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Jeanette - Christmas Bells

The Bells on Christmas Day

I used to be very excited about spending Christmas in Newcastle for the first time. I thought there would be lots of friends to spend Christmas with and the Christmas decoration in Newcastle must be much more beautiful than in Indonesia, my home country. But what happened during that 25th December 2015 was beyond my expectation.

I came here alone on August 2015, I had no friends and all my families stay in Indonesia.  I planed to come early to enjoy life in Newcastle before the school started. Then I met some Indonesian friends that have been here for a year. Afterward, they showed me some beautiful places here and made me feel really grateful to be here in Newcastle.

The first day at Northumbria University was really exciting. I met lot of friends during fresher weeks. All of my friends are from all around the countries. Most of them are from France and Sweden because they took a double degree program to spend one semester in our university. This is the moment when I felt Newcastle is a new home for me.

December was coming to soon. We realized that this was the moment when we had to submit all of our assessments. We spent most of our days on December at the library. You will not believe this, but I really enjoyed my time at the library. I met all my classmates there and working for the assessments seemed to be really fun things to do.  Everyday I woke up with excitement to go to the library because I know I could meet all of my friends there.

One of my friends arranged a party before everyone was leaving. When I got the invitation, I read one comment from our friend who told us that he could not make it because he was already home. That was the moment when I realized that everyone would leave during Christmas and the double degree students would not come back to Newcastle.

That party was the best day in Newcastle for me. I met my classmates and felt really close to them. The next day I realized some of my friends was also leaving. The goodbyes were happened for the whole week. Until I got back to the library and found only four of my friends left and I knew that all of them would leave soon as well.

The day when I got left here alone was come. That was two days before Christmas. I felt terrible on that moment then I decided to go home because I have nobody here. I went to the library to print my ticket home. There was nobody that I know there. I hate that feeling then I decided to walk to quayside. That is my favorite place in Newcastle. I felt really calm and relax there.

The Christmas day was finally come. I used to go to St Mary’s Cathedral with my friends so I decided to go there for Christmas. I lived in Jesmond so it was pretty far to go there, I need around 35 minutes for walk. That morning I feel to just walk there not taking the bus or taxi because they were not operated on Christmas day. I walk maybe just 10 minutes from home then I heard this bell. I knew that must be the Bell from a church but I have never realized a church near my house, I walked following the bells and finally I found this church. And when I looked at their schedule of the mass that was perfect timing. So I decided to go inside the church by myself. That was a family mass that actually for children. I looked that everyone came there with their families and so many children in the church. Then I decided to seat on the back alone. But suddenly a family came and sits next to me. They were really nice, I saw their kid brought a Santa Claus balloon. When they seated next to me the father smiled and said “Happy Christmas”.

I enjoyed the mass there they put some Christmas songs accompanied by full band. The speech was also really funny they made a story about Christmas. They wore costumes and the story was simple and easy to understand because it was purposed for children. Finally the mass was over and the guy beside me talked to me. He asked why I was there alone and was that my first time in the church. I explained him about my friends and families situations. I was surprised because he directly introduced me to his wife and other families. They all invited me to come to their place for dinner. They prepared turkey for dinner and hope I could join them. They gave me their number and address and wished me to come to their place at the afternoon.

I met lots of new people in that church. Everyone knew that I came there because I heard the bells. They were happy to hear that and said “The bells working! It is the Christmas miracle.” I enjoyed talking to those people. Finally I was not alone during Christmas in Newcastle. Thanks for the bells! That was amazing experience and I will not forget about that. I realized that I could meet some nice people here and I will not feeling lonely.

By: Jeannette Septaviani

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