“Hi, these are some lovely bracelets. Which one would you recommend?” I asked.
The shop owner pointed to a woven blue and white bracelet on the top shelf.
“That’s adorable, how much would that be?”
She gestured the number ‘4’ for 4,000 Rupiah.
“Sorry, this is all I have,” I handed a 20,000 note.
The woman took the note and went to the back of her store. I caught a glimpse through the unhinged doors. There were 5, maybe 6 children, playing on the wooden floor. They had found an apple from the tree outside and were playing a game to see who gets the first bite. The little one was at a disadvantage, but she had one of her older siblings rallying on her side. I could see a few sheets scattered on the floor, a tiny bathroom in the corner and a little pot used to cook rice.
The woman came back out and handed me the change.
“No, you keep it.” I thanked the woman and took the neatly-wrapped bracelet.
She gestured at me to take the money.
I shook my head and politely said, “It is not much. Please use the money to buy another apple for the little one.”
The woman was filled with happiness and wept.
“Make sure you tell the little one to share with her siblings!”