So, today’s topic on Writing 101 is about taking a map as the muse. I instantly remember a place where I have worked, learned and lived for a few months, and I had to take longest journey ever to arrive on my working site.
I make a living as translator & interpreter, and I worked for a mining company once.The site is located in a different province to where I live. FYI, I live in Java Island and the mining site is located in North Sumatera. I had to change two flights; one with the big common commercial plane and the other one with the small planes. You must know, that it can take 2 hours from my house to the airport alone. And the first flight, which is from Jakarta-Medan takes 2-2,5 hours. I usually waited at the Medan airport for 1-1,5 hours before continuing the travel with the small plane for another one hour flight. It was creepy, at first. I remember that we were flying in the clouds and the plane was swinging side to side, and all of the sudden when the cloud was clear I could see a cliff in front of us. But the pilots must have known the terrain, because they quickly changed course as if they already calculated that. It was on of the scariest moments in my life, but somehow I’m glad that I experienced it–otherwise I won’t have story to tell.
After approximately seven hours since I left the house, the travel continues. Upon arrival on the smallest airport I have ever went to visit, we were picked up by company’s small busses. The whole team were waiting for all of the roster employees and they greeted me with warmth. So we continue the journey for another 1 hour to the mining site. It wasn’t bad, given the fact that my fellow mining company employees at a different site experience even longer journey on car…with worse terrain. The terrain wasn’t that bad; we passed this place that somewhat reminds me of the Grand Canyon in the US, only this one is way smaller, and there are small huts along the way. I wondered what that was so I asked one of the employees. It turns out a dating place for the local youth!! I thought to myself, how do they exactly enjoy it with many couples surrounding them and huge barren cliffs in front of them? Well, the answer soon reveal itself: they live far away from the big town, their region is literary far behind the regions I’ve ever been. Thus, this vast desert-like is literally the only entertainment they have apart from their home. Most of the locals earn their living as rubber farmers. The rubber plant has horribly terrible smell and even a slight odour that went through the bus’s AC freon vastly spread through entire bus. I got sick immediately.
Finally, we arrived. It was so..industrial. I can’t find the word to describe it. It was dusty, no permanent buildings, heavy equipments are scattered. Nonetheless, I really liked it there. It was an enriching life experience, and I really value my friendship with my fellow employees.
I used to hate working for mining company because I thought what they do is destroying the nature. After I worked there, I realized that we need all the materials in our daily life, and the one thing that is destroying the nature is my corrupt country. On top of that I respect all the workers. Think about how they risk their lives; even just to get there they took risks–flying might be the safest transportation mode, but it has fatal risk as well. Not to mention being away from family for a long time, working in a hazardous site, etc. Too many risks.