My Muse · The Netherlands

Tot Ziens, Den Haag

Dear world,

I’m recalling my past one year in Holland. It all started with my HSP eligibility pass. Back then, I was overwhelmed by euphoria that my application passed the assessment, meaning that I had not to be afraid of my financial support during my study in Holland. I need not tell you the amount of my allowance. I just say that I was never in financial crisis during this one year study. Thanks to Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap that has granted me such precious opportunity. Winning a prestigious scholarship is good for building my portfolio. Also, I met Huygens Talent Circle people, who are talented people from all over the world.


My one year study programme did not only polish my talent in education, but also sharpen my survival ability. Owing to the hard competition at work and school, not only did I manage to overcome this challenge but also did I learn to work together with people and recognise their traits. The plus things I got here were the multicultural or multinational environment where I found it highly valuable as I couldn’t find the similar in Indonesia. I get used to communicate in western way of thinking while still maintaining my native mind. As an expat from other hemisphere, I am in between. I cannot be Dutch, yet I am no longer as native as Indonesian. I still respect the culture I live in anywhere, but I can’t keep my mouth from bluntness :p . Well, enough about my personality change.

I met fellow students from Indonesia. However, I couldn’t get along with them. I have different opinion on having fun. I don’t like going out at night or attending events full of crowd, like musical concert or football match. At night, I prefer to stay at home. I might mingle as much as I can as well.

I also met fellow students/workers from Indonesia whom I met at church. For some reasons I don’t really understand, I could feel comfortable with them, in being me. Well, that’s social life. People will tend to stick together in a group consisted of people alike.

In The Netherlands, I also learned to deal with Dutch people. I like their punctuality culture, while in my country, I have to admit that most Indonesian (of course not all of us) are rarely punctual. I was also amazed by the well-organized public transport system. The Netherlands has special bicycle track. I didn’t find separate bicycle track alike in other countries. Yes, there were some public transport strikes at which I didn’t have any option other than to walk from home to the central station. But for regular basis, their transport system was sumptuous compared to Indonesian roads which for me they’re atrocious, just like a battle field among buses, metromini, cars, and motorcyclists. Pedestrian and bikers? Well, hold up…

Ok, The Netherlands belongs to the high living cost countries list. But I had scholarship at hand, so it was not a big deal for me. All I needed to do was to keep my eye from window shopping and leave my bank card at home to avoid shopping spree.

I also had an old lady I called Oma (grandma) here in Den Haag. She’s very kind, nice, and patient. She lives alone so I often paid a visit to cherish her and to go to church together. She was the only person I considered as family member attending my graduation ceremony. My utmost was to keep in touch with her after being back in Indonesia.

Tonight, having recalled my past one year, I re-read my diary. It is full of train tickets, movie theatre tickets, or even piece of cut of interesting things I found during my stay here. Having cleaned my quarter, packed my stuffs, removed all garbages and clothes overloading my trunk, I took a rest, looked at the tower of Grote Kerk which is visible from my window. I looked at it for the last time at night, mused at its alluring light and clock hands. I said a prayer that my trip to Nieuwerkerk these last days will be fine and my flight to Indonesia will be protected.

Thank you for everything, Den Haag. Someday, on the day we never expected before, perhaps I can visit you once again. We never know what life or fate may bring us to, but if the day comes when I can see your beautiful city, I will be coming as an expert of my field, no longer as a student ^_^. By that time, I will have been successfully managed my life, I believe that.

The lights at the clock hands glow tonight, emitting a peaceful and tranquil feeling. Tot ziens, Den Haag. Bedankt voor alles.






P.S.: special thanks to Oma Antonetta Luntungan, my beloved sisters in Den Haag: Stephanie, Santi, Henny Wu, Tekim alumni whom I met during my stay: Mr. Hadiyanto, Mrs. Yovita Rahardjo, Mrs. Silviana, Ms. Heny Kusumawardani, Surinaamse familie: Oom en Tante Tasmin Doelsaman, Existente 2010/2011, KKI Den Haag, PPI Den Haag, docenten van Haagse Hogeschool. Ik bid voor jouw allemaal.


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