All of a sudden everything went into acceleration. We received a call to
the airport. In an open truck we sat together among our meagre
In town there was an ugly, anxious athmosphere and we had to keep our
heads down as much as possible to avoid being noticed. At around 11
we arrived safely at the airport. Once there we had to wait for the
arrive, which didn’t seem to want to come. Finally, at 5 PM, we could
Batavia. It was a beautiful trip from an hour and a half along the coast
both clear skies and a setting sun. From the Gurha’s we got some food
cans to eat. After touch down they took us to the Tjikini hotel for the
We couldn’t leave yet and thus visited both Aunt Amy and Dr. Lim.
Bellakroontje had to lay an egg and fulfilled that task sweetly in a
In a silver Douglas we flew to Bandoeng with our joyful hearts full of
expectations. And yes! On the Andir airport, we met our two sweet
again. Both emotional and happy, we were finally able to hug each other
again. Daddy had not much changed, a little skinnier and a little older
perhaps. But Friso Jr. was a pale skinny boy with a fat oedeem belly. We
heard that he had been sick for three months, but thanks to the faithful
a few steph fathers, he had managed to overcome. If they were able to
something extra, they shared with him. If they smuggled something, he
share. Unfortunately, Akka did not survive. But terrific, we were
again. For the time being we were lodged in Hotel Homan.
We moved into house “Beatrix” our own house at the Beatrix Boulevard,
which had survived the war time in reasonable good shape. We further met
the family de Ridder, Mandersloot and Uncle Ies de Koning, who were
temporarily in the Ursulinen Monastry.
Uncle Ies leaves for Batavia.
Lately we received letters from Holland, from Grandmother Willie Bosman,
Aunt Willie, Uncle Albert, Aunt Nonnie, Aunt Heleentje, Uncle Gerard,
Annie and Uncle Maarten. They also had their share of difficult times
the German occupation. Both Grandfather and Grandmother Schrieke have
passed away and also a few older Aunts. In Holland there was a
be active in the resistance, something that was unthinkable here.
Latest news: Semarang has been bombed. Here we only experience a
boycott in the food supply.
We would love to go to Holland too. Grandma Willie already has even
the use of her house, as temporary shelter. But it seems that there are
many transportation opportunities here yet. I went both to the church
PJC again, but it has become a rather scary enterprise, because many
robberies and kidnappings are taking place here lately.
Friso Jr’s birthday. Both Aunt Ank and Uncle Ben de Ridder dropped in
photocamera. People are being murdered all the time. But we still found
way to go for a swim with Woutertje, which he enjoyed very much.
Now there are two Gurkha’s sleeping overnight in our house, but we still
our flight luggage ready, just in case. It is a stressful time full.
This afternoon we were drinking tea with kwee-talem (= sort of cookie)
balcony, when suddenly a shooting started. Gurkha’s slipped by under
Cars were being shot at. A militairy vehicle with a machine gun mounted
came from the Dago road and drove into the Irene Boulevard, but didn’t
anything more than that. From the direction of the Kampong the shooting
In the evening people fleeing from the outermost row of houses ran by.
saw the armed natives approaching. That was the moment we decided to put
our suitcases downstairs to the ready.
The shooting intensified. A loud explosion bursted nearby. We fled to
school at the Dagoroad. Our suitcases we loaded both on top and hung
a bicycle and Bellkroontje went into a basket. The bullets whistled
An orange package full with stuff was left behind in the garden and we
to lock the front door. Quick, quick, go go! Many others joined the
flee. At the
high school we were accomodated in the aula and there we got a spot to
sleep on the podium, on top of some old curtains and the basket with the
chicken on top of a chair.
This morning early we went back to “Beatrix”. Everything was still in
Even the orange package was still lieing in the garden. Afterwards we
get a ride with the car from Dr. Stibbe to the pavilion of the Ursulinen
Monastry. The de Ridder family moved to the Banda street and the family
Mandersloot moved to Tjihapit.
Since yesterday I have yellow feaver again and my appetite is almost
A real St. Nicolaas and three “Pieten” (= black skinned assistants),
along and poured candy from their bags. They even handed packages out.
