The Hague

B.E.A.C.H – Best Escape Anyone Can Have – Anonymous

This is a bit funny, but i just realised that i published unfinished writing today, due to scheduled post setting. I was a bit busy in past one week and today is the first day i have time to check my blog again. The story of The Hague is the story of unexpected friendship. I want to focus on a good friend [once a stranger of course!] i have here.

I met her on 2014 in Ubud, Bali. More precisely in Ubud Writer and Reader Festival. We got to know each other when we both volunteered as MC in that event. We were not close at first, but then on 2015 we met again in the same event. And on 2016, in this trip, i did a simple detour to The Hague because i wanted to meet her. I was curious on her story.  This detour was unplanned because i found out about this only when i have arrived in Europe, somewhere in Italy.

What was her story? 

[2014] First time knowing her, i thought that she was very cool. A beautiful, tall, and young Balinese girl with confidence. Half Indonesian, half German. She already worked in media and also as a model. The way she presented herself while MC-ing was elegant. I was nothing compare to her in MC-ing.

[2015] Second time knowing her, i found that she was very friendly. We met once a year before, but it felt like yesterday. There was a simple connection between us; not strong but not weak. Just simply a natural one. I could feel at that time she was in the middle of crossroad: Indonesia or Germany?

[2016] This time, i heard she had moved to The Netherlands. But that was all i know. I contacted her in Facebook (it is still very useful), and she invited me for dinner in her boyfriend’s place in The Hague. It was a bit nervous experience. Yes, i was curious but i didn’t know things about her. We were not close friends, rarely contacted each other, and i didn’t want to be seen as an outsider suddenly showed up and asked a lot of private questions. No matter how curious i am as a person, i respect people’s personal boundary.

But.. it was all my fear.  I met her boyfriend first when he just arrived home from work. He smiled warmly and asked if i was the one they was waiting for. Then she opened the door and hugged me tight. She invited me in and served an Indonesian dishes, the famous nasi goreng with sambal badjak.

When i met her, we just chatted a lot like old friends. She moved to The Hague to pursue her career as a model in bigger arena. She worked hard with exercises because measurement really matters in modelling world. She went to one casting to another casting around Europe. And by this time, she was contracted by a cool model agency.

Hearing her story, i was amazed. Her age was young but she was thinking more mature than her age. She worked one job to another to support herself before one day she could become financially secured with her modelling career. She refused to stay in her boyfriend’s place because she wanted to be independent by her own, even though it was an easier option for her financially. People called me courageous when i was doing this solo traveling, but i would like to call her brave for deciding for herself to move to a foreign country in her age. With all the efforts she was doing.

At that time, i felt embarrassed with myself. I kept thinking that “I am such in a crossroad and i need time and perspectives to decide. Am i? Or am i afraid? Afraid to start from zero again. Losing all the prestige i have accumulated in the past years, working in such international company with financial comfort. Losing the respect i have gained from the environment i have built. Or having too much pride to start over with ‘lower level’ part time job.”

Then i thought, “if she could do it, why can’t i?”

I ended up staying the night in there because we planned to walk on Scheveningen Beach – the longest and most popular beach in coast of Netherlands – on the next morning. Accompanied by the wind of the sea, we continued our conversation. She then shared more detailed story about her and her family.

Her mom passed away a few years back and it hit her hard. She was not closed with her father. I thought, thats why she was so matured in her age. Only adversities can shape someone’s character. Her decision was not easy too. Lots of things to prepare. And to explain it to her family and friends was tough. But there was one thing she was surprised about. When she told her Uncle – someone usually very traditional – he said, “Thats good. Bali is too small for you.”

For her, it was a means of support from him. An approval. A blessing.

To have that in her hardest decision meant a lot for her. I could see and feel it. No matter how strong you are as a person, you need support, especially from someone matter the most.

And no matter how tough someone looks, everyone has their own insecurities. I learnt this too with her. When we heard someone did something courageous, we assumed that they must know that they were doing. We adored them for their braveness because of the road less taken. And we felt jealous because of that.

But the truth was all of us still figuring out our own way. She shared me her vulnerabilities. The fear of losing interest in new things. The fear of become dependent to someone else when being independent was always the way. The dark side of modelling world. The negative thoughts. The doubt. And i really really appreciate that.

By midday, we have to say goodbye again. She need to work and i need to go back to Rotterdam, to meet another great friend. We took a wefie (we – selfie) and hugged each other. Then, she said, “We keep seeing each other every year. So, instead of goodbye, should we say, see you next year?”

I laughed and replied jokingly, “Yeah. It makes sense. Why not? See you next year!”

and fast forward one year later. Indeed, i met her again. But, it need to wait for another post. I hope you enjoy this one and i see you in two weeks!



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