A young New Zealander arrives in Indonesia in 1964 and is held at gunpoint at Jakarta airport with her Balinese husband and 13-month old daughter. Unable to cash in their travellers cheques due to the country’s anti-capitalist stance, they struggle to finance their onward journey. Finally arriving in Bali, they live with her husband’s noble family and Jan must adjust to the ways of the palace. The 1965 coup sets all hell loose. Jan’s personal story unlocks memories of turbulent times, mystifying black magic intrigues, and recalls days of pioneering tourism in Bali.
Meet Jan Mantjika
Jan Mantjika was a dancer working for The Dominion newspaper in Palmerston North, New Zealand, when she married a Balinese student studying agriculture and animal husbandry under the Colombo Plan in her home town. In 1964 they moved to Bali with their first child and he took up a post as a lecturer at Udayana University. They remained in Bali during the terrible times of 1965. In 1969, Jan and her husband opened one of Bali’s first travel agencies, Jan’s Tours. Jan recounts her experiences during her early days in Bali, her love of the island, and her personal adventures of bringing up a large extended family in Bali, with both anguish and humour.