From South Africa to the Netherlands
I had, to my regret, several miscarriages, I felt very sad about this, because I love children and I had always dreamed about having a big family.
My husband Richard became more and more unfaithful and so one day when one of his many girlfriends became pregnant, we separated.
I knew that I had to work at least two more years before I could pay my journey back to Europe, but I didn’t feel like staying in South Africa.
I fount a new apartment in Hillbrow and I found a new job as I started working for FIAT, a very nice job indeed.
I made the very best of my last two years in South Africa. I became a member of a library and also of a record club where one could borrow 5 records of classical music per week. Never since my youth did I read so many books as in those two years, and I also learned a lot about classical music.
I could not travel of course, that was too dangerous all by yourself. But I had lots of time to think, I thought a lot about the most wonderful youth I had in Indonesia, about the long walks and talks I had with my father, and I thought about what to do when I was back in Holland. My mother was glad that I was coming back and I could stay with her as long as I wanted. But knowing myself, I also knew that I would leave Holland again to go somewhere else.
Every Sunday I went to a French bakery with a roof garden where one could sit and drink a cup of coffee with the most delicious croissants under a red, white and blue parasol.
Downstairs in the bakery shop he also sold French newspapers and magazines, so I always bought one of them to read under one of his French parasols on the roof garden. Well, maybe I could try to find work in France, you never know.
I started booking my journey, so the cheapest way was to go by train to Mozambique to Lorenzo Marques, today it is called Maputo. From there I had to take a French charter plane to Paris and then of course from Paris to Amsterdam.
I agreed with this journey, and got the necessary injections. When the train left the Johannesburg Central station, quite some friends waved me goodbye and so I almost felt worried, maybe I should have stayed in Johannesburg or at least I should have tried Cape Town. Too late, I was on my way to Europe.
The train travelled through the night so I tried to sleep a little and I woke up when we arrived in Mozambique where everybody spoke Portuguese, but luckily I found some coffee and something to eat before the passengers could get into the French plane.
I sat in between a Austrian lady and an Englishman, both were very nice people. We had enough to eat and to drink on board during our journey. While in the air I could see how green Africa is, so many trees so many bushes. A real shame that I had seen so little of this fascinating Continent where I had lived more than eight years.
We arrived in the evening at the airport of Paris, from where the Austrian lady and I took a bus to the centre of Paris, there we had to separate because we had booked in different hotels. I had a nice room and went straight to bed.
The next morning after my French breakfast I went to the Champs Elysées where I found a nice an cosy place to drink a cup of coffee and enjoyed the feeling of being back in France, in Europe again. South Africa had been an adventure, sometimes very painful and sometimes very happy. After my second cup of coffee I decided to have a haircut, so I started looking for a hairdressing salon. I felt an other person when I walked back to the hotel where I had my lunch. I couldn’t help it but I kept on looking in the mirrors to see how nice my hair had been cut, really stylish, so I was ready to go to Holland early in the morning the next day.
But my French hairdresser had warned me that there was a strike the next day, busses and taxi’s were all on strike the 11th of December 1964. So I asked in the hotel what I could do, they told me that there were always taxi’s driving to the airport. I decided not to worry too much so I went out for a long walk through Paris and I found a nice bistro to eat something before going to bed.
Tomorrow I shall be back in The Netherlands again.
My apartment building in Hillbrow