Saturday, October 31, 2015

CNN: Borneo is 'the best kind of adventure'

By Anthony Bourdain, CNN

I was brokenhearted and at a crossroads in my life when I first went up the Skrang River in Sarawak, Borneo.

The people who I met there, 10 years ago, hosted me and my crew in their longhouse, fed us, looked after us and treated me with great kindness.

When the chiefs invited me back for their yearly harvest festival, Gawai Dayak, I said I would come.

It took me a while, but in the end I did return.

I have to admit, I was wondering if all the bad shit running through my head the first time I went up that river was still lurking there -- if I'd managed to entirely put it away.

I was fulfilling a promise.

And I was curious to see how things had changed.

The Iban people are wonderful hosts.

It is true that once, not too long ago, they were headhunters -- a proud tradition reflected in the faded tattoos on the fingers of the elders and dusty bouquet of skulls that hung over my head in the longhouse the first time I was there.

The skulls are gone now. And there are more TV's and cell phones.

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