Maybe there is no one in this world who understands me, so it seems. Yes I really want to go to Asia and stay there. Hope someone can help me, because I don’t know how. In the mean time I work, swim, edit my documentary and hang out with good friends. And hope the Dutch team wins tonight, I’m watching with my collegues of the Van Gogh museum.

Indonesia and Singapore

Wow what a wonderful holiday it was in Indonesia and Singapore. I always feel so alive and welcome when I’m here. Thanks! This time I was mostly enjoying snorkeling, time with (some of) my friends, exploring the hobbit cave, culture, Borobudur and much more. ๐Ÿ˜Š I also talked about my journey to my roots in the university of Salatiga, with my friend Warin. After that I saw my friends in Karimunjawa again. Snorkeling was so much fun. I found Nemo again, the little turtles, beautiful coral, fish and finally I was swimming with many big turtles! So wonderful! And so many! And the wonderful whalesharks! Wow! I loved this so much. ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿข๐Ÿ ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ’ฆ

In Flores I met my friend Nardi again from last year and explored the hobbit cave where they found the homo floresiensis. I’m also invited to the university here next time I’m in Indonesia. The last few days in Singapore were also great. Wish I was still in Asia. It’s still my dream to stay and travel more there. By the way I don’t listen to people who think they can tell me how to live my life. I don’t like them. I like living my life my way. And I don’t like people who try to make my life more difficult either. Luckily I have many good friends. ๐ŸŒž

In november on my birthday party will be the premiere (of the first episode) of my documentary: ‘Journey to my roots, di mana rumah saja’. Everyone is welcome again of course. More information later. Some of my friends will play with there bands, including Black Tarantula who’s song is the theme song. Thank you for the music! And thanks everyone for helping and supporting me with this. There will be a lifestream for my friends from Asia and around the world so they can see the premiere too. Now all I have to do is finish the documentary (and work) haha. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Below are my travelstories from this holiday ๐Ÿ‘‡

Salatiga

My friend Warin picked me up from the airport in Solo and he drove me to Salatiga. We went straight to the university where we were a guest together to talk about the connection between Indonesia and the Netherlands. We are both Indo. And I talked about my journey to my roots in Indonesia and the Indonesian habits my family and I still have. Such as cooking. My family recipes are mostly from Bengkulu. Therefore our family recipes are Padang Food and we still cook these dishes (among other things). Sayur Lodeh, Nasi Kuning, Rendang, Gado Gado, Soto Ayam, Kue Mankok, Roti Kukus, Spekkoek and much more.

When I told this, they gave me an overwhelming standing ovation to my surprise. After I finished my story about my family and roots, it was time for questions. I unexpectedly had to cry when they asked me why I’m looking for my roots here in Indonesia. For me this journey to my roots means so much to me. But it’s difficult to explain. I will try to discribe what I mean next time and in my documentary about my ‘Journey to my roots’. The subtitle is ‘Rumah saja’. Because I never really felt home in the Netherlands (and mostly misunderstood, but also Warin and many others), but I always feel home in Asia. So I still hope someday I can finally stay there, but I don’t know where yet. But where is my home? To be continued…

The next morning we still had time to do some filming for my documentary in Salatiga, before he drove me to Jepara (4-5 hour drive). On the way we bought some delicious snacks and a lot of ice tea.

Jakarta

I arrived in Jakarta and stayed 1 day in a nice homestay in Cikini. I was so happy to be in Indonesia again, which gave me a lot of energy to do many things the day I arrived and the day after and still had some time to prepare my presentation for the next day in the university in Salatiga.

Almost… ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐ŸŒโ›ฑ๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿข๐Ÿก๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿซถ

Happy birthday Efan ๐ŸŽ‚ ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ’œ May you have a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to see you again ๐Ÿซฐ

Filming for my documentary ‘Journey to my roots’ was wonderful. This time I was in Den Haag. I went to the statue of the ‘Indische tantes’ (East Indies aunts), laid a sunflower and tulip in front of the Indies Monument and Remembrance center Sophiahof. Of course I also had dinner in a toko (Indonesian restaurant).

Many family members are on the passengerlists (of the boats that brought my family to the Netherlands in ’55) and in the passport application archive. With pictures. To my surprise, even my ancestors from the mid 19th century! Now I know what they looked like. Thanks Ben and Roy.

