The years after World War Two

 
 

The RC cathedral from Malang

The small Protestant church from Malang

 

Ngliyep and my last day in Malang

This morning, the 7th of October we went to Ngliyep, a small place at the south coast East Java near the Indian Ocean. It was a beautiful journey, but again the roads were very bad. 
Ngliyep is very nice, it looks like a lovely picture. Laying between rocks and the beach.

Julius told us that nobody could swim in the Indian Ocean since Loro Kidul, the queen of the ocean, had forbidden people to enter her territory.  I had noticed this before; although most Indonesians are Muslims they are also just as superstitious.  I hadn’t expected, that nevertheless the religion that is so much more professed today in Indonesia than before World War Two, Loro Kidul would still be admired as well.  So Julius told us that Loro Kidul was a close friend from the sultan of Yogjakarta.
We, Julius, Agnes and I, had a long walk over the lovely beach. We were all by ourselves. No crowded beaches like in Holland, no rubbish was left on the beach by careless people. It all looked beautifully clean.
We bought something to eat and drink in one of the small shops and we ate some of the Sumber Sewu bananas. I had given them to Julius, because not all of them were ripe yet,
but now we could eat some of them. Julius would take the rest back to Jakarta. He told me again that they were the best bananas he ever ate.
We had a nice journey back to Malang, because Julius drove us quite out of our way back home to Malang.  It was much longer, but also much nicer.

The 8th of October is my very last day in Malang. Tomorrow we are going to Surabaya.
We have been visiting every small corner in Malang. We have been visiting some churches, like the Roman catholic cathedral and a lovely small Protestant church. The Indonesians were so pleased that we entered their churches. I saw that there were quite some Christians around, I hadn’t expected this.
We visited Sarina a big department store, with a nice restaurant where we had our last lunch in Malang. We bought some last Indonesian souvenirs.

We visited Agnes last school in Malang, that is now a turned in army barracks . We couldn’t see Agnes class because that was turned into the colonels room.
Then we went to my boarding school, the school where I learned so much, where I had lovely friends, had so many wonderful moments until March 1942 when the Japanese army entered Malang.

We went through all sorts of small streets, we recognized some of the streets and places, but of course Malang had changed. It was more than fifty years ago since I left this lovely town in a truck that brought us to the station. And then we left Malang by train to Ambarawa, to Banyu Biru.  It seemed so unbelievable that on that dramatic day, so many young Indonesians taunted us, called us names.  While I looked around and I saw all the many friendly Indonesian faces, my nightmare of that dramatic day the 13th of February 1944, had slowly ebbed away. Malang was no longer a Dutch East Indies town, no longer the Malang of my schooldays. It was also no longer the town that was occupied by the Japanese. No Malang was now the most wonderful town in Indonesia.

We had tea at our hotel Splendid and then we went for the last time to TOKO OEN watching all those young tourists, mostly from Australia.  I bought several Indonesian sweets for my children.

I didn’t want to leave Malang. My father was somewhere buried in this town. But alas this was my last day in Malang and I knew that I could never come back again.

 
My boarding-school in 1942
Same school in 1996

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