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September 11, 2004
I am now in Australia crying over the prices but I thought it was time to update all on my experiences in Malaysia.
Unlike the rest of sweltering Malaysia the Cameron Highlands is a comfortably cool 20 Centigrade.
The journey to get there wasn't too great. We had to switch buses at a town called Tapah - the highlight of the town was probably that it contained a KFC, which really is nothing to be proud of.
The town was also full of delightful characters. Here is the story of one of them. We'll call him Stumpy. At the bus station we were sitting waiting minding our own business when a rabid old guy (and that's probably the only way to describe him) came up to us and started shouting at us unintelligibly and waving a stump of an arm in our faces.
The strange thing that should be said about Stumpy was not that he chose to come up to us, nor was it even that he decided to wave his arm in our faces nor indeed was it that he chose to rant at us but that he had a perfectly normal arm which he chose not to use but to let rest normally by his side.
The Cameron Highlands themselves were beautiful, full of absolutely stunning vistas and rolling hills. The views are universally breathtaking and calming. Everything looked so lush and verdant and alive.
We took a tour including to a tea plantation. A Swiss guy asked us if we had ever been to one before. When we said no he said 'Imagine, English people coming all the way here to a tea plantation', I thought this was pretty thick of him given that we had just listened to a talk saying this was the only place in Malaysia they can grow tea and that mostly tea was grown in India, China and Sri Lanka. I laughed most sincerely anyway at his hilarious joke.
After Cameron we headed south to historical Melaka. It was all rather sleepy. The town, the hostel, the people and the hawkers were all rather sedate. In many ways it reminded me of family holidays, museums, historic sights and good meals out. We even played board games (well Jenga against a Geordie couple at the hostel) and went to the cinema.
I have been reminded though recently of something I once read. This is that no one ever regrets going travelling. I would testify to that. I have never really been bored. Of course I have been bored in the 'filling in space in time' sense. But not yet in the sense that I occassionally felt over the last year. That being a dull despairing - this day will be the same as the last type feeling.
When it's been dull since I have been away (which is over a month now) at least it has been different and tomorrow always holds new hope, which can't be said when you are stuck in seemingly never ending routines.
Richard, Cairns, Australia, 11th September
Sorry I'm behind on this I'm going to try and catch up and also add some pictures soon.
Posted by Richard on September 11, 2004 06:34 AM
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