Voodoo, superstition and guardian angels and premonitions 3

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


'Not only now, special events are taking place, it has never been different Whoever has eyes to see and who has ears to hear will see and hear. Of course you don't see what you don't want to see. That is a kind of protection to prevent the safe and secure feeling that people have built up by immediately accepting inexplicable things. It is nice to reason away events that do not fit in with our thinking, then we will continue to understand the world and we will retain control of our environment. Isn't that the way it goes?

 Delft and Indonesia

My grandfather was born in Amsterdam in 1891. He studied in Delft just like his father, my great-grandfather, and just like my father would. I broke that tradition, that hegemony of technocratic blood and thinking. However, blood creeps where it can't go and I ended my career, appointed by the government at, you guessed it, University of Delft. I am the last of those generations, with exactly the same names and middle names that had been associated with the technocratic stronghold, that man's world of yore; Delft. Men who named their sons after themselves and immediately went back to design or engineering. They were the technical nerds of their days. The Royal Academy for the training of civil engineers such as for land service and industry it was called to become later Delft founded in 1842 by King Willem the second, to achieve unity in reporting and construction projects.


It is therefore the only state-founded university in the Netherlands and the first chamber of parliament can directly appoint people there. In the pre-Delft period, the army, especially the infantry, built bridges and sometimes it went well and sometimes they collapsed. The king wanted everywhere in the overseas territories projects built by the same discipline and reports in the same way in terms of financial accountability by the administrative apparatus. It was primarily a training for civil servants of the East Indian service.




My grandfather and Indonesia

When my grandfather was 24 and finished his education he wanted to flee the mess of Europe in the 1st World War and he took his bride to India, Java, and to be even more precise, to Pare Pare. He was sent there for some state service. There he lived the life of a rich settler of that time. He had been assigned a home and he soon filled his surroundings with indigenous workers, who became cooks or gardeners, baboo, cleaning lady or masseur. Some lived in the kampong and others found shelter in some side buildings.


My grandfather worked in the morning and in the afternoon he consulted with the 'Gentlemen' in a separate club that was only accessible to them and which they called the enterprise. There they were served by native boys and the Gentlemen talked with a drink in their hands and / or some punch about the coming wild boar hunt they would organize or the crocodiles they would shoot at night from a prahu.



 The men's lives soon took on grotesque forms. As a newcomer you were invited into the enterprise and in no time the newcomer was transformed into the all-knowing white man, who has an opinion about everything and argues everything from a scientific angle. They almost took the power position of the Maharajahs and every drink more, made them swell a bit more in swaggering behavior. Adoh man.


The ghost  house

When my grandfather had completed 20 years of service, he was allowed to retire because tropical years counted double. When he was 44 years old and in the power of his life he was allowed to retire! He did not want to return to the Netherlands and bought coffee and tea plantations and had a share in sugar cane.

Visits for consultations to the enterprise increased. Samsi, the garden boy was promoted to chauffeur and had to make sure my grandfather always came home. During such a meeting one of the gentlemen said that he had seen a beautiful property outside the village, a rather dilapidated house but with many fields around it. He wanted to know who it belonged to and whether it could possibly be bought. They asked the bartender. "Tuan," he said, "don't go there, stay far away from it. There are ghosts. " Upon which the "civilized developed" Gentlemen began to roar with laughter. "Ghost do not exist," said my all knowing grandfather. "Come in if you have a head," another mockingly said. 'Don't invoke themTuan, please, "the boy behind the bar said, startled.



After a few more drinks and a few jokes about the ridiculous superstition, it was decided that they would spend the night in the house. One of those present said, "I am not afraid and he knocked at the wooden bar to avoid problems, but I have been living here for some time and I am not taking part in it." Three men and my grandfather made a bet to spend the night at the house in question. The others would wait outside the house to see if the "brave ones" would indeed stay in the house from midnight. The bets were noted in a club book and signed by the participants. It was to happen the following night. .


Quarter to twelve, four men, including my grandfather, walked to the large, now somewhat ominous house. The others sat outside with lanterns and snacks and drinks and smoked a bit. The brave ones also brought lamps and laughed a little nervously. My grandfather told me later that he felt a tightness as they stepped through the door, inside. They were not allowed to be there, such a feeling. There was nothing in the house, the floor was dusty and their footsteps disturbed the virginity of the dust.'Right men,' a friend of my grandfather said, " I've never earned my money so easily, "and he laughed. But his smile sounded cold and pinched. They put the lamps down and lit a cigar. The clock struck twelve.



It's coming

Nothing happened. After a few more seconds my grandfather's friend was just beginning to tell a story to pass the time when the second man grabbed his head and moaned in horror, "oh my God it is coming." The lamps flickered, and somewhere a door shut with a thundering sound, "wind," my grandfather said bravely. The lights went out and the wind was in the house now. The silhouettes of the friends could now only be distinguished by the firing point of the cigars and by the scarce light of the moon that penetrated.

"Ohhh ..." said the second man ... "he is here ..." and he held his head as if he had an unbearable headache. A friend was thrown against a wall and screamed like a slaughter pig. 'For the rest,' said, my grandfather it rainde blows and punches We were beaten silly, We were beaten black and blue. Twirled around like little children. "We gotto get out," one of the men shouted. With their backs against each other, they walked towards the door like a strange crab. While the punches and kicks only increased in strength. The bolt was on the door. The second man now wailed, "they are coming to get me, they are coming for me." "Shut up," roared my grandfather, who had finally lost his cool. They went tumbling outside and the door slammed shut with a gust of wind.

 "We'll never talk about this," my grandfather said. One had a bloody lip, another had a closed eye. The group of men who waited outside approached them. "Hey," one of them said, "have you been fighting?" "Have you heard anything," my grandfather asked? "No," they said, "what should we have heard?" "Nothing," said my brave grandfather, "let's go home." My grandfather asked the second man, "What exactly did you say about something that was coming?" "I said nothing," the man replied.

" Grandpa,' I asked, "what really happened there, I want to hear it from you." "Well," he said, "I think those others had hired some fighters to win the betting purse." "You really think so," I asked?

"No," he said, "let's not talk about it anymore," and he knocked with his fist on his wooden chair.

San Daniel 2020



16/02/2020 20:38

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