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1948 - 1950
When I completed my education at the HBS in Deventer, Netherlands in 1948 I was faced with making a choice for my future career. I had preferred studying further in philosophy or medicin (psychiatry) but at that time it was far too costly. My parents could hardly make a living on their income. So I was urged to apply for a job that could generate an income. First I undertook a sailing trip to the North of Holland in Friesland. Whilst there my aunt sent me an ad offering a position as bank-officer in the Far East. I applied and was accepted for a training course at an institute of a Dutch commercial bank, the Nederlandsch-Indische Handelsbank. Not that it was my first choice but I was consoled by the fact that it gave me an opportunity to escape the narrow boundaries of my homeland. Moreover it had become a tradition in my family to seek ones refuge abroad. My grandfather was a Protestant minister in Indonesia and my father explored the riches of that country. His brother was psychiatrist in Cairo.
On board I realised that I wouldn't see my home country again. Right away I was tested in the Gulf of Biscaye whether I was a good sailor. By remaining on deck most of the time I could manage keeping my dinner inside! Approaching Italy the storm layed down. The first city abroad I was to see in my life was Genoa in Italy. It had not changed much after the war. I took out my cameras and started making pictures.
After Genoa we passed the Suez canal. When we reached the Indian ocean the engine gave up and the ship bobbed motionless in the sea. Fortunately they had a manual aboard and the trouble was fixed. Singapore was the first port we reached in the Far East. A coleague from our office there took me around. I was dazed by all the impressions of oriental living I had to digest. I was also treated the the first glas of whiskey I had ever had in my life. I loathed the bitter taste of it and vowed never to drink it again. I abstained from alcoholic drinks all of my life and did not smoke either, however much my friends nagged me to relent. Anyhow after a few days we took off to IloIlo in the Philippines
On the web since 17 September 2006. Revised 6 October 2020
© Michael Rogge 20120
Of my films taken in Hong Kong DVD's are available in Hong Kong! Click here for a list.
The above photos also appear in my autobiography in Dutch: