A Humble, Hilarious and Honest Balinese Driver

“Siapa nama dia?” (What is its name, I asked this man in Malay). He replied as a matter of factly, “Ayam”, meaning ‘chicken’. 


During a recent trip to Ubud, my friend and I happened to be inside a car of a humble Balinese man who was our driver for the evening.

We were dreading the usual, robotic routine of questions that would normally follow upon moments of driving. The set of questions usually followed a (fixed) sequence: “how are you today?”, “where are you from?”, “first time in Bali?”, “how do you find Bali?”, “you have plan tomorrow?”, “You want taxi for tomorrow?”.  After staying there almost a week, we were really starting to become very tired, bored and annoyed at being asked the same questions over and over again. To avoid being rude and to keep ourselves amused, we started to reply in ridiculous answers (I was tempted to answer that I’m an exotic pole dancer from Mauritius).

However, instead of asking these usual questions, our driver began to tell us about himself. “Let me tell you sometings about myself” he began slowly in his Balinese English. “From 1998 until 2000 I was an artist, from 2000 until 2003 I was a rice farmer, and from 2003 until now I am a driverr.” We were captivated by his story as we listened attentively and looked at each other wide-eyed and grinning in amusement. He continued, “You know when I was a rice farmer, I only make 10 Dollars every month. Just having 10 Dollars every month cannot let me have girlfriend.”  My friend and I burst out laughing, fascinated by the humour and honesty of this humble man.

We told him how refreshing this was for us, to not have another person pestering us with that stale routine of boring questions. How enlightening it was to hear his story, to learn his philosophy of Life and Love. How true his words are indeed. He is a wise man.

He laughed back, explaining that he just didn’t want to bother us, therefore instead he told us a little bit about himself. He said, “if you want to help me then you can call me if you need transportation. If not it is also ok.” What a nice man.

As we arrived at our destination, he gave us his business card and reminded us to call him if we needed his services. “Don’t forget me ya!” he added cheekily. “We won’t!” we answered back cheerfully. We thanked and wished him well in his career and went our separate ways. We wished him well and happy with his girlfriend or wife (or both) in our hearts.

all words & images remain the copyright of Shantih Shala Holistic Arts

切文字于图片属于 Shantih Shala Holistic Arts 版权所有


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