Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday in Bandung ~

This morning at 8 am we checked out of our hotel on the southeast part of town and headed closer to the center of town on Jalan Cihampales to the Fave Hotel.  It is more active around here and we enjoy doing a little wandering around during the day - so it was a good choice!
This guy knocked on our taxi window - completely sprayed in silver!  He was collecting donations for his efforts!
Oh I bad for his skin - all the paint...completely sprayed in silver paint...!!!!!  Gosh when he first bent down to the window - I said yikes Nick - ! Look at him...then realized we were not in San Francisco but in Bandung waiting for the red light to change! ha!

We dropped off our suitcases first at the Fave Hotel
- they locked them up in the locker room till we were able to check in after 12 noon.  We we were planning to go to church anyway - so that worked out fine!

 Oh it was so good to be in church this morning!  Nick & I meant a whole lot of nice people from many places - and even 3 people there for the first time from - would you believe it....San Jose,  California! We were introduced to Bert who is a Dutchies - and lives in Bandung these past 2 yrs!  He too was born in Indonesia many years ago!  We enjoyed a class afterwards and took a picture with new friends!
We hope to have made some new contacts here in town, and we also hope Lord willing to be back again next week- we shall see how things work out! 

Oh by the way - it was pretty neat - we meant a gal named Diane and she had been there 29 yrs ago and knew the Pastor, Nick had attended church at when he was here in town and she also was in the same church he attended - and most likely even knew the couple with the 2 children who had received "the Letter" and was planning to mail it out on the day Nick attended there!  Amazing!!!!!!  So special these special "appointments" !!!!!

 Well down the street we walked after our special morning and flagged down a mini take us back to our hotel...fortunately it went straight to our hotel and stopped at the front door...WOW...not switching buses!
                           (oh yes we did get serenaded again!) the signal light that is! ha!

 We checked into our room and it was so cute...and welcoming!
          Yes red tulips for the Dutchies ....of course! Cute huh?
 I just had to take a picture for you all!  Aren't you excited about that??????
 Took a stroll down this street and saw a sign - and of course I recognized my own town of Birth in Holland written the Dutch way....Den Haag   The Hague! It also says klapper taart which is Coconut pound cake!

Well gosh - another picture again of course!!!! Yes we controlled ourselves - no cake - just a picture!

We walked over to the open mall area to go have a cup of coffee - they made us a delicious cup of java coffee...of course...I am in Java!  And while we are sitting there enjoying watching the people - and families enjoying their Sunday afternoon shopping and wandering around - we were visited by some
                       "very tall people"!
 Looking again - I thought...Nick - I gotta go over there and take a picture for Lisa Pinkerton...yes Tom & Marilyn daughter also can walk on stilts!!!!!
So Lisa - this is for YOU from Bandung Java Indonesia to Cupertino, California with love~ 

 The Indonesian's have wooden puppets that tell stories - Wyang puppets (click on this Link)  Wayang Puppet Theatre     and these guys looked like these puppets!
They turned around and gave me a fancy's a bow....just for you! From one stilt walker to another!  How fun huh?      I can still see you walking down Bond Street on the 4th of July in downtown Bend...looking like our American Uncle Sam (female one!)

 It gets dark here between 5:30 - 6:00 pm and so the lights in the open mall came on and it was a very cozy and a pretty surrounding - hey we are enjoying our new location!  Cute all those palm trees, canopy fern trees -

Because it was weekend there were little tents set up to promote some special items for sale.  There was also a band stand and a group was playing and singing and lots of youth hanging out.

The people love music and have it on really loud and it was loud at this open area too.

Doesn't matter where we live in the world...people love to gather and shop and meet friends and - have a special time on weekends!
Families strolling - kiddies running around - people having a bite to eat.

And we see so many familiar name brands - KFC, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Starbucks, and they are well visited and patronized...oh so much!   

Our Hotel - had this sign out by the elevator!...Greja (church) so the Bethel Church meets here in the conference room upstairs...great to see!

