Bandung, 1942

In the novel I describe various cities and places. One of them is pre-war Bandung.
Here’s an excerpt from ‘The Java Gold’,  Chapter 5 “Loose Lips”

… Bandung’s city center was a madhouse. Cars blocked the sidewalks and every bar, dancing and restaurant along the Jalan Braga was jam-packed with noisy, drinking crowds. It seemed as if the whole European population was going on one last frantic binge.

The Jalan Brage in 1942

The Jalan Brage in 1942

Mitsuko completely ignored the crowds and the noise. She walked on briskly without saying a word and turned into a quiet side street where she knocked on the door of what looked like a small and rather shabby photographers shop. An elderly lady opened the door and bowed politely. After Mitsuko whispered something to her she  and Leo were admitted. They were handed Tabi socks and sandals and, leaving their shoes behind in the shop were shown into a private room. Leo looked around in astonishment. The room totally belied the shabby appearance of the shop. Soft light shone through translucent walls that seemed to be made of some kind of paper and the floor was covered with straw mats, all exactly similar in size and color.  A vase with a small but beautifully arranged flower piece was placed on a low, dark-red lacquered table in the middle of the room. After a few moments another kimono-clad lady came in bearing a pot of green tea on a beautifully lacquered tray. She knelt and, after carefully pouring tea in two small porcelain cups, bowed and withdrew.

‘It all looks very Japanese to me’ said Leo, looking at the tiny cups and the lacquered tray.

‘This is the way cultured people drink their tea in this part of the world!’ said Mitsuko, with a trace of irritation in her voice…’


About Kingsleyr

Thank you for visiting my blog! The posts you find here are a direct result of my research into aviation and military history. I use the information I gather as a foundation and background for my books. You may call the genre historical fiction, a story woven into a background of solid and verifiable historical facts. However, the period and region I have chosen to write about (late 1930's - 1950's in South-East Asia) are jam-packed with interesting information and anecdotes. If I'd used them all I would swamp the stories. So this blog is the next best thing. It is an "overflow area" in which I can publish whatever I think will interest you. And from the reactions I get, I deduce I am on the right track. A lot will be about aviation in the former Dutch East Indies. This, because my series of books ("The Java Gold") follows a young Dutch pilot in his struggle to survive the Pacific War and its aftermath. But there's more in the world and you'll find descriptions of cities, naval operations and what not published on this blog. Something about myself; I am a Dutch-Canadian author, living in, and working out of the magical city of Amsterdam. My lifelong interest in history and aviation, especially WW2, has led me to write articles and books on these subjects. I hope you'll enjoy them!
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