Stories made by Strangers (2)

Gare de Bruxelle Central was crowded as it always be. People come and go as it never meets an end. It was me, holding a train ticket from Brussels to Antwerpen. A short trip that I spontaneously decided once I finished my final thesis presentation. It was 8 in the evening, right next to me there was another passenger whom I was mistaken recognizing as Chinese.

He is Tibetan, instead.

“I moved from Tibet, then lived in India. I worked there for almost 10 years, and then I get a scholarship from Indian government for a study program in Information System in France. Although it was quite difficult to learn France and to adjust with the new culture and environment, apparently my luck didn’t stop there. I get a recommendation to continue my study in Belgium, and therefore here I am” he said.

“Sometimes, it is hard to imagine that due to some political issues here and there, most of Tibetans unexpectedly move to India for a better job or education. In my case, it made me leave my mom and my brother of which along with its consequence that I cannot visit them frequently” he continued.

I surely admired his spirit to make a better living. The spirit of change. To keep the heads up high when a hope seems far away. To continue walking in a patience when the road gets tough. To pursue a dream when the reward might come little bit longer.

However, life always happens in a way that we could not think of.

After a long period of wondering, he finally met another Tibetan.

His first Tibetan friend in Europe.

His main reason why he had a trip to Antwerpen.

As the destination reached, we said goodbye at the Antwerpen central station. I was heading to the right, and he was then walking to the left side. It was really a pleasant time to meet him as well as to know an interesting story of Tibet. Martin Buber might be true when he says “all journeys have secret destinations of which traveler is unaware”.

However, we forgot to mention our name and I totally forgot to ask as well.

I hope that he could be one of the readers, thus I could say an apologize for my ignorance.

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