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Bakso Belanda EINDHOVEN (THE NETHERLANDS) - Back home for a week, leaving me with lots of work at the office, at home and in Indonesia. Maybe it's just good that I'm working hard right from the day I'm home, because I'm quite sure I would be missing Indonesia like hell when I was bored to death here. It was just 6 days ago, on an early Sunday morning at six, that the Singapore Airlines plane touched down on Schiphol Airport, ending my longest trip to Indonesia.

As soon as I was home I contacted friends to inform them about my safe homecoming. Short message only as it was early in the morning and I was waiting for my luggage to be thrown on the belt by some invisible employees. I had always wondered at what time they get up, but that's another story. The waiting game begins as I already know unloading a big plane takes a while. Above all it was early in the morning and Sunday as well, how bad can I plan my return?

A sign telling you where you can eat lovely bakso.
A sign telling you where you can eat lovely bakso.
Comments that people make about slow working Indonesian people are something which I can still laugh about at this moment. The Dutch people here are not a single bit better or faster at the moment. However the distance to the plane and the belt is probably a little bit bigger, that should not mean transporting luggage should take more than 20 minutes. It does. My mind, still sleepy from the long trip, picks up memories as fresh as one day ago. Friends, people, houses, sky, plane, rain, dust, vulcano, motorbike, red light, pedestrian, trash collectors, police, bridge, grass, diesel fumes. Ooh, to much to recall all at the same time and even harder to process into something readable as well at this moment.

The train ride to my home takes about 1,5 hours. No delays. I had the first train of the day, departure time something near 6.48 AM. That's what we call early, but over the last few weeks there were days I was already having breakfast at that time. Or even 'worse', by that time I was already driving the motorbike to an unknown destination somewhere in central Indonesia. Ooh.. Early here and early there is something completely different.
It's cold, freezing cold when I step down from the train. Minus 4 degrees. A handfull of people look stressed, anxious to take their first train on that same Sunday morning. Do I want to know where they have to go? Not really. Only looking at their faces makes me remind the more relaxed times of the past five weeks. And no, to be honest the last week wasn't relaxed at all, because I had to arrange a ton of things, but I will come back to you on that later.... probably.
My big bag, almost empty, besides me and my small bag on my back. That was all I came with and all I went with. I always ask myself what people always bring home if I hear the stories about people with 20 kilograms of overweight, which they have to pay -- of course. Angry they are at the airlines because they themselves are too lazy to keep in mind that there are about 250 other passengers which would also like to bring their own stuff home again. Maybe I'm not the tourist I used to be. I don't buy much stuff anymore. I keep most of my memories in the tickets I bring home, the pictures I make, and the things I have written down as well.

'Welcome home", are the first words I hear directly aimed at me. "Yeah", I say with something almost keeping me from saying it. Time to go home for real. Less than ten minutes later I get into my trusted house. Warm, because the heating is on. Heating, I haven't even seen it for the last five weeks. I have the feeling that autumn has just started because it's so damn cold here. In fact it's the middle of winter with more cold weather to come if I had to believe the weather forecasts. I will see, I have a warm house, a warm office, good friends and many, many warm memories from the last five weeks.
Time to take a look at the pictures this week. Downloading them takes some time as I made many again, but by seeing the first few pictures again, I was shocked by the fact that I already had forgotten what I was doing there in the first week. I don't assume I have some brain malfunction (however some say I have, but that's something different), it is astonishing to see how fast images and memories are overwritten by new ones in the matter of a month. Lucky to say that I made those pictures. Most of them will never make it into my website, but still... memories like these I don't want to forget. Ever.

To come back to the title of this story, Bakso Belanda. I haven't seen it in Indonesia yet, maybe the reason is that I made it up myself this morning. I don't suppose I'm the only one who has ever thought of it, but I'm the first to publish it here. Bakso Belanda is some kind of bakso prepared the Dutch style because the lack of certain fresh ingredients and tools to prepare it the authentic way.

What do you need?
Indomie, with meatball taste
300 ml boiling hot water
1 egg
3 frozen meatballs
freshly packed vegetables from the supermarket

Prepare the Indomie; boil the water and put the noodles in a big cup. Meanwhile defrost the meatballs in microwave and prepare them so they are hot. The egg can be scrambled, rebus or just fried, pick your choice. I scrambled mine. When the egg is finished, put it with the noodles. Add the meatballs and the water if you didn't do that yet. Also add the spices that go with the Indomie. After a few minutes your meal is ready to be served, but don't forget to add kecap and sambal to taste.
I know it's probably by far the best you have had when you were in Indonesia, but well.. what to do when there is a certain desire telling you to eat something nice to keep the memories alive? At least I spend some time in the kitchen too!

Posted in Culture @ 22 January 2005 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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