It was during one evening; specifically on Easter night. Five individuals were chattering in a language I do understand but have yet to speak in. For that inadequacy I slowly drifted off, and as my brain began to wonder, I started on contemplating life.
How did I get here?
I remember going on a plane. I remember spending a mere half an hour in Dubai as a stopover before heading to Amsterdam. I remember coming out of the arrival gate, wearing a navy blue sweater and faded grey jeans, carrying the pieces of my life I can bring along in form of heavy suitcases. I remember seeing my cousin. I thought about how I haven’t seen her in years, and how in the few times she was around, I don’t think I was old enough to remember her well. We are seven years apart. She was always “the cousin that lives abroad”; in the same retrospective, I was always “the little sister who is too little to hang with”.
She was standing metres away, but I could already see her eyes tearing up as soon as she caught a glimpse of my mom and I. She must’ve missed my mom. I remember hoping earnestly that she was excited for me, for my arrival, knowing that I would be living with her for the next four years, which is simply a risk, really. I was moving. I, basically, moved out from my home of 18 years in Jakarta and moved in to my new home in Maassluis. Me and my 30 kilograms worth of a suitcase.
I remember walking through the unfamiliar roadways in my skin-coloured wedges, in which now I understand why my cousin got a little bit perplexed when she had seen those. It was fall, and it’s only logical for me to be wearing a more covering footwear. I wouldn’t know. I had no clue. I was completely unaware how different things were going to be.
Snapping back into reality, I’m sitting here, realising how big was the decision that I have made, and how different my life would be if I were to choose another path. I realised that I was trying not to think about it too much. I realised how hard I was trying to take it easy, as if it’s not a big thing to study abroad, when actually I was doing something that changed everything for me. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I know how forlorn I can be when faced with too big of a situation. I could’ve broken down several times; I could’ve cancelled everything on the last minute. It was hard, even though it didn’t seem to be, for me, to face the reality.
And for that, I feigned ignorance.