Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Meet The Bolang From Papan Island

Papan Island, Feb 16, 2015

Initially, delivered by Pak Nuir with his wooden boat, we had planned to move from Sera Beach Cottage to Lestari Cottage (both located in Malenge Island). But suddenly we changed our mind and decided to stay at Papan Island, which exactly located in the opposite of Lestari Cottage. Eventually, Pak Nuir had a colleague living on that tiny island. He referenced them to be a potential host for us.

Once we arrived at Papan Island, we were nicely welcomed by our potential. The one who was most excited was Rafli. That eleven-year old boy was the oldest kid on that family. Even he 'forced' his father just to accept us as guests when negotiation is still going on. "Come on Papa, accept them!"

© 2014 sita ariana pangestu
Finally we agreed to pay 60 k IDR/person/night to stay at their house. That price included meal 3x a day and free flow of water, tea, and coffee. While waiting for our room to be prepared, we had a rest at the porch of their wooden house built above the sea. Rafli was so enthusiastically talked with me. Proudly he said, "Ari, I am the Bolang from Papan?"

"Really?" I got amazed. As per I know,  Si Bolang has been one of TV series knows as 'provocator' not only for kids but also adults to explore each inch of Indonesia's beauty. Even 'ngebolang' has been a slang (phrase) for traveling + adventuring.

"Yes!" he answered proudly. "The shooting was taken last year but I forgot on which month. If you want to see the video, my teacher has it." Then he ran into his room. Once he was back, he brought his Bolang uniform and showed that t-shirt to us.  He said that through hom-pim-pah, cap, slayer and the bag had been distributed to another kids who were also filmed for that episode.

"How come you became The Bolang?" I asked.

"They (the film crew) gathered all the kids in one class. They interviewed us about our daily activities. And in the end they ventured us to dance in front of the others. I stood up, came up front, and danced. So they chose me because I was the fussiest and bravest one," he answered with proud smile on his face. I became proud of him too and felt lucky for having chance to get to know him.


Once I arrive in Jakarta, I searched on YouTube and found this video capturing Rafly as the Bolang at Papan Island. Enjoy the video :)

1 comment:

George Sedlacek said...

The difference couldn't have been greater. A fancy resort of Sera Beach Cottages, staying in a brand new chalet with all amenities, catered for by experienced staff on one side - and on the other sharing a humble dwelling on Papan Island that stood on rough planks supported by wooden poles directly over the sea water. With the friendly, welcoming and generous family literally vacating their best room for us (where furnishings were sparse and certainly not brand new).

Yet, if I should choose I'd say I felt better in the latter accommodation. Never a seeker of "luxuries" and five-star hotel services - or food - I've always felt half out of place being there, half embarrassed to enjoy it. And although Sera Beach was certainly no five-star - and a nice beach is simply a nice beach - something about being (over)privileged that not even the heart-felt efforts and friendliness of ever-smiling Pak Nuir could balance out... While amidst unpretentious hospitality of the Papan family, served both smiles and simple, but always tasty and well prepared meals, I found something more important and having much more lasting effect on me: I felt at home.