(Wouter, unfortunately, was just doing his afternoon nap). Our three
a beautiful American made miniature train together, complete with tracks
also a nifty flask, made out of a klapper (= coconut) shell. Roeli,
Heleen and I
received each a needlecraft and a buckle. Mom got a hand bag with a
for each of us. Late in the evening we still got another two Australian
packages filled with toiletry and other useful items. No shoes,
For a few days all kinds of cans were handed out. Mmmmm! They included
bacon, butter, herring, milk and some packages with biscuits.
Today Grandma An Schrieke would have had her birthday. (22-12-1874). We
received another long letter from both Grandma Willie Bosman and Aunt
Willie. There was also a letter from Uncle Jack Schrieke (Mom’s brother)
Bangkok. Grandma’s house is ready and waiting for us. Roelie got another
letter from Ot van der Brug.
Yesterday it was our turn to receive cans with corned beef, milk,
and biscuits. Roeli received also an Australian package.
In the newspaper we read that Uncle Bou Krijger departed from Batavia to
Holland on December 5th. Both Aunt Amy and Uncle Ies hope to follow suit
Tonight there is a music performance from a sextet.
Sunday. Ds. Woortman read the sermon. On other Sundays Ds. Van der
Linde does that. He will start in January to teach catechismus and both
and I will join those lessons. Two weeks ago, Paul fell on his butt two
ago and one of his back vertebrae has been hurting since. He had to lie
for 2 weeks. It is better now, but he still has to take it easy for a
Bellakroontje still lays an egg every day. She has run away once, but
day we found her back across the street.
Again we received letters from Holland.
A few days ago there was a performance from a funny magician in the
community theatre: Leonardino, together with Miss Fatima. Lovely!
This morning we attended a Christmas service with Ds. Van der Linde. In
evening there was a Christmas celebration for the children. We all got a
bag filled with goodies, chocolate bar and chocolate milk. Woutertje was
exited. On top of our table we had some candles as well. A real
We attended a Christmas celbration for the elderly with a beautiful
News years eve, complete with real oliebollen! (= sweet deepfried
doughballs). We all stayed up until 12 o’clock midnight.
There is an exposition about “How Holland lives, works and builds”.
A new beginning.What will this new year bring?
During the evening there was a “Soiree variee” followed by dancing. Very
Both Roeli and I work regularly in the sick ward. (Actually it is
located in the
Church hall). And we earn $30 per day. It is pleasant work and not
I wrote a letter to Linde, Roeli wrote one to Willeke and Heleen wrote
Clara (all nieces).
On January the 5th in the evening I got a fever, probably the flu. Too
because that fever kept me from going to the sick ward. We work there
together with Zr. De Groot, Brughart and van der Poels. Only the
shifts, for now.
Miss Wessels has been able to get both Latin and Greek books for me. She
going to teach me French. I am now reading an English book: “Ann is an
idiot”. A thriller!
From the “Jap” who stayed at “Beatrix”, we got green curtains. They are
transformed into a couple of coat dresses right now. Those ment for both
Mom and I, are already finished. Mrs. Zwaan (9 children) made me a
matching English baret from it. Daddy treated her children while they
sick. Out of appreciation they sent us a basket full of fruit. Very
there are Chinese living in “Beatrix”, who keep it very well,
one of them brought us all kinds of vegetables.
The Ensering family still lives on the Lembang road and Mrs. Marzynski
still lives in her own house. Solveig Polner, my Highschool girl friend,
lives at the van Neck street number 6. Fortunately it is quiet now
A few days ago I received another letter from both Grandma and Aunt
Grandma is a little sick and is caughing quite a bit.
We badly need some new pairs of shoes.
4 – 5 February.
I had the nightshift, together with Roeli. It was so quiet that we could
turns napping. During last month we earned 1,420 Guilders with this
job, a whole pile of bank notes! They are not worth very much though.
At January 31st, we had a costume party. Daddy as a nurse, won a silver
spoon, Mom as a baker, Louk Woortman as a doctor (Prize: a spoon and a
fork), Roeli as a gypsy, Heleen as a Parisian Apache, her gilrfirend
Nijhoff as a Grand mother and I as a pilot. There were many nice
Although I cannot dance very well, I did it anyway with a soldier from
foreign legion. (Rob P.) We all got coffee and sandwiches.
