|Charlie and Syd at the airport in Batavia, April 18th, 1932|
Before leaving Bali, the brothers’ immediate plans were to backtrack through Java and return to Singapore where they would catch the boat to Japan on the 24th. So on the evening of Sunday, April 17th (the day after Charlie’s 43rd birthday), they departed from Buleleng, in northern Bali, aboard the SS Van Der Wyck and sailed to Surabaya, arriving the next morning. In order to avoid a hot, 13-hour train ride to Batavia, the brothers chose to fly over Java instead. Charlie, who was never a fan of flying, later told a reporter that the loud engines made him nervous but he enjoyed the scenery.
At the airport in Batavia, they were greeted by the Sultan of Pontianak and his wife. The Swedish cameraman Henk Aalsem once again filmed their arrival. An article in the Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad (Batavian Newspaper) noted that Charlie was very warm. “Above his blue shirt, his red face and salt and pepper hair formed a peculiar combination.” The reporter also noticed Charlie’s luggage which was “plastered with all kinds of labels from the most famous hotels in the world–from London, Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam.”
Before driving to Tanjung Priok to catch the boat for Singapore, Charlie suddenly remembered that he needed to purchase a helmet, telling the reporters that he couldn’t go to Singapore without a hat.*
In Priok, a small crowd, consisting mostly of women, had gathered at the quayside to see the boat off. From the rail of the Ophir, Charlie waved goodbye to the crowd–and to Java & Bali. He was so moved by the departure that he was seen dabbing at his eyes with a handkerchief.
Henk Aalsem’s footage of Charlie and Syd’s return to Batavia.
Coming up on the 20th: The voyage to Singapore is a rough one for Charlie and their plans to sail to Japan are temporarily put on hold.
*Charlie had a pith helmet in Bali, so I’m not sure why he needed a new one–perhaps he left it there.
Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad, April 18, 1932
De Indische Courant, April 18, 1932