. But, unfortunately, after she’d graduated high school, something happened in her family, she’d had to give up on furthering her education and started working.
She’d worked in Jakarta for two years, at age twenty, Dinny, and her friends applied to Taiwan. It’s work all the same, and she’d rather come here, where it’d paid more. But, over millions of Indonesians came overseas to work, and, compared to areas such as Malaysia, or the Middle East with Islamic beliefs, Taiwan, with only a little over two hundred thousand Indonesian workers, is still the minority.
Dinny told me, that Middle East is very scary, there were often, female Indonesia workers who were murdered, and, the Indonesian government had already announced that they were going to stop sending female workers to Middle East in May already. And, Malaysia, which shared the same culture with Indonesia, pays a lot less, compared to Taiwan, and, they’re not as friendly to the migrant workers either.
Although, Taiwan was often called, “the island of ghosts” by the online community, but, comparing Taiwan on the international front, it surely isn’t.
The Tastes She Kept Commending Nonstop
Suhartini, is Dini’s Indonesian name, as she’d arrived to Taiwan, a Indonesian-Chinese gave her a new name, “Dini”, the name is easy to pronounce, and write, and, everybody in the household that hired her called her that, only the demented elderly grandma called her, “Miss”.
Dini is intelligent and quick to learn, taking care of grandma is no problem for her, the only problem she faces is being too bored. Normally, it was only Dini and the silent grandma, staring at one another, living on the hillside of Hsintien, and, even though, her boss encouraged Dini to ask her friends over, but, because of how distant the house was, nobody came. So, for Dini, the best time was on the weekends, on this day, grandma’s ten children and grandchildren all came home, with Dini as the cook.
It’s a banquet! I’d mumbled to myself, this doesn’t fit the rules. The caretakers receives $15,840 N.T. a month, and their areas of work is restricted to helping the elderly they’re hired to look after.
“It must be hard, cooking for so many people then?”, I’d asked her.
Before she’d come overseas, Dini had never cooked once. After she’d come here, every time she’d cooked, it was the third aunt who’d hired Dini, buying the raw produces, and she’d taught Dini how to prepare the items. And still, nine years had passed, now, Dini can cook foods that impressed the third aunt, can recall what everybody likes to eat, what they don’t enjoy, even IF Dini didn’t eat pork, she’d still followed the steps to cooking, and make the pork dishes that impressed her family in Taiwan.
“Cooking for the family is NOT grueling at all, it’s actually very happy for me”, Dinny opened up her eyes wide, to rebut me.
“Happiness” and “Hardship”, these two words, linked together, Dinny was having difficulties, prouncing, but, apparently, she’d liked this sentence, stressed it to me a couple of times.
Coming to Taiwan as a College Student
The reason why Dinny could read so leisurelyl in the “Radiant Times” was because the ninety-three year-old grandma passed away two months ago. After grandma passed away, Dinny was ready to head home. But, her journey to Taiwan isn’t necessarily over.
These years, working in Taiwan, Dinny bought a house, rented out the house, and, gave the money from the rent to her parents who are farm workers. S he’d also saved up some money, to be given to her fifteen year-old younger brother’s education. And, right after grandma passed away, Dinny also broke up with the childhood sweetheart, after all, going long-distance for nine years had made them understand, that they no longer shared the same views of the world anymore. Dinny said, “I might have been influenced by you, Taiwanese people.”
Although Dinny is a great cook, took good care of others, but, studying is what she does best. A few years ago, she’d signed up for the distant education on the university track, she’s still the first in her class. This time, returning to Indonesia, she’d wanted to use a student visa to come here, as a college student. As the family who treated Dinny as one of their own heard, they’re all very happy about it. Yeah sure! The house we have on the hill will be yours to stay in!
Before Dinny returned back to her home country, I’d invited her to come to my radio show, Dinny’s family in Taiwan: third aunt, second aunt, youngest aunt, all entered the recording studio with this shared happiness. The youngest aunt who loved to sing changed the lyrics of the late Feng Fei-Fei, “I Wish You Happiness”, dedicating it to Dinny, “Giving you a gift of love, I wish you happiness. No matter you’re in Taiwan, or in Indonesia, don’t forget about my blessings to you.”
And so, this just shows how connected you can be, with someone you’d hired to help take care of your aging elderly family members, and this woman is studious, and, she’s now, living her own dreams, fulfilling her own dreams, of not being able to go to school when she was younger, and, she’s making it all happen by herself!