Walking through Malang
Agnes and I decided to stay in Malang that Friday the fourth of October.
We visited the house where she stayed during the week with her mother, three brothers and her sister. To bring all of the five children to a boarding house would have been far more expensive, that is why Agnes mother hired a house in Malang.
But just like me, during the weekends she was on the plantation where her father worked at Tretes Panggung.
We visited “my” swimming pool, where I received my two diploma’s. Oh did I love this lovely swimming pool, it was my paradise in Malang.
We asked if we could have a look inside, of course we were more than welcome. It still looked so beautiful, wish I could dive into the water again, go back to the time when I was thirteen years old. It was all very clean and well kept. The only thing that surprised me was that there were no springboards at all. I asked why they were taken away and the answer was, that they were far too dangerous.
We stayed there half an hour at the grand stand watching people swim, although there were very few people swimming in the morning. I felt happy that I had the chance to see my swimming pool back as it was before the war. Wonderful.
We walked through the Smeru street and passed a SMU high school. Before the war this was a Dutch Christian high school, during the war the Japanese military made it their Kempeitai office where they interrogated their Indonesian, Chinese, Dutch and other victims. Many men and women were tortured in this school. It was lovely to see boys and girls again back in this school, the past was washed away. Thank goodness!
We arrived at the Weliran street, so I started looking for number 43A where we were interned in Malang by the Japanese. It was our first camp. We had to stay with several families in one house that was not easy but comparing this camp with our prison in Banyu Biru, the camp in Malang could be called a very reasonable place to live. I took a photo of the house and I saw that it was now occupied by a Chinese family.
We walked further to the Lawu street and so I saw my school back, still looking very nice indeed. I asked the principal if we could visit my last classroom at this school, before I went to my boarding school. He brought us there and on our way to the classroom I asked him if there were still some pictures left from before the Japanese occupation. But alas, everything was destroyed.
I entered “my” classroom, where all the boys and girls looked very surprised to see those two elderly ladies walking into their classroom. We explained the teacher why I was here and then she asked me if I could try to tell the class that their room had once very long ago been my classroom too. I did my utmost best while looking at all those smiling and laughing faces. Luckily the teacher helped me a bit. Agnes took two pictures while the teacher and I were speaking . It was an absolutely wonderful experience.
We slowly walked to TOKO OEN to have our lunch. Then we went shopping, that is to say, Agnes went shopping and I just followed her. Agnes really loved it to visit all the shops. Well I had my morning so now Agnes had her afternoon.
I admired the patience from all those salesmen and women, they climbed up and down the ladders to show Agnes their batiks, silk and other textiles.
And so thanks to Agnes I saw a lot of shops in Malang.
We slowly walked back to Hotel Splendid and then tried to sleep a little since we were going to climb the mount Bromo early the next morning. So we had to get up in the middle of the night. That was going to be a real adventure!