Two Rupiah Notes

One Hundred Thousand Rupiah Note

On a beautiful morning, two Indonesian rupiah notes were printed. One was a hundred thousand rupiah note, and the other one was a thousand rupiah one.

One Thousand Rupiah Note

The day they were issued was a day of joy. Although it was only worth a cup of coffee, the one thousand rupiah note did not reveal any signs of jealousy. On the other hand, the one hundred thousand rupiah note remained humble, despite its higher financial values. The two notes walked hand in hand, laughing elatedly with thousand other notes as they were being distributed to various financial institutions in Indonesia.

Six months later the two notes were reunited in a wallet of a young man. Gazing at the old, shoddy one thousand rupiah note, the one hundred thousand rupiah note was flabbergasted. In angst, he asked, “It’s been only six months, why do you look so crumpled? What happened to you, brother?”

The one thousand rupiah note replied, “It’s because soon after we departed, I found myself moving from one hand to another; from a busker to a beggar; from the hands of stark-naked children to those of scroungers; from an orphanage to mosque weekly donations. I was in constant motion as people never think twice to use me for charitable purposes.” There was a glistened tear when he said this, but the one thousand rupiah note tried to be strong.

A moment later he looked at his counterpart in envy, saying, “And how come you still look fresh, still maintaining your attractive look? I mean, it’s been six months.”

The one hundred thousand rupiah note replied, “Oh, this happened because I was taken by a beautiful woman who always kept me in her fragrant and well-maintained purse. Even two months later when she handed me in to someone else, I was only circulated by and to the jet-sets. Expensive restaurants and luxurious hotels were my lovely havens.”

“Wow, you are one lucky note!” replied the one thousand rupiah note, now with jealousy engulfing his heart.

“No. I’m not as lucky as you are,” the one hundred thousand rupiah note begged to differ.

“What do you mean?”

“You were mainly used for charities, but I wasn’t. People looked at you, and they immediately saw your immense social function. But I never moved beyond my financial utility.

What they saw in you was your intrinsic value, but it was my extrinsic value that mostly interested people. Nothing else.”




On Writing this I am indebted to Mas Nur “Jay” Daud.

27 thoughts on “Two Rupiah Notes

    • ahhahaha,, you meant in Rupiah, Jon? You could also buy it in dollars once it gets translated into English.. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting, my friend! 🙂

      Subhan Zein

  1. Hey, Subhan I have just realized that you have Indonesian blood. I am an Indonesian also. .Born in Yogyakarta, 17 October 1988. Study abroad since 2002 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo :>

    • Oh, that’s why you looked exotically beautiful! I thought you were either a Pinoy or an Indo when I saw your picture but didn’t want to venture a guess. Haha. Anyway, great to see you here, my friend.:-) Siapa nama asli kamu? And you’re asking me to collaborate? yeah, for sure. I’ll send you the poems in a day or two. And would Pantun also be okay? I’m trying to introduce Pantun amidst the increasing propensity towards Haiku. If only we had a lot more people interested, Pantun vs Haiku in the future? Yeah, it should make a great deal! 🙂

  2. This is such an amazing post, i was trying to share it on my FB wall but somehow my net is being lazy for now, will try later again.
    Very nicely written and expressed
    Looking forward to read more of your posts. 🙂
    Take good care of your self

    • Hi Tya Khan.. 🙂

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! 🙂 Yes, please do so when your internet has found its dilligence and zest.. Surely we’d be happy when we could share inspirational things to others..:-)

      I’d try to find you on Facebook and add you as my friend, assuming your profile would be “Tya Khan”. Just in case I couldn’t find you, please feel free to add me. My profile is ‘Subhan Zein’. That way we could become friends! 🙂

      Thank you once again and I’m looking forward to becoming your friend. 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Kind regards,

      Subhan Zein

  3. Good story & well written! Sometimes we should see thing not only the value it has, but also the benefit of its value to the others.

    I’ll wait for another inspiring story from you, mas Subhan! 🙂

    Sorry for my bad english 😀

  4. A good story. I think I have read it somewhere, in Indonesian, but still you added valuable points here. Inspirational!

  5. Even though I have not been back to Indonesia since 1995 I still keep some of those notes as they promote happy memories of beautiful scenery and gentle people. I hope the notes I have kept have been just as active in doing good deeds as your story reveals. Well written!

Thank you

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