TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – “Everyone needs a second chance,” Rado said. He has captured my attention. He seems so mature, so wise. The way he talks about his exgirlfriend who cheated on him is different, not judging, but understanding. Or is it simply detached? I’m wondering, where is that coming from?
Travelling the beautiful Bali, Rado is first only a random encounter along the way. My friend and I met him on our search for a hostel in Ubud. Soon we sit with him philosophising about life, traveling and love till late at night. Rado is a true story-teller. And a man with a life full of fascinating stories. The way he talks shows that he is used to have an audience hanging at his lips. His authenticity is capturing. It seems that he talks straight from his heart as an experienced and accomplished man.
Rado’s full name is Satria Adam Putra Andalas. He was born in Medan, but raised by the streets of Jakarta. Rado is only a year older than myself, but it feels like 10. He was a rebel, a gangster. He ran from his family and choose to life on the streets of Jakarta, making his living as a robber and drug-dealer.
Avoiding details he just keeps dropping hints in our conversation, how bad-ass he used to be. When you ask for his name in Jakarta’s worst corners, you would find much respect and quite a different Rado, he tells us. I don’t dare to confirm his claims, but start wondering how he changed so much.
In front of us is sitting a genuinely kind and friendly Indonesian. His left arm is covered in tattooes picturing an aggressive wolf and his zodiac sign in big letters. His muscle shirt and bermuda shorts are worn out and have not seen a washing machine for a little while. Rado managed successfully manager a couple of hostels. His appearance has more similarities with an Australian beach boy than a gangster, but his stories speak another language. Rado is a men of contrasts. It almost feels like he lived two different lives, yet woven together into one man.
I cannot hold back anymore and my question blurts out: what happened? How did you change so much? Rado simply says, I got a second chance. He was about to rob a man, when he got offered food, money and even a place to sleep instead, he recalls. That made him realize that he had made a choice, the choice to be a gangster, a drug dealer and robber. And now life was asking him again to choose: how do you want to live? Rado chose to run from Jakarta, run from his old life. He choose Gili Trawangan to start over. Arriving there with only a dollar in his pocket, he built up his life again, his second life it seems.
Today, Rado is a business partner of a new hostel. He currently builds up the hostel 7 skies in Ubud. However, success and money does not seem to blind him. When his business partner offered him to start a new hostel, Rado asked for a 30 percent share of the profit. His partner told him, that it is too much. Rado replied that he shares the profit with his core team and that he wants to give a third to a local orphanage because of his own troubled years. There he is again, a humble man with a kind heart and wise words on his lips.
Rado deeply believes that people can only change when you give them a second chance. And his story witness that he puts deeds to his belief: he gives his exgirlfriend a second chance when she slept with another man. However, she cannot forgive herself, so she breaks up. Our conversation drifts off and in my head a questions remains: why do we struggle so much to forgive? What does it make to hard to give people a second chance, to give ourselves a second chance?
Marvin Urban (Student of Communications, Binus International University)
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