Conversations over Japanese cocktails and yakitoris.
A wet rainy night in 2015 – my first authentic Izakaya experience somewhere in the neon-lit back alleys of Shinjuku.
Anne Frank is one of the millions of victims of the Nazi prosecution of the Jews during the second world war. In 1933, when Hitler comes to power and establishes an anti-Jewish regime, the Jewish Frank family went into hiding at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam i.e. the ‘Anne Frank House’, also referred to as the Secret Annexe in Anne Frank’s diary.
“One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!” This is an excerpt from Anne’s famous diary which is now one of the world’s best-selling books.
A visit to the Secret Annexe in Amsterdam was heartbreaking. I saw the depressing living conditions of the family in hiding – an extremely dark and narrow house; people in hiding have to stay indoors 24-7. The curtains are always drawn. And as described in Anne’s diary: “During the day our curtains can’t be opened, not even an inch.”
I started reading Anne Frank’s Diary after the visit, and I’m very inspired by her ability to express her thoughts so articulately through writing.
In the museum, there were exhibits depicting the harrowing faith of Jews under Hitler’s anti-Jewish regime. Photos are not allowed, and according to a sign, this is because the visit may be an emotional one for some visitors.
The queue to get in was almost 2 hours, and it’s all worth it.
Has it been a year? Some photos I casually snapped using Olympus (then), on a 2-day-1-night adventure with the white car we hired from Penang Airport, which faithfully brought us to the many amazing places.
I’m sure there are more photos, lying somewhere in my old Samsung phone. That night in the neighbourhood pub, more lights of this beautiful island, and all that food adventures…
Those two nights we wandered in a 24-hour bookstore.
Two nights in a row, the same cab driver picked us from the station. Such coincidence! On the second night, he greeted us with a smile and made a friendly comment about us working late every night.
We weren’t working, we were just too happy in the realm, of books.