Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?
I stumbled upon inspiring people (for me) quiet a lot, I met some of them shortly in plane, train, mosque and social media. I used to be a warm person who smile first and always curious about one person story, but growing old (I am twenty and I feel old!) make me lose the ability to encounter stranger. Maybe, it’s also because I am in Europe now, I become super careful to just mind my own business and not being snoopy to others, I am afraid I will offense or scare someone if I ask too many question at the first encounter. I even can’t dig my brother and sister’s in law stories yet! Now I feel like, building a connection between each individual must be done smoothly to avoid breaking privacy. As warm as I can be is greeting everyone that I see with my full teeth smile.
There were various stories that I have ever heard from people that I met, a street child who suffer for food, a teacher in the isolated area, world travelers. They are all have great stories, that I would like to hear more from them but never had a chance to keep the relationship, since I am bad in keeping things. This year, before I fly to Germany and before I met a crazy old man in the train, I met some travelers in hostel in Jakarta. And Ben is the one that I can’t forget, even though Jerome pack body also hard to forget.
This is the story about Ben, about my longest encounter to an Englishman. A night before my flight to Germany, I searched for a dvd to play in the hostel lounge when he tells me that his friend and him were already watching something else. I replied him with a short okay and going back to the sofa and decided to watch with them. It turned out that they are watching The Interview, an awkward movie to watch together with strangers in same sofa. Other than occupying the Sofa, they also made the table full with their stuffs and their big bottles of Bintang. I never drink for twenty years of my life, so the smell of those two bottles already make me dizzy, but being in the lounge was so much better than trapped in my capsule again after hours. I knew Jerome first before I know Ben, our capsules are in the same room, we met before. When Jerome was going down for another beer, that’s the time when Ben and I know each other’s name. Directly after I know that he is from Manchester, I showed my admiration to his accent. That night was a very short introduction, they got tipsy and sleepy and I went upstairs to write in the kitchen since I didn’t like the film that Jerome chose (it was Bridesmaid!).
I wake up late because I was too nervous to have my long flight in the same night. After cleaned my capsule and took out my stuffs from the room, I stay in the kitchen because I am in the mood to write, till Ben came looking for Jerome. Being polite Englishman, Ben doesn’t want to wake Jerome up to go out with him, so we chatted a little. He again asked about the book that I read, after last night I showed him german version of Donald Duck. I asked about his book too, he said it was a very sad book about Marijuana and India, I can’t remember much about the detail since he continue to explain that he study literature, English literature. At that time, I can feel my heart exploded, it felt like I won a jackpot, to meet an Englishman that study English literature is something for me. I was so excited for his dream to be literary agent (or editor or someone in publisher company), I told him about what I write and somehow we end up reading each other’s poetry. It was kinda embarrassing tho, I feel like my poetry was so bad, I wrote them without thinking, without styling, without finding out the right diction what so ever. But his is so beautiful, I guess it’s just him being an honest Englishman in his poetry. I ask him to read his poetry aloud, because spoken poetry often better than the silent one. And when else I could find an Englishman reading poetry for me? Even in Bali, when I did my slam, there were not British people! The great thing is with his firm Manchaster accent he read my poetry! I stuck in awe at that moment, a voice really can make my poetry better.
Okay, i am still in awe remembering that moment, i feel like i have to make pause so i can give justice to describe Ben and his celadonic eyes, his free old soul that trapped in twentysomething body, his bookish brain that read ten books a week. I need to write 150 pages for him i guess. Meeting Ben gives me energy to read more, write better and travel more in my young life. There is little part of me that is not just admire him but also envy him and those are what i need to be my booster to achieve my dream as a published writer.
He gave me list of recommended books that i should read and i already crossed two of the list. I haven’t contact him since our meeting, he is now still travelling in Thailand according his facebook account. Should i contact him? I feel like i want to be his friend, you know. But how to start it? Is trying to be friend even exist?
Do you have someone like Ben in your life, guys?