In the morning there was a party at the fairgrounds for all school
complete with all kinds of games, races with handicaps and all kinds of
goodies. Both Firso and Paul had a great time.
In the afternoon there was a puppet theatre and for everyone cake, also
We now regularly get white bread and all kinds of cans: wieners, butter,
corned beef, pears, milk, pork sausage, margarine, chocolate and candy.
enjoy those treats tremendously.
In Bandoeng everything is quiet now. We are awaiting anxiously the
from the talks from Dr. van Mook. Batavia has been cleaned up already.
On Saturday, February 2nd, we watched the movie “Uncensored” about the
underground resistance activeties in Belgium and the printing of the “La
Belgique”. As introductory movies we watched both: “England’s fastest
and “Peace on November 11, 1918 and in 1945”, celebrated in London at
foot of a great monument.
We now write regularly to Holland and we also have already received mail
return. Linde is now in the 6th class of the Gymnasium and Willeke is in
class. How far already!
Perhaps we will go to Switserland for a while, because the Baselean
missionary has a vacancy for 10 missionary families. That is something
Almost all of our uncles participated in the underground resistance in
Aunt Martha took Jews into her home. Many girls worked as couriers for
underground. Very courageous!
Grandma Willie is better now. Mrs. Zwaan wrote that she and almost all
children were sea-sick and that the trip home was rather unsettling.
Linda and Edda wrote that often they go ice-skating now.
January 17th was the birthday of Princess Margriet. There was a parade
organized in front of the High school and both the English and the Dutch
were raised. That makes one emotional.
Among the troops, except from the Gurkha’s, are now also the Sikh’s, big
men with beards. There are a few of them among the guards of the
The funny thing is that before they go to sleep, they roll their beards
piece of rope and tie it onto the top of their heads.
We have been swimming again in the Tjihampelas. Awesome! Afterwards we
visited Aunt Nine van der Brug. Richt had already returned from Bangkok.
Also Greet van Gogh, Jannie Koper and Els Smits we met over there. Els
gained quite some weight and she looked good. Unfortunately her mother
passed away in the camp.
We took the bus and that was quite special, because that was something
didn’t do in years anymore.
Saturday. At 2:30 both Roeli and I went to watch a beautiful movie at
Fairgrounds: “Tale of two cities” about the French revolution. Very
In the evening we went to a concert in the Pieters church.
Starting half February I will be in school again and I’ll go to the
Mr. Overweel in the 15th Bat. I am in class 3B; I am behind in many
but both in French and English I am ahead. From March 1st till March
have a holiday. Afterwards perhaps I will be going to the Christian
the Dago road, where I have also been previously.
I also joined the gym.
Tuesday I went to the rytmic gym from Annie Veer. I liked that very
Sunday. There was a youth service in the Easter church. Ds. Woortman
a good sermon about: “Standing your ground”. I helped with collecting.
In the evening there was a dance in the Community Centre. Both Truus and
Arie van Selst taught me the steps. Also an Englishman danced with me,
they have very different steps, which is confusing. I have difficulties
understanding the English, because they speak so unclear.
We have started packing. Our suitcases are toast. We are trying to get
stuff back from Tjihapit.
Ton Woortman dropped by. He hasn’t changed much; perhaps he looks a
At the Lyceum Heleen can get into class 1F and I go to class 3A, Roeli
been placed yet.
South Bandoeng has been liberated now. Many buildings have been burned
down by the extremists. Once in a while still some shootings occur. A
days ago (Sunday night), very close, just behind our place; a mortar
the road. It was a tremendous explosion! Thereafter some more followed,
not as close anymore. We were all shaken. That night we could see fires
everywhere in the city. That was the night the extremists were driven
In Holland it is still very cold, but Aunt Willie has started the spring
already. Both Uncle Ben and Aunt Ank de Ridder, who want to go to
Heemstede too, just received a call for the ship “Klipfontijn”. Tomorrow
will both fly to Batavia and the day after tomorrow they will be
soon it will be our turn too.
