The day I left Indonesia

I was born in Indonesia. Raised in the Netherlands. Every year I celebrated August 24, the day I flew to the Netherlands when I was a baby, in 1977. It seemed clear to me I had something to celebrate. Since I had excaped the hopeless slums of my hometown in exchange for a house in one of the richest countries in the world. Frankly, I celebrated my life here, in the country I grew up to be the person I am now. The warm family in which I was raised, the all the chances I’ve gotten,…

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Hello and goodbye, mama…

There are five stages of mourning. Denial is one of them. I think I skipped that phase conveniently. It was either that or I had already worked through it unconsciously in the last few years. Be that as it may, I believed Christine (My Roots) directly on her word when she called me. It was the most implausible story I had ever heard. And yet I didn’t doubt for a moment if it was true. My phone rang this afternoon, promptly at 3 pm. Exactly as Christine had announced in…

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