"Child of the WORLD" tualborn's Profile
I was born in Indonesia right after WWII on Tual in the Kei Islands, in the area of the Spice Islands, near Ambon and close to the coast of New Guinea. In a little house, without the aid of a doctor or nurse, my father delivered me on Sunday afternoon on January 20th, and showed me off to all the native people who had gathered in the yard to look at the first Dutch child born in Tual. “Selamat tuan besar, selamat siang - sangat beruntung - indah anak jadi putih,” they said (Hello Sir, good afternoon – very lucky, beautiful child – very white). My father was a police officer in the still active Dutch Police force and that year was stationed in Tual to oversee the political prisoners sent there with their families.
Indonesia was in turmoil at the time, and many Dutch citizens, including almost all of our family, were leaving their birthplace in these the now former Dutch colonies to go back to The Netherlands, aka Holland. It was not an easy adjustment for many that had lived in Indonesia for many generations, and when in Holland they often felt like strangers, aliens, and missed their tropical and easy colonial life. For those of mixed ancestries, the adjustment was often unbearable, not only the cold climate was hostile, but the Dutch people were far from welcoming the "Indos", as they were often called.
But during these turbulent and traumatic times in the fifties, my parents did not immediately go back to The Netherlands with the rest of the family and most of their friends, but stayed until 1959 at their home in Jakarta on Java, and pretended that everything was still the same. And for the most part it was practically the same in the beginning of those ten years when I was growing up.
My sister was born two years after me, at a modern hospital in Utrecht, Holland, since it was the custom to go on annual "leave" to the homeland for several months. Each year, the annual journey was made via boat for six weeks around Cape Hope in Africa, stopping at all sorts of exciting ports along the route, Singapore, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Cape town, and the Canary Islands. Once we went through the Suez Canal and went on a breath-stopping excursion to see the pyramids. The way back to Indonesia took several days via propeller plane, often stopping at Karachi, in newly independent Pakistan, for refueling.
As a child in this new Indonesia, my fondest memories are of soft and warm people around me, many little friends to play with; the great rain monsoons when it seemed like a river fell out of the sky; and the Kali (sort of a drainage canal) at the end of the block where we went swimming against the rules; the green rice paddy terraces high up on the mountains on the way to our cottage in Bogor, where it was cold at night, and we rode the small little horses around the neighborhood. My Dad drove our 1952 Studebaker, and we took with us our "babu''s" (nursemaids). It was fun and easy, we kept clothes and other essentials at our cottage, and we bought food at the stalls along the way. A swimming pool was made by damming off of a section of a small river with practically freezing water in that pool my sister caught a scorpion and let it walk on the back of her hand, she never got hurt, despite all of our yelling. In the stifling hot and muggy summers back in Jakarta, at week's end, my father would take us on his sailboat out of Priok Harbor and with the great winds of the Banda seas we would cut through the water at very great speed, flying by atolls of colored coral sticking out of the sea. And oh...the food - especially all the street vendors such as the tukan sate-babi (pork) or sate-ayam (chicken) with his pot of charcoal on one end of his shoulder yoke, and sate's, seasonings, and other lip-smacking things at the other side...hmmm the burning smell of barbecue as the sate's browned and our mouths were watering.
When I went back to Indonesia in 1989 after many years away, I literally kissed the ground of my HOME, and tears ran down my cheeks.
My parents are what Hawaiians call POI dogs. Several nation's bloodlines mingled together; great-grandparents from China, Portugal, Spain, Holland, France, and Indonesia. I am MULTI-racial, a CHILD OF THE WORLD, comfortable everywhere and with anyone. Understanding a smatter of all languages, and able to eat whatever is available, from raw food of the sea, to sauced entree's with 40 ingredients. From highclass fat cats to the beggars on the street, I talk to everyone, I have compassion and emphathy, and share ideas, thoughts, and my experiences.
My colonial European ancestors did much evil and destruction in their "discovery" of old and cultured places, and my Asian ancestors endured and survived where-ever they came to live, their spirits never broken. I lived and visited many places in Europe, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, Paris, London, Vienna, Palma, Lisbon, and I am fascinated with the art and architecture and the variety of nature and climate.
The Americas are my home now, stretching from the southern point of Chili and Argentina to the north, Alaska, Canada and the Artic wilderness. When my parents finally left their beloved Indonesia, and then felt unwelcome, undesirable in Holland for two years, they applied as refugees to the USA, and we became immigrants in the brand-new 50th state: Hawaii. Boarding a plane in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport February 1961, bound for New York City and then San Francisco, and finally Honolulu, we thought we would wear grass skirts and maybe live in a palm front hut, but soon saw our new house in Kaneohe on Oahu, all furnished by our sponsor, the congregation of the Kaneohe Methodist Church.
Hawaii - The place I first lived in the Americas is not even a real part of it, but a lonely state in the middle of the Pacific ocean, with its own history and culture - HAWAII-nei. The five major Hawaiian Islands have a long history - with kings and queens and many gods for each island. I was very fortunate to grow up there as a teenager, absorbing the Hawaiiana taught in the schools and on the street. The care and concern for each-other and nature was foremost, and is called aloha (love) - aina (soul/spirit) - ohana (family).
Oahu is one of the five major islands, the gathering island. Don't miss the KOOLAU mountains with its many waterfalls, drive around the island for a day.
Remarried now to a Mexican from Guadalajara, we live in Miami, the HOTTEST city in the USA. We have a culturally rich group of people living here, from every country in the world. There are many Cubans who speak loud Spanish and have a sense of entitlement to Miami, they "discovered" it first, but Brazilians are everywhere in their tight clothes and fabulous bodies, then there are lots of Columbians, Mexicans, Canadians, Carribeans (is that a word?) etc etec etcetera.....Models, good looking people, old and young, tanned, positive, fresh, energetic, interesting, interested, open, friendly, fun-filled.
When in Miami don't miss the Cuban coffee - ask for a "colada", a real adreneline shot of caffeine.
Go to Ocean Drive on South Beach for action, and for look for clubs on Washington Street and Lincoln Road, there is a nice theatre too.
"Calle Ocho" is in March it is a big street festival in Little Havanna.
Helps if you speak Spanish.
I have one son Daniel - the oldest child - lives in San Francisco
And two daughters - the youngest Danielle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons - Daniel and Michael.
I travel constantly to California at least 6 times a year to see them, and we take vacations together too.
Danny and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas - we had excellent fun and it was an unforgettable trip.
My middle daughter - Kwi - lives in Kailua, Hawaii with my two grandchildren Jazzy and Ola. We don't see them too much anymore since we moved to Florida. But Hawaii is unforgettable. Once you have played at the beaches in Hawaii, nothing else compares, not the shores on Greece, Bali, or anywhere else in the world I have seen so far.
Hawaii-nei....I love you.
A big name for a little baby girl - my GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER
My little Hawaiian sunshine. She is alomost two yeas old now....
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