Daddy is together with both Dr. van Soest and Dr. Schrok on top of the
Both Hettie and Wiem Feith, who are both in my class, are probably going
student-cleaners (also heading for Heemstede). Further there are: Inge
and Paul de Vries, Marit Koopman, Mollie Popken (just left for Holland),
Hanna Carmenjole, Henny Zon, Pim Burlage, Jan van de Let (also gone),
Paul Engel, Hans van Ommen, Otto Liesendaal, Henk and Cor de Liefde-
Meier, Bennie Wijsman and some Chinese boys.
Solveig Polner has taken the liberty to place herself in the 5th class.
engaged with a Russian guy and will marry before she goes to Australia.
the 4th class I know: Maaike Versloot, Henny and Titi Ensering. Rietje
Ensering and Look Woortman in class 2D, Hannie and Wim Woortman in the
1st class. Because I was in the 3rd class before the war, I can get a 3
diploma. Therefore I have to go to Prof. Esbach. Once in Holland I want
to the 4th class.
If we are still here on April 14, both Roeli and I will be confirmed by
van der Brug in the Easter church. We now follow confirmation classes
that event by Ds. Woortman, together with both Miss Hamstra and Miss van
de Zwan. It is planned to take place during the youth service. Lately
der Linde has read a beautiful sermon about Peter. This coming Sunday
Corvinius will arrive.
We have gotten a couple of sturdy cabin trunks from Mrs. Wunderink out
Tjihapit. Mrs. Oliviera is already in Batavia. The Krijger family has
Heemstede. The Zwaan family is also already in Holland and are freezing.
Both Ot van der Brug and Henk Offereins are in Bali, Ot is in the
Henk in the staff. Richt is going to join them there soon.
I still know my French teacher (Miss Stempel) from the laundry shed in
where she did the Hospital laundry. Both Janneke and Ruth Maier left
as student-cleeners with the “Boschfontijn”.
Woutertje can be so naughty and so funny at the same time. He looks good
on the two family pictures we had made (for 300 Guilders in Japanese
Still no call yet. The weather is beautiful. Yesterday some more people
here from Tjimahi. Still there is quite some shooting at a distance, but
here around us everything is relatively quiet.
Roeli is now better, but Heleen is a little sick.
In school everything goes well, except with math. I am doing both Latin
Greek again, because in Holland I want to go to the Gymnasium.
Last week Thursday the confirmation classes were rounded off by uncle Ot.
Representing the church council Mr. van Ommen came over, Hans’ Dad.
Hans still remembers Daddy from Tjimahi and praised him. Tomorrow both
Roeli and I are going to be confirmed, together with both Tineke
Honny Krijgsman. I already am looking forwards to it.
Richt is pregnant again. I hope so much for her that this time
On April the 16th another transport leaves, unfortunately without us.
that, it’s our turn. We’ll try to smuggle the bicycle from Uncle Ies
Today the confirmation was done in a festive atmosphere in the Easter
church. Afterwards we joined an acceptance service held by Ds. Van der
Linde. Everything was very special and joyous. It makes me feel all warm
This morning after the 4th hour we had an Easter service in the Aula.
Homan recited a few poems, among others: “Oh time that comes…” A choir
sang beautiful Easter songs. Ds. Kuyper read from the bible. It was very
This morning we joined the celebration of the last supper in the Juliana
Hospital. Uncle Ot led the service and both Roeli and I were allowed to
participate for the first time.
Easter! Ds. Oberman spoke for the last time in the Easter Church,
he’ll leave on Tuesday.
There was a big PJC reunion in the Pieters church lead by Ds. Keers. I
many aquaintences back. Two soldiers from Holland told about their
experiences. One told us about his escape from prison and the other
his work in the underground.
I am placed into the 4th class by Mr. Overweel, because otherwise I
my 3 years diploma. With both English and French it will be OK, but I
to catch up with the other subjects. Ieneke van Dijk, (room 12A) will
When we got home, Roeli shouted: “We are leaving Sunday at 2 PM!”
Finally! Finally! Hurrah! Now we gotto get packing!
This afternoon Frank Pelling dropped by again. He returned from
shortly, where fighting had been fierce. He nearly escaped death twice
looked all yellow from the obat against malaria.
Ds. Van der Linde came to say good-bye already.
Sunday. For the last time we went to the Easter church. (Ds. Jens). We
good-bye to a lot of loving and friendly people. Frank Pelling took us
Borromeus so we could visit Mrs. Wessels and say good-bye to her too.
