Skip directly to content

Series EN 027

on Fri, 09/02/2016 - 05:32
Captain Nie Hoe Kong's House
Captain Nie Hoe Kong's House

 

  1. Evening Reception

That night the moon was not full, a little cloud covered on the tip of her scythe. The little cloud covered the bright sky. The torch spread around seemed to welcome Jing Bing from a long trip. In front of the hospital adjacent to the women's prison, people walked back and forth selling a variety of foods. The living city was not a city filled with beautiful buildings but empty of human beings. City was alive because of human activities that bustle, busy selling in the market, and the streets crowded with vendors, pedestrians, the boat back and forth and some horse carriage that defecate everywhere.

Street busyness at night seemed to forget the city issues that must be faced. The crescent moon seemed to fall in the canals of Batavia that renowned as a beautiful city in the old days but had a lot of problems now.

The street that was dusty in daylight because bypassed carts and horse-drawn carriage, looked serene. For Jing Bing who just landed in Batavia, the first night was a mystery. As if the night was a mystery to his soul. Darkness and light dimly lit torch did not provide hospitality, scary. The night was a soul hovering not in certain direction, darkness gave a question mark. Everything was dark needed of others to depend...... it was Poh An. The streets that was clearly visible in the afternoon, now seemed to turn into a hallway which must be carefully examined so as not to get lost.

"At this hour there are still many people passing by  because Utrecht gate still open. Behind this city walls there are more food sellers" said Poh An who picked Jing Bing that night and then walked beside him.

"I heard a lot of Chinese live outside the city walls, is it true?"

"Yes it’s true, their number is more than those who stay inside the city walls"

Captain Nie Hoe Kong’s home was not far from the hospital, in Roa Malaka, precisely in the Portuguese church street, situated on the edge of the road of jonker canal. The dusty road has led them both to that house. Like any other houses, Captain Nie Hoe Kong’s house extends all the way to the street without any space left. At the front side was two-story with large windows as the house gates and warehouse. Once inside the gate one saw a wide yard with the main building in the middle.

At the Corner of the yard there was a temporary roof and music stage of Gambang Kromong to welcome the junk from China that landed in Batavia. Unfortunately, this junk may not be landed too long in Batavia because the Dutch was suspicious to the Chinese who were over populated The gate of captain Nie Hoe Kong’s house was widely opened so that people can be in and out freely.

Captain Nie Hoe Kong sat on the terrace accompanied  by some Chinese, including lieutenant Nio Kanko, Tan Tion Qua and Oei Tsomko. They were apparently not only celebrate the landed  junk, bringing goods from China they sold,  also they welcomed Jing Bing, because for along time the Chinese hospital had no sinshe. By raising hand, the “pai”, as a tribute, Jing Bing sat in front of them.