Bandung to Bali Book II


Bandung to Bali BOOK II – the story so far

The day finally arrives for us to leave Australia. Our bags are packed and soon we are up, up and away. After the near loss of the treasured pig, we travel over an enormous and mysterious land, across the Tropic of Capricorn and the Torres Strait all the way to Indonesia. The plane finally lands and we step out into the hot, humid and startling city of Jakarta.

After an exciting drive through Jakarta, we arrive into the cool of a modern hotel. The next morning the boys are up exploring and Dad takes us out onto streets  to uncover little shops full of mysterious foods and music made by pirates.

When our bus fails to arrive until late afternoon the next day, we have to face the long dark journey overnight through the mountains to Bandung. The driver insists we stay at the famous art deco Hotel Homann, which reminds me of Agatha Christie and her stories of danger and intrigue. On our first walk in Bandung we stumble on a scorpion man who sells us a protective stick to keep us safe from the scorpion’s wicked sting. The next day we take a long becak ride to our new home in Jalan Benawang. After Mum and Dad’s hopeless first efforts to master cooking in the tiny kitchen, we are magically rescued by Atang and Kiah.

Atang takes us to one of Bandung’s amazing markets and we slowly settle into lessons at home, only interrupted by the reprieve of washing in the mundi. Mum decides she’s ready to venture into town so we brave the bemos to make new friends at Braga Permai.

After Matt takes on the deluge by swimming in the drain, he has to find redemption (but discovers the joy of scootering instead). When our new friends come to visit for satays and Batman, Richie awakens Rukman – the Hantu with frightening results.

To find out what life was like before our adventure in Indonesia you can go Back to BOOK I

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5 thoughts on “Bandung to Bali Book II

  1. Time gets away very easily when one is occupied with work! With the Bandung stories, I guess I wanted to learn what happened in Bali. But, they’ll come in due course. The Indonesian language, yes, I can remember when languages other than French or German were starting to be offered, and I’d often thought it would’ve been good to learn them, ‘though I understand Indonesian can be quite hard to master, a bit like Chinese, you have to have the right mindset to cope, whereas mine is a Latin mind, hence French, Italian, Spanish would be the go for me. I presume those other languages are still taught today. I guess with two teachers in the family, I’m surprised it took you so long to get to academia (vet first). Re glamorous parents, yes, I agree; my mother was always well groomed and tried to instil that in me too, ‘tho unsuccessfully, in my view. It used to annoy her so much! Well, I’ll scout around for the laneway post; I think I know which one it is and comment thereon. Don’t work too hard, chas! 😉

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  2. Chas, I’ve spent time reading most of your posts about your Bandung experiences as a young teenager. Your evocative writing style takes me there, and also reminds me what being Australian children is like — not afraid to explore on their own, geting into mischief and just having pure fun. Your parents sound like the kind I’d like to have had (didn’t and no siblings to really explore with either….missed out, but then I’ve always been self-contained and explored on my own anyway!!!). The photo of your mother at Matt’s first communion has me thinking that I know her, from somewhere?! How long were you in Indonesia? Did you get to prepare the book for your father? If not, I suggest blurb.com could be a very cheap and beautiful way to present your writings and drawings and as a lasting legacy; I have experience with them and was very pleased with the results. Cheers, janina xo

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    • Hi Janina

      Lovely to hear from you! Did you see I posted something about the laneway you had also photographed which you showed me when we met? My parents were very adventurous. My mum was a teacher of the deaf and worked at the VSDC for many years – you may have a had a connection there? We were in Indonesia for about 5 months (the end of the stay became quite exciting..) I have managed to pull the blog into blurb – which is great and glad to hear you found the output was good quality. I’m fussing with finalising the first book now and should probably just push the button! Usual story…

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      • Firstly, No re your laneway post; perhaps you could give me a link in your reply here and I’ll take a look.
        Secondly, you mentioned you were going to prepare a book of the Bandung experiences. That is what I would like to see as a hardback book from blurb.com. A blog-book maybe for later, eh! Your Bandung book would be a good legacy for your parents, and your children too; I’m sure you agree.
        Thirdly, will there be any more Bandung stories; thirty so far, I think?! Five months doesn’t seem long enough to be sent on assignment there. It’s the sort of place I’d want to spend at least two years to explore the environment and get to know the locals better. Why did Gough send him there? I’m curious….
        Fourthly, I don’t have a connection with the VSDC. It’s just that your mother has the movie-star looks and perhaps I’d seen her on an Australian TV program?

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      • Hi – yes I have to get on with the next few stories – what a start to the year – It’s been quite full on already.
        re Indonesia my dad actually went back and forth quite a few times on study tours and later with his own students. This stint I’ve written about was with the whole family. His mission was to collate education materials just as Indonesian was starting to be taught in more schools in Australia.
        Yes – my mum was very glamorous looking but had no film roles that I know of! Of course all women of her generation grew up on Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Onassis so they were always well groomed.

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