One Day – Nyoman Rianti

Nyoman Rianti
Under pressure from her father, Nyoman Rianti, 15, quit her job as a housemaid – one she’d had since age 12 – and started work last month selling pieces of fruit along the pavement bordering Kuta Beach. Nyoman, who lives with her parents and an older sister in the Mertasari area of Kerobokan – seven other siblings live with their grandmother in Songan, Kintamani, Central Bali, and has never attended school, shared her day with The Bali Times’ Maya Adlam.

I get up at 6am every morning, reminding myself that I need to sweep the floor of our house. After doing that, I wash all the dishes and then have a mandi (shower) and breakfast – it’s usually the same every morning: rice and fish, which my mother cooks.
I head back to bed after breakfast to rest for a bit, and I’ll sleep until about midday.
When I wake up again, I have lunch of fish, rice and vegetables and then I get ready for work. I put all the fruit in my blue basket, which I carry around on my head. I get the fruit from my father; he also sells fruit, as do my mum and sister.
My father goes to the Badung market early in the morning to buy the fruit we’re going to sell for the day – pineapples, mangos, watermelon and bananas, and we also sell corn. I’ve only been selling fruit for three days; before this I was working as a maid in a house. My father didn’t like me working there, so he pressured me to quit. I actually prefer working as a maid to selling fruit, because it’s less tiring.
I’ve never gone to school. I know that children my age are expected to go, but my family doesn’t have the money to pay for school. I’ve never really thought about wanting to go to school anyway – mainly because it’s out of reach. I’m the fifth child; I have seven brothers and sisters and none of them has gone to school either, even my smaller siblings don’t go. I just think about the here-and-now; I don’t think about anything else.
I sell fruit on the pavement in front of Kuta Beach, from the Hard Rock Hotel down to the police station across from the beach. Everything’s Rp1,000 (10 US cents). During the three days that I’ve been selling, the money I make has varied. I got up to Rp21,000 one day ($2.10) and only Rp15,000 ($1.50) another.
I get to the beach by bus and it takes about five minutes. I travel with my older sister, Wayan Tirtasari. When I’m selling fruit, I think about how many I might sell and how much money I’ll make from it. I give the money to my mother at the end of the day.
I start working at around two in the afternoon. I learned how to carry things on my head when I was 10 years old, in my village in Kintamani, and carrying this heavy basket of fruit is very tiring. I finish work at six in the evening and head back home on the bus alone.
When I arrive, I feel so exhausted that I fall asleep straight away, until about eight in the evening. Then I watch some television with my family and eat fish, rice and vegetables again.
At my house in Mertasari, I live with my father, mother and older sister. The other brothers and sisters live in my village in Kintamani and my grandmother takes care of them. There are three girls and five boys in my family. One of my older brothers is married and the rest are still single. I miss my village a lot, I was born there and most of my friends are there. I like playing yo-yo with my friends in the village, which I visit once a year.
I get ready for bed around 9pm. There’s not much on my mind because I’m too tired – just a quick thought flashes by about the chores for the next day.

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