It was a good day - church - a little shopping - this particular area has clothing outlets and one of the Factory Outlets had the Ross brand tags still attached familiar is that?  - bought a pair of casual pants below the knee and a t-shirt and Nick picked out a t-shirt and some nice Polo aftershave!  Good outlet prices!

We decided to eat dinner at the hotel and meant some Dutchies who sat across from us...they have been here 24 days already and heading back to Holland tomorrow.  They had actually tagged along on this trip with their son who is married to a gal from Jakarta.  The family came to visit her relatives both in Jakarta and also Bukittinggi Sumatra - same places we had also visited. Fun to hear the stories and this couple enjoyed visiting here in Indonesia already for the 2nd time!  So many Dutchies come here - but of course there is a 300+ history from the Dutch colonial days!

Yep - time to relax....hugs to all!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend in Bandung ~

Today, Saturday we decided we wanted to move into town a bit - the Ibis is on the outskirts of town and we always need the taxi to get anywhere....we had found a Fave Hotel which we are familiar with and their rooms are tidy and they have wifi in the rooms & prices are much more reasonable.  Just wasn't available when we first got into town!

So this morning we started out by a walk to a bakery we had passed by several times - by car or mini bus....let's check it out Nick!

Yes it was called the Holland Bakery and we were curious how Dutch it would be!  It even had a windmill on the roof!  
 Nick nosed around and we found something we both liked ~

Lemper!  And it was really good...! A strange thing to find in a bakery but it is a specialty here - so I guess a bakery would sell it yes?
(sticky rice with  spicy chicken inside) they also had "kroket" but decided against that. 

We then grabbed the taxi and it was crazy busy already only 9:30 am - I guess everyone was heading into the center of town and we were too!  We wanted to check out the Fave Hotel area because there is a little more to do there and closer to the church we want to attend Sunday morning!  

"HOGS" Anyone? 

Yes there was a rally of some sort in town this weekend...and these Harley's were lined up here this evening in front of our hotel/mall!  My what a 'roar' of motorcycles came in all at once! 

                              We chuckled seeing so many Harley's here in Indonesia! Just look at that!

 That is a whole lot of investment's lined up there!  Seems pretty expensive to bring those over from the States - Nick noted!
                                          And there was a Gold Wing - Honda right in between!
The guys and gals got a whole lot of looks ~

 Nick & I so wanted a salad - so yes...we walked into Pizza Hut where we found a salad bar! How funny is that...Pizza Hut here and it was swamped in there for a Saturday evening...we waited quite a long time but it was worth the wait!  We are missing our salads!  Indonesian cuisine does not offer a whole lot of we are ready to find a place to settle a while and be able to fix our own meals!  Although don't get us wrong - we love our nasi goreng!
As we were wandering around this afternoon close to the Fave
Hotel we stopped for some coffee and chatted with a young man - who was a student here from Australia ~ it was so nice to talk to him.  He has been here already 3 yrs studying at the university (English speaking school).  Always fun to chat with people and they too enjoy speaking a little English again! 

We walked along the shopping area and heard some Dutch spoken and said "Goede middag" (good afternoon!) and the people looked up and smiled! Lots of Dutchies today - must a tour group in town!

Well we found a International Church and will be visiting it in the morning - we are so looking forward to it!  We will check out of our hotel here very early 8:00 am and then bring our suitcases to the Fave Hotel and then continue on with the taxi to the church service which starts at 9 am.  Cost about $3,- to get across town with the taxi - not bad huh?

One More Thing.........

We walked by this restaurant and Lo and Behold - there was my favorite little car that brought lots of good memories - my years in Holland!  Oh my goodness you guys - 
 I raced around in this little mini cooper back in the 70' don't ask how....but what fun it was to criss-cross through town with it!
I said Nick! Nick! Look - there is the cutest little car and here in a restaurant here in Bandang! 
                                           What fun!  I think I might of taught Tineke my girlfriend in Holland how to drive with this little car...Tineke is that so?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A VERY Special and Emotional Afternoon ~

Today we went to Cimahi - the Dutch Cemetery where Nick's father and my grandfather is buried!
Gosh - quite emotional for the both of us!  But very touching and we were ever so thankful to be here!

