My 500-Rupiah Friendship

A friend recently mentioned about buying a friendship - in a very bad sense and narrow perspective, it might mean bribing someone to be our friend (?)

If it is possible to buy a friendship, then how much does a friendship cost?

The thought really stroke me…

A decade ago, I did find a friendship with only 500-rupiah.
A little brass low-valued change became a gimmick of amity.

It was midday on a very sunny day …
I had just finished my class in Campus E and had to go to Campus D, back to my lab.
I check my purse and found that the only money I had was a 50000-rupiah bill.
Great… I did not have any change for paying the public-transportation (pub-trans) to Campus D.
I was thinking on paying the transportation with the bill…
OK, it would be the worst…
The driver would get mad and shout rudely at me… “Hey, Lady… Are you out of mind… paying me with such bill? Hey…! IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY, JUST SAY SO!”
OK, I could handle the consequences…

I crossed the street
Then, I saw a tall-beautiful-young man standing at the shadowy spot. Aji…!

“Are you going to Campus D? Are you waiting for the pub-trans?”

He nodded, “Yes!” Positive answers to both of my questions.

Great… I got an idea.
The solution of my problem finally found…

“I have to go there too… but… Ji, could you please pay for my pub-trans? I do not have any change”

Aji seemed shocked by my frankness, yet as a truly-polite-and-kind-Java

nese gentleman, he nodded once more and answered

“OK, Kak!”

“Actually, I do have some money… 50000 rupiah, Ji… but it will be too impractical to pay the transportation with it, won’t it?”

Good argument…. Hmmmm

“OK!” Aji smiled and agreed.

“I’ll pay you back!” I convinced him.

“It’s only 500 rupiah! Don’t worry! I’ll pay for you!”

The pub-trans stopped and we got in…

Since then, Aji becomes my 500-rupiah friend. He always there to offer me a 500-rupiah coin.
Whenever we meet, almost always he greets me with…

“Kak, still need a 500 rupiah change?”

Or jokingly he will tease with phrases sounds like…

“Have you ever considered the value of that 500-rupiah now, Kak?

(Due to the inflation, currency devaluation, the increase of the fuel price.. and so and so… now the pub-trans from E to D costs 2000 rupiah; Not to mention calculating the present value of the change under the term of the multi-period interest rate)

Then, surely we will laugh together…

If a friendship can be bought, what does it price?

500 Rupiah? 500 millions Rupiah???

As I experienced, the 500-rupiah change could extremely overvalue its nominal.

It symbolizes a kindness to help a friend, sincerity to understand weirdness, respect to accept differences, genuineness to admit faults, dignity to change (or to turn back again) to the good values (we used to share).

I learned all from a 500 rupiah change given by Aji…

Thanks to Aji Sukarno and of course to Erny Pratiwi (from whom I got permission to publicly note this story)

One Response to “My 500-Rupiah Friendship”

  1. women issue Says:

    lol..really funny…friendship is priceless :D

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