From 2018, with love and kindness

Of some defining moments in my 2018, this one is my fave. And of course, just like so many others, this one also features my parents. 

It was a slow long weekend afternoon at our family home. Ibu was baking, the kids (we’re forever ‘the kids’ in that house) were watching Netflix, Ayah was out for his daily walk. Around 5 pm the phone rang, Ibu answered. It sounded like she was talking to Ayah, “...aaw poor thing! ...sure, they can use some cold drink and snacks? ...yes, ok, see you soon.” 

She updated us right away, “Ayah met three lost tourists from Amsterdam nearby, they booked a house through a website but seems like they got scammed.” 

There were three of them in their early 20s, two guys and a lady, with their backpacks, looking super exhausted. Two of them landed in Jakarta that morning from Bali and the other one from Amsterdam. They took a travel car to Bandung directly from the airport, hoping to check in to the house they booked and rest before trekking around Kawah Putih the next day. Turned out the house they booked and paid was a scam, and they had nowhere to stay for the next 3 nights in Bandung. 

Ibu made them ice tea. Ayah brought out some jars of cookies and snacks. I tried to find some alternatives of hotel/home via app (every decent-affordable hotels are fully booked, it was a long weekend after all). Graz made some phone call to his Bandung-base friends to check if any if them have available space to rent. One of Graz’s friends who once spent a couple of years in the Netherland immediately said yes and came to fetch our guests, bless him and his wife. He said that they have a room with a queen bed but they maybe need an extra mattress, Ibu said he can take one of our’s. 

Before leaving, one of the men very politely say thanks to my parents, “Your husband saw us looking confused on the street, and he asked what happened. You could just continue walking, but you stopped and offered to help. First you helped us to find the address, and when it didn’t work you offered us your home. We were just visitors in here and we didn’t want to bother anyone, but to be honest we were desperate. And I can’t believe that you just took us to your home and helped us finding a place to stay, we’re practically strangers to you. I really don’t know how to thank you, we owe you big.”

Ibu, smiling in her fave Bali t-shirt, said, “You don’t owe us anything. Today it’s you who need help, and it’s us who help you. One day you will meet other people who need help and you will help them, that’s how it works. There have been countless of kind people who helped our family through our journey, and this is how we ensure that their kindness stays alive.”

Ibu and Ayah just celebrated their 38th anniversary last week, my very own #relationshipgoal since as far as I can remember. 

Happy new year, everyone. May we all be kinder, wiser, stronger.


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