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Traveling and Writing
This website is about traveling and writing. Being on the move and being emotionally moved. Two different but interconnected things. Spotting places and losing your heart. Temples, pyramids, cities and ruins, forests and mountains, valleys and rivers, volcanoes and lakes, daily life in the streets, the world as habitat for writing.
Read on: In the year 2000

The Author
Derk Cools was born in 1939 in Den Haag / The Haque, the Netherlands. He got his degree in social geography and economics at the University of Utrecht(1958). As a civil servant with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, he developed expertise in regional (economic) planning at home and abroad. In 1994, he retired and moved to the Netherlands Antilles, the island of Curacao. Read on: Since 1995, he traveled

02 januari 2010

A general introduction to the book online (in Dutch)

A general introduction to the book-online
‘With a Hat shading the Light’

To go on line with a book is running against the medium. Something of the past put into the present. That is why I wrote a summary in English of my book in dutch, entitled 'With a Hat shading the Light', written in the year 2000 (translation of the dutch title: "Met de Hoed tegen het Licht").

But I did more.Five years later I went back to South East Asia and this time I took a lot of pictures with a digital camera as every modern hiker does. So, I now present on line a summary of the book, some parts of the text and a small selection of my pictures. A step forward to modernity.

Apart from this, I selected haiku from my book and translated them. This is what is not done. It is like calling a duck a penguin duck as Alfred Wallace mentioned they did on Bali. To ease myself ', I combined the haiku texts with pictures – another 'don’t.' A haiku is a world in itself. It is language, a thing composed of words, no other stuff. Basta.

Why I did this all? It is for the thrill of traveling and writing. Hopefully you’ll feel the thrill of reading.

"With a Hat shading the Light"

At the end of the year 1999, I traveled in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. I had been several times in Indonesia as a civil servant of the Netherlands government. My field of concern in those days was technological and economic cooperation between the two countries. The large archipelago of islands and its many landscapes of desa's and rice fields, of volcanoes and mountains, of its historical monuments had cast a spell on me. Once upon a day, I promised myself to come back and see Indonesia more in private, to have a look behind the screens of formality and diplomatic politeness. This time, I would go for the people and their daily life, their traditions and ceremonies, their works of art, the mysterious ambiance and the beauty of the landscapes so intensely labored by so many people. The Japanese haiku poet Basho joined me as a poetic companion and the Portuguese author Pessoa helped me to better understand the invisible things of life. Two or better, three strangers in Indonesia, experts however in observing, poetry and traveling.

I traveled in central and eastern Java, the flat lands and the high plateaus, the crowded, noisy cities, the lonely mountains and the volcanoes. I visited the tropical garden of Bogor, Bandung with its colonial and Art Deco reminiscences, hotels and shop signs, Yogyajakarta and its the famous but quiet and musical kraton of the Sultan, the nearby Buddhist Borobudur and Hindustani Prambanan monument. Then, I went to the small town of Blitar and its mausoleum of the first Indonesian President, Sukarno, continuing to Malang and its colonial air and impressive boulevards. I visited Jember and its old plantations of coffee and rubber. The island of Java has so many mystery sites and scenic areas. It is a world of contrasts and conflicts, of thriving activity and poverty. At the same time, Java is an island of beauty and the ever singing Muezzin, of overcrowded cities and desa's along never ending roads. Java steals the soul, so I never can leave her behind.

On Bali I stayed at the artistic village of Ubud in the hills, I visited the Pura Besakih, the Gunung Kawi (mountain) and the caves of Goa Gajah. On Lombok it was the Sasak village of Senaru and a Hindu ceremony that brought me closer to the original life of the island. In Sulawesi, I traveled by public bus for miles and miles from Makassar in the south to the northern tip, the city of Menado and stayed for some time in the central region, the Tana Toraja and its marvelous villages from where I went to see the balconies of the dead, the wooden and well dressed-up puppets ( tau tau) high up in the steep cliffs. In Malaysia I traveled by luxury bus and stayed at Malakka with the flavor of old Dutch architecture and colorful Chinatown, Buddhist and Taoist little temples. Thailand I didn’t know, so I was impressed by the forest of Buddha temples and its realm of silence in the big, noisy cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I made day trips to the old capital of Thailand, the complex of temple ruins in Ayuthaya and to Kanchanaburi, the railway across the River Kwae and the well kept war cemetery. To escape the crowds and the loudness I went on jungle trekking for some days and returned after three days to go home, to the little island of Curacao in the Caribbean. This is the topographic side of the medal.

In this booklet, I try to do more than just telling this story of my travel. With the help of Basho I make notes and use the haiku technique to bring together my observations and the wanderings of the mind. So, I write about little things as f.e. a morning stroll in the sawa's (rice fields), the pinpointing of my mosquito net in a hostel, the minibus as a high pressure cooker for passengers, the royal diving of a kingfisher, a horror story ( guna guna) in the night, a canoe and hidden crocodiles, the daily loneliness of a Dutch speaking shopkeeper, gold fishes in a lake, the burning of fragrance sticks in a Chinese temple, the buy of a Buddha image on a market, a stony turtle and a bat, the smoking of opium by an old woman. All short stories or poetic tales, little histories, minor happenings and meditative reflections on the little things of daily life. These stories and tales have their own style and point. Leaf through the book and find your story or poem. Taste the sweetness or the spicy flavor.

Order book at: Lulu

1 opmerking:

elbret zei

what an travel-energia, no illnesses ??