It took us only about 40 min from Bandung to Cimahi the next town over, but  it just takes awhile to get out Bandung  - a lot of traffic.

We saw the sign up ahead and to think after all these years we finally are here...driving to this place here in!  The taxi driver pointed the direction and we stepped out of the car and walked towards the gate up ahead passing another cemetery first.

 We came to the gate of  Ereveld Leuwigajah (Memorial Cemetery Leuwigajah)

 Gosh you was quite a walk....when Nick & I met each other we found out later that both his father and my grandfather were buried here.  To experience this together today so much went through my mind- Our flight to Asia took us to Singapore first and we went to the  Changi Prison in Singapore where his father died in the prison there - (he was first buried in Medan, Sumatra) our flight from Bangkok, Thailand brought us into Medan, Sumatra some weeks ago!) we also knew that in 1966 the remains were brought from Medan to this resting place here in Java)  My grandfather was also brought to this cemetery after he passed away in the Japanese camps.  But my father thankfully stayed alive through this experience - all these men were brought to Burma by the Japanese to build railroad was hard labor.

.......all these things went through my mind and heart as we wandered through the cemetery.
 This would be the first time for Nick to come to his father's grave site.  When the war was over Nick, his sister Cecile, and his mother had heard via the Red Cross that his father had died.  He had died just a few days before the war had ended.  Yet the family left Indonesia never to see his grave or remains all this time!

                      So this was a very special today for Nick...and Cecile - too - back in Bend Oregon!

The cemetery is immaculately maintained by the Dutch government... we were so' pleased to see that!
                                        But so many crosses - over 5200 people are buried here and there are a total of 7 of these cemeteries where the Dutch KNIL men are buried!  (Jakarta, Bandung, Cimahi, 2 in Semarang, and Surabaya) So to have Nick's father and my Opa, grandfather buried in the very same place - well you can understand how we feel about that!)

              The man who maintains the yards brought us to the grave sites both of Nick's father #230 and my                                                                        grandfather #795.
                                                    Unknown ~ (Onbekend) written in Dutch
Gosh can't described the words we felt...but it was so good to be here!

Nicolaas Franciscus Johannes Diemel
Born January 3, 1904 Died       April 29, 1945     at the age of  41
                                                        Johannes Willem Jacobus Baidenmann
Born August 29, 1890 Died May 11, 1945 at the age of 54

                            To see your family name there on the cross - so much goes through you!

Ron & Maralin - (my siblings) I know you too are thankful to see this - and so my thoughts are with you too as I kneel here!
                     I know my aunt in Holland - Tante Evie  is pleased I am here, and Edward too my cousin in Holland!  This is my father's sister!  Yes....finally made it Tante Evie!

Our heritage is here in Indonesia on my father's side!
 So many 'unknowns' - yet they too were remembered here!
 Nick & I were so pleased to see everything being taken care of ~
 We are thankful to the Dutch government for continuing to maintain this memorial for their fallen!

The cemetery was in a nice area surrounded by some mountains, and there in the distance you see the men working to keep everything looking so clean!  They were washing the crosses, and I went over to thank them for their good care.

Well it was quite an afternoon!  Nick & I were grateful for it and we went back to the taxi waiting for us and he brought us back to town and the hotel!  

We talked a lot about it this evening and felt our steps have been orchestrated - 25 yrs ago when Nick came here on a trip by himself...he was in Bandung - and had a very special experience here regarding a letter he had sent 1 1/2 yr before...not even knowing his father was buried in the next town...but now he was here again...knowing it and visiting the grave site for the first time...and I, for the first time in Indonesia feel the closeness and the love my father had for this country and the memories he shared with me growing up.  

(I am thankful too for the love of the Indonesian cuisine that he loved so much...that too has rubbed off on me...ha!)

So...we will hold this day dear in our hearts both Nick & I and we are thankful to have made it this far in our trip to experience it!