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Bangkok docks
December 18, 1955 . . .


On the M.V. "Heemskerk"
- with Jan Hempenius and Captain Bonne -
to say goodbye to Jurre Kuipers
-shaking hands with the First Mate -
who is transferred to Hongkong.

HONGKONG

interlude


December, 1955

After we took Jurre to the boat to Hongkong, I got sick and spent some days in the Bangkok Nursing Home. The doctor prescribed a week rehab in a cool climate, and I was torn between choosing Chiengmai or Hongkong. Since our Manager strictly forbade me the latter, I immediately booked a flight, just to surprise Jurre. Indeed, he was baffled that I was the last one he saw in Bangkok and the first in Hongkong!



This is the glorious view of Hongkong Harbor from the windows of the "Dutch Bank" Mess.

I had gone to our Hongkong branch office,
put on some dark sunglasses
- even though I shivered of the cold -
and asked the counter clerk to pass
a note to Mr. Frank Goldberg,
an old friend from Holland.
The note told him to be very secretive,
that I was here incognito and should be
referred to as a Dutch Naval Officer
passing through on his way from
New Guinea back to Holland.
Could I perhaps stay with them
at the bankmess for a couple of days?
Frank played right along with the charade
and gracefully hosted me. Of course, if word ever got back
to my manager in Bangkok that I was in Hongkong,
I would have been fired on the spot.
But nothing happened, except on the arrival of
Wim Fleurbaai[bottom left] a few weeks into 1956.
He had worked in Bangkok for six years,
then gone on leave to Holland for six months,
and now took up his new function here in Hongkong.
Wim found a Thai matchbox marked "Club 85" in
the bank mess and asked Frank who had left that.
Frank claimed it had been lying there for years.
"Yes", Wim agreed,"It must be very old, indeed, because
that Club wasn't there anymore when I was in Bangkok."
In fact, the Club
had been opened
a couple of weeks
after Wim had
left Bangkok !


(I told Wim so
when I looked him
up at the
Mercantile Bank
of Canada in
Vancouver a few
year later ....
at that time, it did not
matter anymore.)

BLO fecit 200010307
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