My visit to Malaysian Borneo ended on Monday. Truthfully, I should have waited to book my flight onward so I could have stayed longer. Sabah is beautiful, and really unique compared to the rest of Malaysia. Despite my little accident on Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed my time off the peninsula.
Rather than ramble on for paragraphs, I thought I’d try my hand at making a list about Sabah. A little more meat on the bones than a Buzzfeed list, but not so long that you’re sitting there thinking, “damn it, John – make it stop.”
So here they are… my “Sabah Five.”
1. The people of Sabah know that hospitality is their primary industry. Everyone. As a result, the experience of being a guest here is much more intimate than I found it to be on the peninsula.
From baristas who bend your ear as they brew your cup of coffee (with amazing charm), to tour operators who – once you get past the shouty-ness of getting lured over to their booth – take ample time to make sure you’re happy with the adventure they’re going to take you on. Overall, you’ll find people just to be more chatty, interested to talk.
2. Down the street from the hostel is a 7-Eleven. Me and my dorm mate Catt dropped in there to grab a few necessities on our way back to the hostel after island hopping on Friday. A little kid saw us in there and was trying to strike up a conversation. We smiled at him and left back to the hostel.
When I met up with Catt again in the common room, she told me she saw the little guy outside. He followed us back. I’m not sure why, but maybe his intention was similar to the kid who was hanging around the hostel a couple days later, wanting to help the guys who run it for cash.
In fact, we ran in to a few people who’d be quite friendly in saying “hello,” but then ask if we could give them money. That really put in to perspective that while Malaysia seems inexpensive for westerners, there are still people who don’t have enough here – just like at home.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Gone John - My Sabah Five.