I’ve been living in Europe for a while, but the idea to travel around European countries as much as possible while I’m here is no longer that appealing. It weakens as you grow older, is it true? 😀 Nah, I guess it all depends on your interest. Perhaps as you grow older, you have other more valuable and meaningful interest for you to pursue. 😉
When people talk about European countries, sometimes I was surprised that I had never been to The Netherlands, remembering the fact that Indonesia was a Dutch colony for too long. Yeah, too long, I must emphasize that again. A lot of Dutch people travel to Indonesia, and many Indonesians wish to travel to The Netherlands. Well, this month I had that opportunity.
A good friend of mine from high school had her PhD defense ceremony held in Wageningen, The Netherlands. As we still had contact with each other, she asked me to pray for her that everything would be alright. I could sense the tense. Never in my wildest dream really, that I would be there to witness that defense moment. It just happened to me sometimes that I would check some tickets if some ideas crossed my mind to travel somewhere. And it was like a miracle, suddenly I got the chance to really travel there and found direct flights which cost less than my initial search. I felt that it was meant to be. 🙂
Off I went on 2-hour direct flight from Norway to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In first few days, I was lucky to stay at another friend’s in Den Haag (the Hague). We used to work in the same office in Jakarta. She is currently studying social science there. And while I was there, I had opportunity to meet my other Indonesian friend who now lives in Gouda. That was such a lovely time. You get to know people, keep in touch, and one day you meet them again in other part of the world? Yeah, that’s the world phenomenon nowadays. 😉
When on the D-day of the defense ceremony I got up later than my initial plan, I thought that oh well, I would just take it easy, would go to the station to start my trip to Wageningen when everything was ready. The most important thing was that I came to see my friend. 🙂 I tell you a bit about us. We went to the same high school, from first year, when she was new to the city. I found out that she lived in my neighbourhood, so yes, we were neighbours. Since second year we both took biology class (with the thought that I might be interested to become a doctor perhaps, or pilot? 😀 ), but we were classmates only on the last year. So, we have known each other for quite some time. 🙂
So, when I arrived at train station Ede-Wageningen about to take the bus to Wageningen, at 10 am, I was surprised. Oh my, I still can catch the defense ceremony! And yes, ladies and gentlemen. I witnessed that!
That special moment of my dear friend. When I started to count that it had been more than 20 years we knew each other, and I was very touched by what one of her promotors said about how she was and worked, that reminded me about how she didn’t change at all since our time in high school. I started sobbing. It might sound cheesy.
This is one of those once in a life time moments. I am so proud how she, since high school, has always been with biology all the way to her PhD. All the best for the future! 🙂
In the evening, she held a party celebrating that moment. And of course, for Indonesians, no party without food! 😀
Oh, that glorious moment. Those Indonesian foods made by a lady who lives in Nijmegen. And that moment when I could have 3 glasses of es cendol: Yeay! 😀 Please google es cendol if you are curious. ^^
More stories on this trip coming soon. 🙂