Welcome to Indonesia!
It is so good to be here. I write to you from Bandung, where my family used to live before WWII. Yes, for those of you who do not know, I have Asian descent, both genetically and culturally. For most of my life, I grew up eating Indonesian cuisine and learning about the history and many stories of Dutch colonial life in Indonesia.
Now while I am not for colonialism and occupation of countries, it was fascinating to learn of how my family used to live in Bandung, Java before the war and Japanese occupation. It was utopic to say the least.
Nice homes, nice cars, social gatherings, dances, equestrian shows all surrounded by a beautiful mountain range with hot springs, waterfalls and rainforest. Paradise really.
My Oma, who lived the first 40 years of her life here still vividly remembers the times she spent here and the pictures of this time 60-100 years ago attest to the good times. She still is alive today at 100 and was very happy I am here in Bandung.
Yesterday I went to Braga street, which is a main street here in Bandung. There I had a nice sausagebiscuit (typical dutch pastry) and sweet coffee. Yes! My great-grandfather used to come here everyday and here I am, sipping on the same recipes that he had a century ago.
I am stoked to be here, it feels like home really. And my couchsurfing friend Freddy hooked me up with all his buddies here, so I have like 7 personal tourguides and hosts! Thanks Freddy! For those of you not familiar with the community of couchsurfing, get familiar. It will change your world, and if you are one of those who cannot get the time to travel, going to a couchsurfing group meet will make you feel like you are in a coffeeshop or pub anywhere in the world because of the diverse mix of nationalities that attend.
I’m going to post photos in time, but I’m soaking in the Java lifestyle. Later today I am going to visit a tea house that our family owned before we immigrated to Holland. Can’t wait.