#78 Uncle Sam van Oranje

Two weeks ago , Robin Van Persie was the only person that crossed my mind when I heard the word ‘Dutch’. But after I read about Kompetiblog 2012, the name of my lecturer when I was in university rang my bells. He is Mr. Taufiq Al Makmun, a young creative lecturer who always amazes me with his balance betterment of academic life, entrepreneurship, and traveling hobby. The fact that he studied at Utrecht University gave me an idea to interview him. I knew that Mr. Taufiq took American Study for his Master’s degree, but what ‘bothers’ me is why he chose Netherlands instead of United States.

My curiosity was answered as he explained that his reason was because he had taken American studies (AmStud) classes in the US. So he required a model of the developing AmStud outside the US. Moreover, when he read the profile of AmStud in Utrecht University : the American Cultural Influence —- he was like ‘That’s a creative way in placing the focus of AmStud outside the US which is useful for the country instead.’ I quote.

Mr. Taufiq shared that at the first time the only thing he worried about studying in Netherlands was language barrier. But it turned out, his academic life was totally fine as International program was conducted entirely in English. Even, he was impressed by his professors that were very helpful indeed. He was delighted that he could attend Noah Chomsky’s stadium generale back then, he told. He remarked that he got the opportunity since useful information was easily gained in university.

Beside the academic ease, he was awed by the technologies that Netherlands possess. He told me enthusiastically that they have two-thumbs up water systems throughout the whole country which extends below the sea level and not flooded. He proposed that northern Semarang structure, that is exactly the copy of Amsterdam, should consider the Dutch city’s blue-print which seems had been rejected to minimize their today’s problems.

From the underwater beauty of Wakatobi until sightseeing around NYC which he photographed [that makes me drolling] I feel obliged to ask him about how Netherlands fulfilled his thirst of traveling, and this is what he said:

My biggest motivation, personally, is that I love visiting new places and traveling So I decided to consider Europe after experiencing U.S. Each city has different characteristic, from cultural port of Amsterdam to modern Rotterdam, from the hilly historical Maastricht to placid Groningen. I can’t put my camera off not to miss things in every weekend journey I made. Keukenhoff -the garden of Tulip- is colourful field in the spring; thousands tourist coming each day just to witness the gorgeous garden-a creative industry and money making. Also windmill culture shows a great creativity of mankind, not only its multiple functions but also the beauty of the technology performance in shape.

Having Mr. Taufiq told his experience inspires me greatly.  It strengthens my faith that someday I will have a chance to retrace his journey. *fingercrossed*

– ditulis oleh Novia Chandra Sari


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