A litlle past 2 PM the trucks and the busses arrived. Wouter got, when
good-bye to the English nurses, 2 chocolate bars. Also he had to say
to Ruth Wurbig, Mieke Beuker and her father (Mr. Portier). They
that their little “son” had to leave now. Still more hand shakes and we
waved farewell by many. Zr. Van der Sluijs Veer left at the same time as
On our way to Andir! Once there we heard that only tomorrow morning we
would leave for the airport. We were lodged in comfortable rooms (Room
Both Daddy and Friso now got a taste of the “bunks” life. A pessimistic
took a concerned look at the mattresses and mumbled: “Will we lie on
all by ourselves?”
Fortunately we didn’t pick any bugs up there.
Last Friday, I received 2 statements from Mr. Overweel:
One was for Heleen, certifying that she was in the 1st class, and one
certifying that I had been in the 4th class. My 3 year diploma will be
Holland by mail.
“Emotional and with a tear”, I thanked him and said good-bye, followed
both Miss Stempel and Mr. Bos. Both Hanna Carmenjola and Hans van
Ommen are leaving for Holland too. Both Paul de Vries and Inge Buyn I
been able to help with some school books.
Brrr! It was cold this morning. I woke up early, because some children
loud. At 8 o’clock our luggage was picked up. Friso, Paul, Heleen and I
our last Bandoeng ride in a fun yellow-black checkered coloured jeep.
Mom, Roeli and Wouter followed in the distinguist car from Dr. Lay.
Thereafter: wait and more waiting. Our luggage was weighed and turned
to be way too heavy. The two least important cabin trunks we had to
behind, together with four packages. After July 1st they will be sent
Finally the plane arrived around 12 o’clock noon, a large Dakota. Even
there was still too much barang. The left over will be sent later today.
package containing uncle Ies’ bicycle was among that.
The airplane ride went swiftly, but with a lot of turbulence, which made
stomach turn funny once in a while. I was happy when we finally landed
Kemajoran, despite the rainstorm going on there. We took shelter under
aircraft until a truck picked us up. We had some tea in the office and
off to … camp Adek! We would never have imagined that. It is known as
transition house for koelis and an infamous women’s camp. But it turned
OK: We got 2 neat 4 person rooms and a good meal. There was also both
light and running water.
Princess Juliana’s birthday!
There was both a children’s parade and games organized. Wouter got a
too. In Batavia city there was a big parade comlete with tanks and
Mom and I could get to the city too, thanks to getting a ride twice. We
purchased some beautiful, sturdy pairs of shoes there.
This afternoon we have done some writing and this evening we have been
dancing. There were many Dutch boys. (One was very tall). Also Hans van
Ommen together with his sister, and both Mientje van der Plas and Hanna
Carmenjola I saw again there. The musick sucked though. And it was hot,
Tomorrow we’ll leave for Tjandjong Priok at 1 PM.
This morning, after a lot of effort, we got some clothing at the NIGEO.
bought some more pairs of shoes and also 3 more suitcases. I was also
to get some Indonesian post stamps.
At 3 PM a drive with the truck to Priok, but the weather was beautiful.
were checked. We received a pink card and could board the “Boissevain”.
Daddy got, together with other doctors, a beautiful stateroom. We were
lodged into hold number F4, about 4 metres above the water line. There
long tables (12 people) and many cleaners. We sleep in large hammocks.
Wouter got one too, a very funny sight. Two blankets per person. Luckily
were also portholes and fans, because it was very hot in there. The food
tasty. We are allowed to use the bathtub in the cabin from the van der
family (Salt water, of course). On deck it’s fantastic.
I slept very well in my hammock. I offered myself as an assistant nurse
had my first shift from 2 o’clock till 9 o’clock. It is not busy yet.
looks very modern. Many children are sick. We all eat together. In the
I took a bath and afterwards I wrote to Mieke Beuker, Ruth Wurbig,
Schieferlie and Jacky Supit.
We sail! We sail! At 7:30 we left. By a small tugboat named “Conny” we
carefully pulled out. Then out of the harbour into open water.
