When two worlds unite…
Around 60 years ago Indonesia was struggling to become independent after being a Dutch colony for a long period of time. The Dutch tried to protect their interests and it was during the ‘politionele acties’ my father, being a young officer went overseas in order to assist the Dutch army. In spite of the bad and dangerous times he developed a deep love for the country, its people and its culture. Many years later this love was gradually transferred to me. It all started when I discovered an old picture book on the bookshelf at home.
by the pictures and stories my desire grew to travel to the country
which meant so much to my father and see it by myself. That became
reality in 1987 when I traveled for the first time to Indonesia,
together with my friend Charl. It turned out to be the first of many
journeys to follow.
father returned to Indonesia twice. In the nineties with his good
friend Bob for a trip to discover Java & Bali and visit many places
which they were not able to go to during the time they were there as a
military. The last time was in 2002 when he and my mother went together
on a vacation to Bali. Although my mother loved that trip she was not
very keen to return there so it seemed that was my father’s last trip to
Indonesia. It remained his biggest wish to go back one more time but
that was never going to happen, something my father was very aware of.
was at least what he thought until somewhere in summer 2007… By then
in my mind the plan had developed to travel once again to Indonesia but
this time in the company of my father. I discussed this with Paul and he
fully supported the idea, especially as he had already invited my
mother on a trip to France in order to visit her youngest brother. So
halfway June I took my father by surprise when I invited him on a trip
to Java and Bali. The whole idea must have been a bit surreal to him in
the beginning but he became very enthusiastic once he realized this was a
serious offer. Little less than a week later the flights were booked
and plans can now be made.
usual plans change and when I was with Paul in Bali in September 2007 I
called my father and told him I added another week to our trip, making
it a 4 week trip. On the 12th of April 2008, two days after my father’s
80th birthday, we boarded Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 and started
our trip to Indonesia.
father has a lot of memories on Indonesia, both the good and the bad,
and tells a lot about it. I do have a lot of memories on Indonesia as
well, most of them very good. Our memories not always matched so there
was a bit of ‘my father’s’ Indonesia and ‘my’ Indonesia. With this trip
we changed that and made it ‘our’ Indonesia.
Here’s the story of our trip, a trip where two worlds united…
Start the journey in Java