My parents decided that is was high time to go on holiday for two weeks. We were going for one week to Surabaya where we were going to stay with friends from my parents. Uncle Martin Kraal was an engineer in the navy. They had a big house so there was plenty of place for us to stay for one week.
The second week my parents planned to stay at Pasir Putih, a white sand beach. So now there was really something completely new for us all to look forward to.
Henny and I worked hard at school, it was almost big school holidays time. Great!
And my father kept his youngest daughter busy as well, she had to pose for a very interesting picture, together with Sir Winston Churchill on the steps of our front door.
At last the big day arrived, both my parents and Jansje came to fetch Henny and me from school, our holiday had begun…at last. We went to several shops in Malang to buy some cloths for the beach and some extra clothes for our week in Surabaya. We all had something to eat and drink at Toko Oen before we left for Sumber Sewu. Of course many children at school had told their stories about some fantastic holidays, but for me, this was my first holiday and it felt real good.
At home at Sumber Sewu, there was still a lot of packing to do, Rasmina and Pa Min promised to look after our dogs, cats, horses and the birds.
Sari, our washerwoman, went with us to help my mother a little, so we were quite crowded on the back seat of the car. But luckily my father stopped now and then so that we could walk a little, drink and eat something. But at last we arrived in Surabaya, what a big city, so much bigger than Malang and a lot hotter too. Malang had a better climate.
The family Kraal was more than happy to see us, they were a real nice family, with one son called Beertje (little Martin) he was around Henny’s age, and a older daughter, we didn’t see her often, I think that she had a job.
The next day we all went to the Zoo from Surabaya, where we spent the whole day. Like all over the world, the monkeys were the biggest attraction, but we loved all those beautiful coloured birds too.
A real attraction in Surabaya at that moment was the newest Dutch ship The Oranje lying in Tanjong Priok the harbour from Surabaya. Henny, Beertje and I went with my father and uncle Martin to visit this absolutely beautiful ship. I shall never forget all the luxury and beauty I saw, it made you wish to leave the harbour and make a boat trip. I was very impressed, not only by the Oranje and the other ships, but also by the sea.
Of course we visited several 0f the big shops in Surabaya it all looked very huge to me, and although I didn’t say it, but I was more than pleased that I lived in Malang and Sumber Sewu.
Uncle Martin and aunt An, took us to the Marine club, there was a recreation-ground for the children as well, this gave the adults the chance to sit in the shadow and talk about the war in Europe and the coming war with Japan. I could see that my parents were really very happy while we were in Surabaya. But after a week we had to leave, we were now going to Pasir Putih, one whole week more on vacation, wonderful idea. We left with lots of sweets and drinks that aunt An gave us.
There it was, that beautiful beach…and the sea, many trees around the very small houses built for guests like us. I loved it here, Pasir Putih with its fresh air, the sound of the waves coming and going, the fishing-boats, the stillness.
Sari did the shopping and my mother and Sari did the cooking together, my father kept the three of us busy by playing on the beach. When we walked too far, Jansje sat on his shoulder. He was very happy to be able to spent so much time with his three daughters, his face was one big smile. Eating our meals on the beach was also very special, tasted better than anywhere else. We ate a lot of fish.
My father, Henny and I went twice very early in the morning by fishing-boat with an Indonesian fisherman. He had a big tin, where he had taken out the bottom and that he had replaced by a square piece of transparent glass. So when you took the tin and hold it on top of the water you could see all the most beautiful coloured fishes, corals and plants. It looked like a real miracle to me, very clever indeed. During the day we collected lots of shells on the beach, some of them were pretty designed.
In the evenings my parents sat outside the tiny house and talked for hours, I heard them laughing together now and then, until I happily fell asleep.
This holiday, my first holiday, was the most happiest holiday I ever had in all my life.
Jansje and Winston Churchill
On our way to Surabaya
To Pasir Putih