Sunday, September 18, 2016

3-in-1, part 1: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia…


…is something of a revelation, really, and I can’t help but think some backpackers are missing the boat here, literally. Malaysia was always cleaner and neater than its neighboring Third World countries, and now it’s as cheap as Thai and Nepal, probably cheaper than Burma or Laos.

So where are they all? They’re not here, that’s for sure. Outside of the resto-pub centers of Kuching, and probably Kota Kinabulu, too, there just aren’t any. I haven’t seen a white face in a week!!

Maybe it’s because Malaysia is a Muslim country, but these people in Borneo are mostly Christians, and you know what that means: party! Yes, you’ll have no problem finding a brew here, though coffee may be a different story.

I’m accustomed to the local ‘kopi’ tasting great, but having no kick, so tend to compensate with the local Red Bull rip-offs, which have some vitamins, too, so a couple birds in the hen-house with only one buck (I do so hate to kill the local birds)…

In fact your main problem may be getting to sleep, since Muslims from drinkless f*ckless Brunei come here to get their rocks off, and the local timber workers have needs, too. The Chinese just do business, and eat eat eat. I’ve never seen people eat so much in my life! It seems like every meal has a dozen Chinese people around the table and the dishes just keep piling up—figure the tab later…

And if you’re the ‘English only’ type, then this is a real dialect of the language, not just the pidgin poop that passes for pahsah farang so many other places. But lingo is my Pokemon Go, my game of chance, though lingo should ideally be no game, but communication seeking its highest level, and this is not the best place for that, though better than the peninsula…

At one point I was functioning at a low, but conversational level in Indonesia’s similar dialect, but just gave up on the Malay peninsula. You know: you speak Malay to them, and they speak English back—brilliant.

Chinese in this country usually speak three or four languages, and Malay is not their favorite, though they all have to learn it. I don’t often duel with dual lingos any more, since somehow they’re all connected, and I have bigger fish to fry now, like saving the species—no biggie…

Warning: Window-less Rooms…

I don’t know where Malaysia, and the Philippines, and Mexico, and maybe a few others, got the idea that rooms without windows are acceptable—but they’re not. On Expedia, they’re generally specified that way (no doubt from cruel experience), but hostel-booking sites may forego the detail.

That’s too bad, because I’m a hostel guy and now their WiFi isn’t even reliable—and that’s the reason I became a hostel guy in the first place! Not to mention the issue of fire escapes and proper egress, a technical term…

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: 3-in-1, part 1: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia…
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