๐Ÿ˜„๐ŸŒป๐Ÿชปโš˜๏ธ๐Ÿชท๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ€

Today was the first filmshoot for my documentary about my journey to my roots. Chapter 1 takes place in the Netherlands, where I was born and grew up. Hopefully I can finish chapter 1 before my next journey to Indonesia, which is soon, so I can show this chapter in Indonesia allready. I asked a good friend, Henny, to help me today. He’s an expert on filmmaking and I worked with him before on the movie ‘Goeie Mie’. We filmed in the Hortus in Leiden this morning. The oldest botanic garden in the Netherlands, founded in 1590, has many asian plants in their collection, including many orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants and the famous giant arum lilies (and little ones). Thanks to the communications department of the Hortus for their assistance. Next week is the second filmday in museum Sophiahof and other places in Den Haag.

I’m ready and looking forward to my next journey soon ๐Ÿ˜„

By the way, I’m still trying to get a work visa to stay in asia, but I don’t know how. Help is welcome. ๐Ÿ™

Went to an expo about Indonesia in Amsterdam and the National museum. When I heard the Gamelan music there, it reminded me of the airport in Yogyakarta and all the wonderfull memories of Indonesia and Singapore. Very much looking forward to go traveling and snorkeling again.

Woke up today thinking I was still asleep and having a nightmare. Can’t believe yesterday’s election result in the Netherlands is really happening. My first thought was: I want to emigrate. How can anyone vote for this scary man? Well I haven’t and I feel I have to speak out against discrimination. Hopefully more people, like me, believe in a future where everyone is welcome, we can all be ourselves and everyone can choose their own religion. We can all live in harmony and with nature too. I believe in sharing ideas and caring for each other. We all live in this world together. ๐ŸŽต Let love rule ๐ŸŽถ โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ™

Sampai jumpa lagi

Last week in asia was wonderful too. I stayed one night in Bali and the next day I flew to Solo. After swimming in the rooftop pool, I met Abi again (who I met a few weeks ago in Jogja) and his friend. We had dinner, went to a huge night market and live music in a bar. It was fun. See you later. The next morning my friend Warin from Salatiga picked me up to go to the University Sebelas Maret again, where we were warmly welcomed as guests again. It’s always a pleasure to be here. We talked about our mixed roots, history and my journey. Of course I gave them a lot of stroopwafels, chocolate kruidnoodjes and other presents from the Netherlands. Thank you, you were all so kind and I look forward to see you again next time.

*more picture when I’ve received them…

We drove to Salatiga, where I stayed in the same great hotel again. Next to the square where my grandparents met as children when they lived in Salatiga. This time I had a view on the other side: mount Merbabu and Merapi. So beautiful. The next morning I was invited to the school that was made possible by my great-grandfather (see my previous visit to Salatiga). The school has always been for Indonesian children as well as Dutch children (at that time). Which is great. They are very proud of this and so am I. Most of the building is still in the original state and they want to preserve this. For example the iron folding gate door and the floor are still the same as when my great-grandfather, grandparents and other family were here. Recently they created a museum in the school. I received a tour around the museum and school. Also I helped the children of five classes practice their English and thought them a song. It was great to sing together and meet the children, teachers and principal. For me it’s such an honor to be here. It feels like I continue what my great-father started, allready almost a hundred years ago. Thank you for your warm welcome and invitation to come back later. Of course I will. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ™ They gave me some snacks and my fav one was among them: risolles! Enak! ๐Ÿ˜„ and a mug with the school on it.

*more pictures when I’ve received them…

In the afternoon we, Warin and his family and me, went to a spring in Klaten. It was so beautiful, clean, clear water and refreshing. On the way back to Salatiga there was a beautiful sunset with mountain view and delicious Soto Ayam. The next day we all made a roadtrip together with a friend of Warin. Beautiful views of the mountains Merbabu and Merapi and sunset. Many temples. And I played here with my drone, making a nice video. Delicious Tongseng and Satรฉ for lunch. I helped the women of the warung with cooking. She loved that so much, so we took a picture together and she wants hang it up on the wall. Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ™ I would like to see that later and eat here again next time. Warin’s friend also gave me the book ‘The history of Java’ (in Bahasa Indonesia), because Warin was very impressed that my ancestors worked together with Stamford Raffles. Thank you. One of them contributed to his second book ‘The history of Sumatra’ of which the manuscript was unfortunately lost in a fire on Raffles’ ship, during his last visit to Bengkulu on his way to England. After dinner we dropped him off at his house and they drove me to Jogja. It was great to see my friends in Otu again.

