Ijen Crater (beauty and irony)


Its beautifully dreamy for me, the whole picture of the mountain and the lake. But once i have to face the sulfur miners, my heart couldnt bear the image. They have to carry at least 50Kg sulfur from the crater to the post on their shoulders. Each Kg worth only about 600 IDR (not even a cent usd). The sound of their creaking bamboo basket and their gasping breath went penetrate straight to my heart, choked out the spoil person out of me, and all i could do just stumble and cried. If only my language is good enough to describe how rough it is to struggle with your breath and sight to cut the sulfur rocks. the smoke stuff your lung like heavy mist that block the air in. The trek from the crater up to the summit is mostly loose rocks that every clumsy move could roll you down and break your bones, yet those miners mostly only wear flip flops. Their shoulders had turn to rock it self from carry the burden.

“i think they are happy, Sita!” was a comment from a photo-journalist friend who stayed at the miners village for 3 days, and we agreed that they are like that simply because they havent seen the world out there, where better life exist.

And sound of the creaking bamboo basket and gasping breath haunted me for weeks.



2 comments on “Ijen Crater (beauty and irony)

  1. arjun bagga says:

    Perhaps they know of the world outside, They sure do have a glimpse when us visit them. The evils of capitalism has extracted the very essence of human spirit and caged them to live in oblivion.
    I recently read about China and other countries drilling in the Arctic circle for oil and minerals.

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