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We married just one a week after we met physically

What you are reading now is the true example of the love that started by the Internet. It has been five years that our history began with our first e-mail. Jérôme lived in Andressy (west suburb of Paris) and I lived in my country Indonesia, Bandung to be exact. It's a little bit of mystery how Jérôme was able to find my e-mail address, that was my work e-mail. Jérôme does not remember it! The only possibility is that he had seen my ad for a pen pal in an international pen pal site (it does not exist anymore today). It was the only pen pal site which I had registered myself at that time. Another possibility is that he saw me discussing in the newsgroup.

Since the first e-mail, something strange was built up! It was a weird sensation to read Jérôme's email, I have never felt this way when I read other's e-mail. Before going to the office, Jérôme printed my e-mails and read it in the subway. And me, I came to the office earlier to be able to read his e-mails and I went home late to reply his e-mails. It was delirious! With Jerome, I could write (talk) about anything, from what I ate that day, to the political situation of my country :-). I sent him a small souvenir, and he did the same thing. His pictures were already hanging on the wall of my bedroom :-). He told me that he had scanned my picture and used it as the background of his Windows starting page : -). Up till this moment, both of us weren't dare enough to say "Je t'aime" (I love you).

Our story unfolded more and more! Jérôme invited me to come to France in February 1996. I was not able to come because the new position of which I had dreamed for a long time occupied me. It had been a long time that I dreamed to be a graphic designer. A month after I succeeded having this position, but with an engagement of no marriage for the first two years after I sign the contract. This situations pushed us to seriously think of our relationship, and after the long discussions, tons of e-mails and phone calls, we made a decision to arrange a visa which allowed me to come in France for one year, and marry Jérôme during that year. We thought this was a good decision, because with this visa we could anticipate all the bad surprise, and annul the marriage if we wanted to.

Three months on the new position, I had the obligation to sign the contract, but of course with the engagement to do not marry during the first two years. It was in a terrible situation for me to choose between a certain career for my future, and the love for Jérôme. Finally I chose not to sign that contract and continue the procedure of the visa for the marriage in France. That choice had overturned my family, as well as my friends. No one could understand my choice and our love. No one could understand how I was able to leave my work and be unemployed for a man that I never had seen before, especially with the unemployment rate very high in my country!

The procedure for the visa is very long and tiring. We had to prepare and fill a lot of papers, medical check up, and also some terrible interviewing to prove that our marriage would not be a white wedding. That was a little normal, because we never had seen ourselves physically. That gave a doubt to French authorities in Indonesia. The waiting time is the most difficult one to bear. Our love had become bigger and deeper during this difficult situation. It was already August, and still no news of the visa. Jérôme decided to come in Indonesia to resolve the visa problem furthermore near... and especially to see his future spouse that he had never seen before! He came on July 15th 1996 for the first time. That gave a surprising reaction from the parents of Jérôme as well as of his friends. They have all said, "He is crazy!" Cyril, his friend who took him to Charles De Gaulle airport could not believe his decision until Jérôme was really leaving his car with his luggage!

The day when we met at the airport of Jakarta, was the moment that was very emotional for us. We kissed and cried. Of course it is strange for you, because we were only two foreigners. My brother Tony who took me to the airport could not believe his eyes to see me crying and kissing a stranger and it's a white man too! No one would understand how happy we were. We were so close to each other, we felt like we had already lived together in the other life. Jérôme asked me to marry him in the train, which took us to Bandung. He offered me a pretty small necklace, which I still wear it today. The conductor couldn't pick a better timing when Jérôme put this necklace on me, and Jérôme asked him to wait! : -).

We got married in Bandung (August 23rd) because my mother asked us. My mom was worried for my future and she was not really sure about all of this, eventhough she was very welcome, and friendly to Jérôme. We married just one week after we met physically! It was a small family wedding ceremony at my house which we did not declare to Indonesian government. It was a madness that made us really happy! Can you imagine the reaction of Jérôme's parents when he called them on the phone to announce this unforeseen marriage! Fortunately they are really likable and have very big heart for the happiness of their son. I am lucky to have parents in law like them!

We spent the rest of the vacation to try to resolve the visa, and found a time for taking a walk in Bandung. The time passed so fast... way too fast! My visa was not ready yet when Jérôme had to return to France. Again, we were passing through the difficult moment at the airport to separate, after only three weeks of marriage. We were so sad, cause we were not so sure whether they would issue me a visa or not. Jerome decided if the visa was not ready by the end of that year, he would move to Indonesia and try to find job here.

Jerome, Aneke and Sarah - a happy familyMy visa was finally issued at the end of September. It permitted me to come in France to reunite with my "husband", but the suspense was not over. It was the first time that I left my country, and I did not know that there was a supplementary tax (not an airport tax) of 250.000 rupiah. I did not bring enough cash because I gave all my money to my family who brought me to the airport. Unfortunately they already had left the airport when I realized that I needed this money! I was not able to go that day, and I had to take the next airplane 3 days after. That was stupid, and I was angry to myself for not knowing about that fiscal before! Maybe Indonesia is the only country who obliges its own people to pay the fiscal before quit the country, and it's worst, because the fiscal was increased 2 years ago 1.000.000 rupiah! It's a lot of money for Indonesian people. I tried to call Jérôme from the airport, but he was not home that evening. Later, I found out that he was at the supermarket to prepare a nice dinner and some surprises for me.

I was going 3 days later, and I finally arrived in France on the first of November 1996. That was again an unforgettable moment! I saw his sweet smile that awaited me in front of gate 23 of the CDG airport. Everything was fine once I met him. We got married in the village where Jérôme's parents lived on May 23rd 1997. Now we live in Nancy, Meurthe and Moselle, and we have 2 pretty babies. Sarah was born in Nancy, February 4th 1998 and Marc his brother one year after, February 10th, 1999. Our happiness is complete and it's all because of Internet.

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