Then it was time to go to Singapore again to catch my flight to the Netherlands. I still had a day left there, so I went to Universal Studios. That was wonderful. I love rollercoasters and the Jurrasic Park wild water ride was great too. And I met some characters of Sesame Street. It was so much fun here.

It was a wonderful journey again and I’ll miss all my friends in Indonesia. See you next time! Sampai jumpa lagi!

I’m allready a few days in Leiden and now is ‘Leidens Ontzet’. So I bought a ‘Geusje’ yesterday after my morning walk with sunrise and ate hutspot while watching the parade in my street. Later I watched some bands, there’s live music everywhere. This morning I went to the ‘Reveille and Koraal singing’. It’s good to see my friends here again. Today it’s 3 oktoberrr!

Another wonderful week in Asia

Singapore felt like being home again. It was great to be here again. I stayed in a hotel on Boat Quay and enjoyed this area very much. Nearby are beautiful wall paintings about the history of Singapore.

The formula1 in Singapore was also great again. Thrilling, spectacular and surprising. I allready bought my ticket in january to have a good seat. Many great live music acts and the view and ambience were great. The people were all very kind too everywhere on this event.

Also, I went to Lau Pa Sat, a very old market with great food. This heritage site was Singaporeโ€™s first wet market that dates back to the time of Sir Stamford Raffles, so my ancestor’s probably had lunch or dinner here too. And I went to Sentosa island. It’s nice there. Still want to go to Universal Studios there, but haven’t had time yet. Maybe next time. In the mean time, ‘Hello Kitty & friends’ were visiting Singapore too this month. See you later Singapore.

Next I took the bus to Melaka. A very nice city and everyone here was so kind to me. Many heritage buildings are still here, including the old Dutch square with Stadhuys, tower and church, built in 1753. Even older is the Portuguese Fort Formosa from 1511. There is also a replica of a Portuguese ship in the old harbor.

And the building in which my ancestor W.T. Lewis stayed, when he lived and worked here, is also still here. It’s the Governor’s museum now. Unfortunately the museum is closed for repaires now, so I couldn’t take a look inside, maybe another time. He was Resident Councillor at that time and many people here loved him very much, as I read in the old newspaper the Singapore Free Press of 1838 in the online Singapore Archive. (letter in newspaper 1, letter in newspaper 2) His mother was Indonesian and his father Scottish (or English), so he was raised with both cultures and spoke English and Malay. He went to Singapore, Melaka and Penang with Stamford Raffles after 1824 and had several jobs. He moved back and forth between these (then) towns until he finally retired in Penang (see my journey in Penang from last year and the page about my ancestors in Penang). His grave is still in Penang too.

I did go to the Ocean Museum, with a lot of beautiful fish, shells and a 3D movie about turtles with special effects. Still much better to go snorkeling though. I also made a boat trip here on the river and walked around Jonker Street and the area. Great food here as well and live music.

3D movie about turtles with special effects

This weekend I was in Kuala Lumpur. Big city with a lot to see and do, but I had to be aware all the time as many people here tried to scam me. Won’t go back here. Luckily I speak some bahasa Indonesia, so I understand Malay too. Every night there’s a beautiful water fountain show with lights and music in front of the Petronas towers and the River of Life. While I was here, they were shooting a movie here. I could see it from my hotel room. And I watched the f1 in a very nice bar this weekend.

Only one more week in Asia, still many places to go to, many friends to see and many things to do. This morning I woke up in Indonesia again. I’m so happy to be back here again.๐Ÿ˜„

*Internet is very slow here, so it takes some time before I’ve uploaded the pictures…

Allready more than a week in Asia again

I’m so happy to be back in Asia. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. First I arrived in Singapore and stayed there for one day. The hotel was on Orchard Road with a rooftop swimming pool and a view from my room on the National Museum of Singapore. There is a very big gallery here about the history of Singapore. The building used to be Raffles librairy.

In this area the First Botanic Garden was established in 1822. Eventhough there are many buildings here now, many plants are still here with an information sign next to them. Raffles garden is nearby. Behind the museum is Fort Canning park. The gates of the fort are still here and beautiful wall art everywhere.

The next day I went to Jogja and it was great to see many friends again. Also my friend Adam from Karimunjawa was in Jogja to meet me. We hang out together and with many other friends. I’ll be back in Jogja later.

