Delft, Vermeer, Coffee, Friend, I and Our Dreams
I am a dreamer. You can call me that way. I dream a lot. I dream to live as stories I’ve seen in the movie. I dream to live in fairy tales as written in Bobo, my favorite magazine that my Dad always bought me when I was a kid. And I dream through the stories told by my late Dad about far away countries from the books he borrowed from British library in our town. It was a dream to bring me to Netherlands to see windmills with my own eyes which sound impossible happened couple of years ago. And it was also dream to bring Aulia, old friend of mine currently living in Netherlands, to the country that he always dream to live in since long time.
Travel and coffee is good combination. Travel, coffee and good friend to meet is perfect. Once he knew that I’m going to visit Netherlands, Aulia offered me to stay at his flat immediately.
“C’mon. You can stay at mine. My room is big enough for both of us,”
Yet, considering that most of attractions that I wanted to visit located in Amsterdam, I couldn’t accept Aulia’s invitation to stay at his place. Going and returning to Delft would consume so much times. Moreover, I merely had four full days for my whole visit in Netherlands. However, I didn’t want to miss chances to meet my old friend, especially we had not met for more than five years. So, I wrote back to Aulia,
“Don’t worry. I will spare one full day to visit you. That day would be about Delft, Vermeer, Coffee, You, I and our dreams which are no longer dreams,”
I took the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Rotterdam and stopped in Delft that cost me 12 Euro for one way ticket. The journey itself took one hour from Amsterdam, and the view was lovely, so I had no reason to sleep during the trip. Delft’s train station looks older than Amsterdam Centraal. Aulia came few minutes after my arrival, gave a big hugs, laughed and the same time we scream “FINALLY”
“Hey Aul. First of all, I’m hungry. I need you to take me to Indonesian restaurant around here,” I asked once we stepped out from the station.
“Why should we go there?” Aulia asked me back. “I prepared and cooked special Indonesian food for you. Let’s go to my flat to eat and after I’ll take you around” We had perfect Indonesian food for our lunch. I ate like a hell.
Delft is not as big as Amsterdam. But, it’s not less interesting than the capital itself. There are many international travelers gave their times to visit this little town, and I could say it’s worth it. Aulia lived in a flat in the centrum (city center), enabling us to walk around easily to see the beauty of the city. In this centrum, City Hall and New Church or also more known as Nieuwe Kerk are there. Beside a place to worship, this church is also used to burry Royal families since the death of Willem Van Oranye, the pioneer of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Not far from Nieuwe Kerk, I could find another historical church called Oude Kerk. Its sloping shape architecture makes this church looks special and become another landmark of Delft.
Delft is also famous with its canals. In the winter, these canals would be full of snow where people played ice skating on it. Since I was so curious with the windmill, Aulia took me to the only windmill left in Delft. Delft is also hometown for Johannes Vermeer, one of the famous Dutch painters. I wish I could find his famous painting ‘the Girl with the Pearl Ear Rings’ at one of his gallery in Delft. Apparently that painting is displayed on one of museum in Den Haag.
Dutch loves cheese. In addition, Delft is also well known with its Royal Delft Blue Factory, a pottery factory from the 17th century. I bought one windmill miniature as a gift for myself.
To end the day, Aulia took me to a coffee house, Eetcafe de Ruif, where we spent three hours to talk. Of course, five years was not a short time, we had many stories to tell in between. We chose this coffee house due to its location by the canal, to remember one of coffee house we used to visit after works in Banda Aceh. Long time ago, when I was living in Banda Aceh, after a hard long working days, I used to come to one of coffee shops, called Chek Yuke, by the river, where I met Aulia for the first time. We used to spend hours to talk about our life, our dreams, our future plans and our purposes in life. In that coffee house as well we kept saying that one day, we’ll meet again, somewhere, and our dream is no longer a dream. So, here we are. Finally, after five years, we were reunited again, somewhere in Delft.