My first private loan
Since it was almost my father’s birthday, I decided that I was now old enough to buy him a present, especially since I received 25 cents pocket money per week.
I went to the Chinese and Japanese quarter Petjinan looking for something my father might like. At last I found a very nice tie-pin in the Japanese shop that I knew quite well. I didn’t have enough money, only 1 Guilder ( 100 cents) but the price was 2.50.
The Japanese assistant looked at me, then told me to wait, went to see his boss, and came back with a piece of paper and a pen.
I had to write down my name and address in Malang. The assistant gave me the tie-pin in a nice little box, and so I had a present for my father.
Each Monday after school I went to the shop and paid 25 cent until the tie-pin was paid off. My dad looked surprised when I gave him my present but didn’t ask me how I paid it.
One afternoon while cycling through town I stopped in front of the mosque near the Alun-alun (square) and planned to have a look inside.
I placed my bicycle near a tree and walked barefoot inside the mosque.
But before I could have a good look inside a tall Arab came towards me, grabbed me by my hair and dragged me outside again.
The Indonesians all came to see what was happening, started to laugh, so I laughed with them, took my bike and went to my boarding house.
No need to say that I didn’t try to enter the mosque again.
Malang had a very comfortable climate. I must say “had” because the climate is changing in Indonesia, it is getting warmer these days.
The environment of Malang was very beautiful I often made a small tour by bicycle, most of the time with others but sometimes alone.
The times I was all by myself I hummed a tune because I felt so happy.
And you could find me daily in the Malang swimming pool, until it was time to go home.
But then all of a sudden Henny came to Malang. She was now almost nine years old.
This changed my life completely, I had to look after my younger sister and where ever I went, Henny had to come with me. It took me some time to get used to this new situation.
I thought it a good plan to teach Henny to swim, because she couldn’t and in my eyes this was a sin.
So I stood in the part of the pool where it was not deep at all, I taught her how to swim while I supported her. Then slowly I let her swim without holding her.
I came swimming next to her and said proudly; “Henny you can swim!”
My sister started screaming and everybody was angry with me.
The bath superintendent was furious, I had to leave the swimming pool for the rest of the afternoon.
Henny got out of the water as well, but I told her:” You can walk home, I am not taking you with me on my bike.”
I went for a long ride on my bicycle outside Malang, along the rice fields.
I started humming and I was happy again so I could go to my boarding house and do something about my homework for school.
I was no longer angry with Henny who had been very worried about me when she didn’t find me home.
Two years later Henny learnt to swim. Not from me, nor from my father but from a girl with read hair who was three years older than me. She told Henny:
”No more nonsense, as from now on you start to swim all by yourself.”
That was exactly what my sister did!
Petjinan Pasar Besar Malang
Swimming pool Malang