I know the title seems quite strange, but here is the story. This happened when I was at the second or maybe the third year of high school. We were chatting in between classes, or perhaps during a class that we wanted to go out fishing on Sunday at one of the beaches just outside town. Hans, my classmate and I were busy planning our trip when suddenly another classmate, Uben approached us. We told him our plan of going out fishing the coming Sunday. He was excited too. “This is great! I can bring my Pancing Barat!”, he said. Pancing Barat is his term to refer to a fishing rod we could only fancy seeing it. Both Hans and I had never seen one at that time, so we both were very impressed and excited.
“Alright, let’s meet up at 7 AM the latest across Kantor Bupati (District Head Office)”, I said. Back then, Kantor Bupati was located in the old town area. It was the place where all public transports or Bemo would pass by. From there, it would be just one ride to the beach we wanted to go fishing. We then talked to Nixon, another friend from Social Science class that Hans, Uben and I would come and pick him up. The beach was called Batu Nona beach, and Nixon’s house was just a distance walk to this beach.
Sunday came, and I got there a few minutes before 7 AM. Soon enough, Hans appeared. We both were ready and were very excited, waiting for Uben to arrive. “I wonder how it looked”, I said to Hans, while referring to the said Pancing Barat. Thirty minutes passed, there was no sign of Uben. An hour passed, and then two hours passed. The sun was high, and it was starting to warm up already. A mobile phone was still an unknown object for our civilisation at that time, or at least in Kupang. There was no way we could contact him. We then realised that Uben might have pulled a prank on us. We left for Oesapa to meet Nixon at his house. He was already waiting and asked, “where is Uben and his Pancing Barat?”.
We brought some nylon rods and hooks and walked to the beach. It was a stunning sandy beach at that time. I didn’t remember what baits we used, but we only caught a couple of small fish. The beach was too alluring that we ended up swimming as it was really getting hot.
The next Monday, we met Uben who came to us with a big grin on his face. “I can’t believe you guys actually believe that I have a Pancing Barat!”. I never went fishing anymore after that, but I would always remember my dear old friend Uben with his Pancing Barat.