On monday last week we went to Flores together for a snorkeling holiday. Unfortunately there weren’t many good snorkel spots here. Not as good as in Karimunjawa. But the views in the hills are amazing. So instead we made some other trips on and around the island. Road trips, boat trips, hiking to waterfalls, swimming in a cave, in the sea and swimming pool, Padar Island, Komodo, Pink beach, Manta point and relaxing on Sylvia beach. In the paradise bar we had fun dancing to live music. I also had two job interviews online from the hotelroom with a beautiful view in the background of the setting sun.

Next island on this trip is komodo

Desa wisata seribu Air Terjun, village of a Thousand Waterfalls

Last tuesday we went to Bali. The hotel was next to the beach. We met some of Adam’s friends and relaxed on the beach. We also met many kind people from here, some of them played guitar. We hanged out together singing songs and watching the view on the beach.

Yesterday I’ve arrived in Singapore and woke up with a beautiful view this morning. Today the formula1 weekend begins.

It’s been a whileโ€ฆ

Yesterday I went to the art exhibition Akar Arts in Amsterdam. Great vibe and nice people. It was nice to see Iris and Atjap of Salammusik again. All the artists have their roots in Malaysia. Many beautiful pieces of art. I especially liked the sunglasses made of plastic waste. A project to clean up the oceans and beautiful pictures taken of the turtle and clownfish. But also the caleidoscope paintings, with so many details, for the album ‘Riwayat’ by Salammusik. And of course the shell lamps and the tapestry with wayang kulit puppets and lotus flower. The exhibition was opened by the Malaysian ambassador. Malaysian (and Indonesian) food and snacks such as kwe lapis and nasi lemak were served. You can check out the beautiful art yourself, it’s at @cloudamsterdam for a whole month.

Since my last journey I’ve been busy working, looking for a new job (and found some), job interviews, studying, swimming and spending time with my family, friends, see some of them play with their bands or solo, birthday parties, making plans for my next journey, videocalls with my friends in Indonesia and went to my cousin’s wedding and much more.

Last week I was in Den Haag for lunch with a former collegue and to take some pictures of places connected to Indonesian history in the Netherlands (for my next visit and presentation at a university in Indonesia). I thought it might be nice to go to the Museum Sophiahof, about the history of Dutch-Indonesian people. I didn’t know there was also a knowledge centre here. I met some kind people here, also with roots in Indonesia. They asked me if I wanted to see the passenger lists of the boats, on which the people after de independance went to the Netherlands. It was interesting to see that my family was also on these lists. I met some more people here who are also looking for their roots. And there are even events and dinner parties to get to know more people looking for their roots and learn more about our history, which I was invited to. It’s good to know that there a more people like me. And I really like it that they are also interested in my journey to my roots. Thank you. I will continue my journey later. I allready booked my next flight to Singapore and Indonesia.

Semoga teman-teman semua diberi kekuatan dan semoga semuanya baik-baik saja, saya baru saja mendengar tentang gempa di selatan Jogja dan dua hari yang lalu di selatan Sukabumi.

Can’t get enough of Indonesia

It was great here. Now I’m allready at work again this week. This is my last update of this journey and some of the highlights. Can’t wait to go here again.

The last days of this journey I was in Jakarta. From Karimunjawa I took the boat and 18-hour sleeperbus to a hotel near Pasar Baru. In this area were many good dim sum restaurants. Yummie. ๐Ÿ™‚

In Jakarta I visited the old Batavia castle (a neighbour gave me a little tour), Kota tua, the Wayang museum, history museum.

Botanic garden in Bogor

And went on a daytrip to Bogor. I walked around the centre to the beautiful Botanic gardens. Bought some delicious Pangsit and other Indonesian snacks on the street, fried right in front of me.

In the afternoon I wanted to go to the Puncak (nearby) to go paragliding, but it started to rain. So, next time then. Instead I took the train to the hotel and went swimming in the rooftop pool. At night it wasn’t raining any more luckily. There was a lot of fireworks in Jakarta and Gamelan bands on trucks driving through the street. It was Idul Fitri.

The next day I flew back to the Netherlands. I’m happy to see my family again, especially my little nephew and niece. I never forget Indonesia. And love my friends. See you again next time! Sampai jumpa. ๐Ÿ˜„โœŒ

Sampai jumpa Karimunjawa

Time flies when you are having fun. I’ve had a wonderful and amazing time in Karimunjawa. It’s a paradise. A lot of snorkeling, it’s so beautiful here and I love snorkeling so much. I found nemo and his friends, turtles and even released a few little turtles back into the sea at the turtle sanctuary here.