EF #7: Yet Still, Forget Me Not

Actually I was conducting some kind of small research for deciding what topic would be provided on this post. The plan, originally, is that I sent a message via SMS or WhatsApp which would contain a question:

“Let’s say that you have to choose between love story or friendship story, what will you choose?”

I was considering doing so because I have prepared two posts in relation to the 7th theme of English Friday Challenge: “Snap and Tell a Story”. But it may be prohibited to post more than one on one challenge (I don’t know), so I think I would take the safest path, on the other words, I have to choose one for my entry this week.

Besides, I don’t have any confidence in conducting that kind of research. I’m afraid that people will see me as weird if I send everyone the message :haha. Therefore, the research was cancelled.

But it didn’t empty-responded. The only one respondent of my small, cancelled research was my friend in Batu, Malang. She said, “Because I’m being mellow now, I choose love, oops.”

Your wish is my command, respondent. And here is the snapshot: “Yet Still, Forget Me Not.”

EF #7 (1)
Yet Still, Forget Me Not.

This photo was taken in Buitenzorg, or with the French name, Sans Souci. The name means free of worries. And it is, since every Gouvernour-Generaal preferred living here than in Batavia. Even the President of Indonesia resides in that palace now, the palace with gold dome. Maybe because the climate here is so pleasant and mild, compared to that in Batavia, which is too hot and too humid.

Ah, Bogor. One can feel so peaceful here. I love Bogor.

I think all of you must have known that Buitenzorg is the old name of Bogor. And I also think that all of you must have known the monument from which the photo took its fragment. Yep, the Olivia Mariamne (not Marianne) Raffles (nee Devenish)’s folly, erected by her very husband, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

EF #7 (2)

The first moment I saw the monument, which was in late 2013, I got stunned. “Am I seeing a monument of true love, grief, and loneliness?” I think. That Byzantium-style monument stood there, undisturbed with time, although it’s kind of dirty because of lack of cleaning.

But it hasn’t missed it’s mysterious aura. It’s like Olivia is standing there, too, waiting for any visitor who aware with her presence, to listen to her story about her and Sir Thomas, from the very first day they stepped in Weltevreden until she passed away in November 26th, 1814, shortly before Raffles had to give his power back to the Netherlands as a result of Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 (commonly known as The Convention of London).

She may tell you stories about her days in Batavia, stories about her workaholic husband, about his book, The History of Java, that she herself never read. And if you’re lucky enough, she may tell you how sad her husband when she passed away, and how glad she was when she saw him erected the monument with the poem he created:

Oh, thou whom ne’er my constant heart,
one moment hath forgot.
Tho’ fate severe hath bid us part,
Yet still, forget me not.

“Beautifully written,” I said.

“Oh my, thank you, little boy,” she smiled.

Oh, before I forgot, one wise advice, don’t ask her to tell stories about how Batavia women dress at her time. She may get fussy in that topic, she will talk in such a high spirit, and the talk will be long enough that you may have to be warned by the officer there when the visiting time is going to be over :haha.

But I assure you that the time when you two talk will be one of the greatest.

EF #7 (3)

Why does the place so interesting? Well, for me, because it’s holding a lot of traces from the past. Traces about love, husband’s grief, and stories about the days of the beautiful couple, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Java (soon the Founder of Singapore) and his First Lady, in their pleasant, lovely, memorable old days. It’s not those kinds of things that I could be deliberately overlook, don’t you think? :hehe.

Fiuh. That’s my entry. What about the other one, the post about friendship story?

Oh, that one. It is still in my draft now. Maybe if I have enough courage to do similar survey and the result turned out to be “friendship”, I’ll be gladly publish it :hihi.

For those of you who want to know about Olivia Mariamne, you may read D.T. van der Wall’s essay on this topic: The Influence of Olivia Mariamne Raffles on European Society in Java (1812-1814).

52 thoughts on “EF #7: Yet Still, Forget Me Not

  1. I’d choose both. Because I believe what Leona Naess has said in her song Heavy Like Sunday:

    “And friends make better lovers..cause they look you in the eye. And they’ll put you in the middle… of a thousand whys..”

    #oot *maaf lancang dan malah nyanyi 😀

    Nice pictures btw ^^d

    1. Puisinya ya? Mungkin karena ditulis dalam bahasa Inggris lama :hehe
      Oh, you whom never my constant heart one moment has forgot,
      Though fate severe has bid us apart
      yet still forget me not.

      Mungkin kira-kira seperti itu :).

  2. This post reminds me to my hometown, Buitenzorg/Bogor. I love the town especially the atmosphere of the people. I was born there and I used to grow there too up untill my age of 18. Then I moved to Borneo island in order to find a job. At first during 2004-2008 for my early living in Borneo I always return home at least once a year. But since 2009 I never did it anymore. Moreover my mom followed me to Borneo at the end of 2010. Surely it had made me keep staying in Borneo up until now and I never went back to Bogor anymore. After 7 years passed this time I really miss my big family there especially to my grandma. My aunts often asked me to go back to Bogor. And I was sorry I didn’t see the burrial of my grandpa and the other grandma (mom’s aunt). I swear there will be no delay anymore for this time. By the end of this month I will have been there again.

    Thank you for posting this note. Are you origin from Bogor?

    1. Halo, salam kenal! Terima kasih sudah berkunjung, ya! :hehe
      Iya, KRB memang bagus buat edukasi anak-anak, setiap akhir minggu ada saja rombongan anak-anak sekolah yang studi ke sana, entah buat meneliti tanaman atau sekadar piknik-piknik :hehe.

  3. Hmm, I always go to Bogor during Lebaran but I never go this park… *tutup muka*.
    Kayakanya harus dimasukin ke agenda nih kalau pas mudik lebaran tahun ini, insya Allah…
    Thank you for the information ya, Gara 🙂

  4. cerita kehilangan anggota keluarga serdadu Kolonial ini banyak terjadi karena sanitasi jaman itu nggak bener ya..
    dua anak balita Raffles kl nggak salah juga meninggal di Bengkulu, makamnya di pemakamam Inggris di sana

    1. Iya Mbak, sanitasi jaman kolonial yang memprihatinkan sama iklim yang tidak biasa ditemui di Eropa sana.
      Wah, terima kasih infonya Mbak. Saya mau baca-baca soal anak-anak Raffles kalau begitu :)).

  5. Olivia, ah! forgive the bard,
    If sprightly strains alone are dear;
    His notes are sad, for he has heard
    The footsteps of the parting year.

    ‘Mid friends of youth beloved in vain,
    Oft have I hailed the jocund day;
    If pleasure brought a thought of pain,
    I charmed it with a passing lay.

    Friends of my youth for ever dear,
    Where are you from this bosom fled?
    A lonely man I linger here,
    Like one that has been long time dead.

    tante Olivia suka duduk-duduk lho di Kebon Jahe Kober, tempat peristirahatannya 😉

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