That three-way intersection won’t be seen deserted of the noise.
That pole is seen so towering into the sky with never give up red fabric even for a moment.
Incredible spirit that does not have any burden in mind.
That worry develops because there is a will to change even though only slightly.
The rush that happens on secondary roads in big city is very common for our public’s eyes. It does not have to happen on the main road only. The roads around the city are not quiet anymore of users which result in the traffic jam. The existence of Cepek Police helps the performance of the police officers in regulating the traffic along the city streets. However, many people assume that the existence of Cepek Police only holds up the speed of the travel thus adding the traffic jam. That’s a little portrait of traffic problem often happens in the big cities these days.
In Surabaya, a city with ground transportation and trade mobility that will always increase everyday, we will often see many Cepek Police hang around the city streets. That job is mainly managed by the locals, such as unemployed person and local street kid who sometimes are rude when they manage the traffic. At the T-intersection of Kutisari Street which leads to Jemursari and Rungkut Industry, there is an interesting sight and activity about performance of a Cepek Police who operates there.
In the middle of that T-intersection of Kutisari, a red fabric flutters and switches any time from one position to another. That fabric belongs to a middle-aged man who is willing to spend his days organizing the traffic at that T-intersection for user’s comfort. His name is Sutrisno, people call him Mr. Tris and he has a nickname ‘Troops’ given by people around his house because he often wakes up early and sauntering leisurely in a commando in a war game style.
Usually, we think a Cepek Police only works in a fair condition, wearing body protector or clothes only to cover body parts so they are avoided from the intensity of the sun and the road dust. Heat and dust do not become obstacles for him, on the contrary instead. With his ability and talent to make something since he was in elementary, everyday Mr. Tris works to manage traffic wearing costume or unique outfit. He has worn Roman soldier costume, ancient king’s trusted man in his time, angel of death, religious leader, athlete, angel, and so on. It was a very interesting activity for me whenever I crossed that T-intersection. Besides getting a performance and unique style which change everyday, we will know further about how exciting Mr. Tris is in organizing traffic at that T-intersection, so the street users will feel a little bit entertained by him as a Cepek Police there.
When a guest came from Jakarta, Ageung, I told her about this Mr. Tris who always wore costume when he did his job as a Cepek Police. Ageung wanted to come when I wanted to take pictures of Mr. Tris for this writing. So, we went to Kutisari Street where Mr. Tris worked. All along the trip to that place, Ageung kept asking about Mr. Tris, because she had once made an article about Cepek Police in Depok.
When we got there I immediately took pictures of Mr. Tris, while Ageung was waiting at the side of the street as she kept looking at Mr. Tris who was organizing the traffic in police uniform. With cheap accessory, he had turned a gold paper into police badge just like a high rank police officer. So busy taking pictures, I did not realize that Ageung was surrounded by local children when I looked at her again. There were 5 children, and I later knew that their names were Titin, Anas, Sherli, Bagus, and Renal. Ageung seemed more engrossed in them. I then approached Ageung because I thought I had enough pictures. Ageung immediately borrowed my camera. She then took pictures of those children. They posed in various cute manners.
Not long after that, Mr. Tris approached us and asked me to chat. He said that he intended to go home to his hometown in Banyuwangi. He asked me to call his family in Banyuwangi to let them knew about his return. Giving his family, who lived far away from him, a phone call was one of his desires. The inability to manage the information technology progress was one of his inhibiting factors in communicating with his colleagues at his hometown. He realized how important that thing was, so I always tried to connect him with his family through phone calls using my private cell phone.
Everyday he wore an eccentric costume. But for him, costume was only a bonus. His main focus was to organize the traffic. When I asked him when he would wear a shroud costume, he instantly said, “Tomorrow I will wear shroud!” Ageung and I smiled. So we intended to return to the place the next day.
Just like when there was a commemoration of the Ascension Day, he wore a European clergyman costume a la Mr. Tris of course. Sometimes the costumes matched the holidays and certain occasions, but that did not rule out the possibility of his wearing costumes based on the street users’ request.
Ageung and I fulfilled the promise. We came again the next day. From the distance, we did not see the red fabric fluttered in the middle of that T-intersection like usual. It turned out that Mr. Tris was on his only pedicab which he had bought at the price of 5000 IDR at the end of New Order era from a secondhand goods collector. He said that the pedicab had been in a good condition at that time. He used the pedicab as his mean of transportation from his house, which was about 500 meters from Kutisari T-intersection.
“Scary!” that was the first word that came out of Ageung’s mouth when she saw Mr. Tris, who wore a shroud costume. “Funny,” that word was also from Ageung when she saw balloon and New Year trumpets were hung from the back of Mr. Tris’s waist. Shroud with balloon and trumpets, between scary and funny. He lit a cigarette to accompany him organizing the traffic. Modern shroud, smoking shroud.
Just like the day before, I took pictures while Ageung chatted with the children. Those children waited for us to take pictures of them again. Everything happened just like the day before. Ageung was occupied with those children, while I was so engrossed in watching ballooned shroud organizing the traffic.
“What will you wear tomorrow, Sir?” I asked him.
“What would you want me to wear? Roman Empire?” he accepted the costume request.
“That will do, Sir.”
We certainly would come back the next day, never tired.