For the longest time I looked backwards and for the longest time I kept
eyes locked on the slowly disappearing coast line. We left with sunny
weather. Bye-bye, beautiful and lovely Indie! You have been my
Both love and sorrow I shared with you. Yes, sorrow too. I will remember
often, your beautiful mountains, landscapes, your scents and your
The ship moves fast and we navigate among countless little islands
with coconut trees. Beautiful contrasts that white foam on top of those
waves. Here and there is a light house. Luckily there is too much swell.
sickbay I met Lies de Kroes, a nice girl, who also works there as an
The ship is rolling quite heavily. Fortunately it doesn’t bother us
for Paul who stays in his hammock the whole day, which makes him less
subject to all the rolling.
We held a life boat drill. Until we arrive in Colombo we have to keep
our life jackets, because of the danger of mines.
Thursday. This morning we arrived in Colombo. We saw many beautiful
houses, many ships, but none of them Dutch. On the extremeties of the
long piers, two lovely towers were built. Slowly, very slowly we entered
harbour. Both water and fruits were loaded. A few guys from the crew
around the ship, which was not without danger. We were not allowed on
shore, of course. And it was hot, very hot, especially in the hold.
We left at 10 o’clock in the morning. Luckily it became cooler almost
immediately. The sea was quiet. During the night we saw several ships
passing by. Once in a while the clock is set half an hour backwards.
makes us often wake up very early and the sun is already high up at that
Bathing in salt water is not so nice, because afterwards one feels
we rinse ourselves with a little fresh water. Fortuantely we are allowed
the bathrooms from both Mrs. Beeuwkes and from the van der Leest family.
Wouter’s birthday! I gave him the chocolate bar which I got last night
Dievenbach (nurse). Further he got a bunch of little stuff and all kinds
candy, which disappeared rather quickly. But every time he got
was exited and happy again! Everybody was charmed by it. In the end he
collected a can full of candy. Than he could say, just like Paul: “But I
At Cape Guardafui the sea was quite rough and both Lies and I got
We spend some time sitting on deck and that made us feel better.
After the Cape, in the Gulf of Aden, everything was quiet again. We
the island Perin, with a big fort on top of it, a light house and big
yellow beach. Good to see some land again after so much water, although
think the sea would not tire me quickly. The heat in the Red Sea is not
bad. It feels even cool here.
Saturday. We arrive in Suez. Just now I have become somewhat sick. After
the night shift I felt very tired this morning, I had a cold, a sore
throat, and a
fever. I fell into my bed and slept like a log. Afterwards I felt
already a whole
Tomorrow the first groups go on shore to get clothes in Ataka. I hope I
allowed to go with them too. We have a beautiful view: proud bare rocks
colours, which vary between yellow, red and dark brown. It is
interesting to be
able to see the layers from which it all is built up. Unfortunately,
there is not
one green spot in sight.
Evening: Hurrah! I am now free of fever and I am allowed to come along
Sunday. This morning we left at 7 o’clock. In two flat barges we sailed
coast, a lovely trip. On the bank we stepped into a cute little train.
and Paul had fun because of the long dresses-type clothing worn by the
Arabs. We also saw wagons drawn by beautiful horses. I also saw a camel
with an Arab sitting on top of it, proceeding in a swinging motion. A
of the desert. We also passed an oasis. That small green spot was in
contrast with the barren face of sand and stone. From close by the rocks
looked even more bold and bare. After about a 10 minutes ride we arrived
couple of big sheds dressed up with flags.
A guy spoke to us through a megaphone. He welcomed us and gave some
advice. A nice band played some merry tunes and then we were allowed
inside. It sure looked like the land of Cockaigne. There were cakes,
candy, sandwiches, pisangs, djeroek and coffee. And you could take as
as you wanted.
Further there was a playground for the children. Before the handing out
clothing, everyone had to be x-rayed first. We had gotten some high
and thus we had to wait for a long time. Wouter found the X-raying quite
unnerving. You were not allowed to bring anymetal object in there.
were done. Mom first helped the boys fitting and therefore got at the
of the line with us, but she was able to finish everything in time. We
beautiful warm clothing and toiletries, which made us very happy. In the
time the band kept playing joyful music. The director himself played
an accordion. He watched me all the time, which made me shy at first,
later I started to enjoy it, and I looked back at him. He had not a
handsome, but a real masculin face.
