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Notes written by Oskar Speck relating to Batavia

Date: 1930s
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Object Name: Record
Object No: ANMS0533[001]

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    • Notes on Batavia - Cheribun Took off from [illegible] at 9 [am]. Quite a few people had turned Took off from [illegible] at 9 [am]. Quite a few people had turned up. The wind is excellent but the rain keeps coming. Wind and rain stopped at around 4 [pm], I landed at a small [illegible] and was approached by the local school teacher. He has ten students and they give him one guilder per month. We communicate very well between German and Dutch. People carried my boat to a small bivouac hut which had been erected for use by the local police guard. These are the first Javanese [I encounter] and it turns out that they are quite different from the Malai people, particularly in regard to the girls. This is despite the Javanese being Muslims as well. The policeman insinuated that I could have a girl for 2 p. I was too tired for that sort of thing. I slept very well. The policeman earns 12 guilders per month. I carried on the next morning. I encounter excellent weather again and advance at a phenomenal pace. I land in a little bay at about 5 [pm], A motorboat is anchored there. Ideal for staying over night. However, during the night I have to endure a ferocious storm which dumps a fair bit of rain on my boat. I slept for two hours at the most. Again, I get a fabulous breeze which takes me to a little village that night, about 20 km from Cheribun. I was greeted with a great hullabaloo. The boat is carried up to the village chief. Communication is exceptionally difficult. Some women are semi-naked, wearing no tops. One particularly good looking girl, possibly the chief s daughter makes gestures towards me which are fairly straightforward. Unfortunately I am too heavily guarded and do not know anything of their language, ie. I can't take advantage of what may be on offer. We have coffee. The put some powder in the glass and fill it up with hot water. I throw in a tin of condensed milk which makes the concoction drinkable. They give me some rice and a few very small fish. The whole place is fairly putrid. Suddenly a Javanese official from the neighbouring district appears. He speaks Dutch. A fairly stupid fellow. He copies the entire passport. After his departure I lie down on the [illegible] bed for a nap. The girl positions herself close to the door post where I can see her well, making unambiguous gestures towards nobody in particular, looking towards me every now and then. We make eye contact eventually but by then she seems to have lost her confidence. I am looking forward to nightfall but things don't work out. She sleeps in the room next to mine. I stay awake half the night, hoping that she will show up after all. I would not have rejected her. Outside there is a small gathering around the boat. Apparently they believe that the boat can fly. The house is full of mosquitoes. The next morning I am tip at 4 am. I take a bath, ie. "mandi" in the local language. The water is dirty and reeks. The women here are very uninhibited. I walk into one taking a 'mandi'; she was almost naked. The boat is carried to the water and under the watchful eyes [text breaks off atthis point]
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