Scamming water

So this just happened.

I’m on the way back to the apartment after physiotherapy and lunch, with a load of groceries. I get into the lift, and one of the nice guys from the Starmart downstairs—where we get our water—is inside with a cart loaded with two Aqua water dispenser bottles, headed up to the 19th floor.

We’d ordered three bottles last night, and they’d promised us delivery at 10 a.m. today. Thing is, they’ve always been a bit spotty about delivering it when they say they will. I once spent two days without drinking water, and was reduced to buying 1.5 litre bottles of mineral water so I wouldn’t dehydrate. There was no cooking done those two days, because have you ever tried washing vegetables or rice with water from 1.5 litre bottles!?

So I’ve taken to ordering new bottles when the last full bottle goes on the dispenser, but this time I forgot till the last bottle was down to a quarter.

The lift arrives at my floor. I stick my head out the door. Three empty bottles still sit outside, in our (private) lift lobby.

“Erm. Tiga botol saya?” I say, in my crappy, anyhow-whack Bahasa Indonesia. [My three bottles?]

“Tidak ada, m’am. Kosong. Mungkin besok? Ini order kemarin.” [Don’t have, m’am. We’re out. Maybe tomorrow? These were ordered yesterday.]

“Saya order kemarin juga. Dia bilang pagi ini, jam sepuluh.” [I ordered yesterday too. He said this morning, ten o’clock.]

“Kosong, m’am.” This goes on for a couple minutes, him repeating they’re out, and that these two bottles were ordered yesterday, and me stubbornly saying that mine were also ordered yesterday, and something something about their orders for our residence stack that I don’t quite get.

“Tapi saya tidak ada air saat ini!” [But I have no water now!] Mostly true, because now we’re down to about 1/5 of the bottle, which will only last till tomorrow morning.

“Maaf bu, besok.” [Sorry m’am, tomorrow.]

In desperation, I lapse into English. “No, no. I need at least one now.”

“Already paid?”


He looks at the two bottles, thinks for a brief moment, and then pulls one bottle off the cart and offers it to me. I give him one empty.

“Yang lain besok, bisa?” [The others tomorrow?]

He nods.

“Terima kasih!!” [Thank you!]

And off he goes to deliver the remaining bottle.

TL;DR: I just ninjaed part of someone else’s water delivery. GO ME.

Tap water in Jakarta is generally not safe to drink, so like everyone else, we use a water dispenser for cooking and drinking water. [Go back to reading]


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