Because of all the time it took for the clothing to be handed out, we
first train back and stayed to wait for the next one, which arrived at
o’clock.”He” was also standing in front of the shed when we left and
back when I waved good-bye. Thereafter we had the lovely trip back to
boat again, where we arrived both tired and hot, but satisfied.
Monday. I have been back to Ataka! Namely to pick up cloths for Erie
who was just sick. We both are about the same size. Everything went
When the orchestra played the welcome tune, I made sure not to show
myself. Once inside I sat down on omy old spot, diagonally across from
band. “He” noticed me right away and had to smile. I smiled too, of
The others saw what was going on too, I think. It turned into a
morning. When the first group left, I didn’t join them, but purposely
behind. Both the boy who served djoeroek juice and also a funny Arabic
djongos understood what I was up to and laughed. I also had pictures
myself, four pictures for 6 Guilders. They will be sent after me. Since
tell Mom anything about all of this, it will be a surprise. There was
dancing going on. I danced twice with a MP (Militairy Policeman) and
with an Englishman. Rather difficult, because the floor was covered with
Ankie Zelis, Zr. Van der Sluis Veer and Rob Polderman were there too.
we had to go. “He” came to the exit too and gave me a hand. Then I
him for everything and he wished me a good trip. When the train left, I
good-bye again. Most likely we will never see each other again. “Ships
pass in the night”. I am very tired, but I still feel both happy and
this be what is called “Love on first sight?” It was for sure a special
During the evening we sailed deeper into the canal. There were a myriad
lights, much like a picture from a fairy tale. Slowly and carefully the
This morning early we arrived in Port Said. I had the night shift. The
night we continued sailing. There are a lot of modern buildings around
Many people offer leather crafts, dades etc. for sale. I laughed my head
observing Rob Polderman negotiating with those guys. He does such an
excellent job imitating them.
The entire mornig I slept in. This afternoon Mom could still buy some
Too-oo-oo-oo-oot! There we went again. Exiting the canal we sailed
quite a large part of the city. A curious sight: all those houses and
close by! We also passed two Dutch vessels, to which we waived
We also noticed the big green statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps, of course,
stretches his hand so elegantly inviting towards the canal. Thereafter
piers and than a beautiful flat and calm sea. The temperature slowly
already quite fresh.
Thursday. Mom’s birthday! Daddy brought some presents and ate with us,
very nice! The sea is rather rough today. That is funny while dancing.
moment you seem like running and the other you seem like climbing a
hill. It is
very funny though!
We passed a few islands, Kreta, perhaps?
Today we passed Gibraltar. A lot of ships passed by.
There was a church service organized.
Daddy’s birthday! Wouter gave away that there was brillantine in the
Again we had a cosy meal together. Thanks to his advice to go work in
sick bay, I barely feel any sea-sickness. I am thinking: that’s because
distraction. That comes in handy right now, because the ship stamps
heavily right now and a lot of people are sea-sick.
We could buy both soap and sugar.
The English coast is in sight. There is quite some fog. Again we had a
drill, because here is also a mine threat. A ship passed by very
waved at two Dutch vessels. There is now an English pilot on board.
Thursday. At about 5:30 PM both piers came in sight, further some bare
fortifications and the dunes of IJmuiden. The de Ridder family got a
for us. They stood there with a big banner: “Bosman Eric”. And we
Soon we were inside the locks, again many waving people and another sign
reading: “BOSMAN”. It was not possible to see who those people were, but
was so heartwarming!
Further we proceeded through a lovely Dutch landscape filled with many
pleasure craft and much waving. At our arrival an orchestra played all
national tunes. The sick went down first on stretchers. In the arrival
were welcomed with sandwiches, cookies, coffee, milk and piesoup. Wouter
was carried to the railway station by soldiers.
From Amsterdam Central station to Haarlem we went with the electric
new experience. Finally two passenger cars took us to Heemsteedse Dreef
105, where Grandma Willie and Aunt Willie welcomed us with open arms and
where a new begin waited for all of us.
My motherland I had to let go. I had a happy youth over there. But the
suffered during the time under both the Japanese and the extremists,
my farwell easier. It is over now!
Now I stretch my arms out to this Fatherland with peace, freedom and new
opportunities. Thank God!