Friday, July 30, 2010

My First Tutup Encounter

Sometime 2006. On my first trip to Jakarta, I went down to the lobby of our office building so I could go to the bank to change my US dollars.  When I got in, I saw two tellers.  The other one had a line while the other one was free.  As I made eye contact with the teller where there was no line, I walked towards her place.  In front of her was a neatly made up sign which said "Tutup".

"Hello Tutup, "  I said.  She just gave some sort of stare. "I'd like to change my US dollars," I added.  Her face was a picture of confusion.  I repeated my purpose for going to the bank.  I don't think she spoke much English (and I don't speak much Bahasa)  because all she did was point me to the other teller.  Her face now a bit more irked. "Hhhmmm, strange," I thought to myself.

I recounted the entire story to my fiends that night during dinner.  I must have made their day because they all started giggling and laughing.  Only then did I find out that "tutup" meant "closed".  That explains her confused look.  It sounded like a name to me.  Oh well.  Now I know.

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