Sunday, August 28, 2005

 

Reporting from the Malaysian jungle, this is Amy

Returned to KL this afternoon from my jungle adventure. No major animal sightings such as a leopard; far too many humans around for them to get close. But I saw several snakes, deer and huge jungle bugs. The grasshoppers here make the little ones in Eastern Washington look like a one-bite snack.

One of the best parts of this weekend was traipsing along the "Canopy Walk" in the park. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other, and once you're up there you aren't allowed to turn back. It was wobbly good fun.

Most interesting was visiting a Bateq tribal village that's currently camped near the tourist area of the park (because they're paid to, let's remember). Our guide took our boat to their village, and we saw how to make poison darts, shoot them through the blow pipe and start a fire with bamboo shavings. We were allowed to go inside their huts and take photos of the people, but I felt much too intrusive just peering into the huts so instead took a couple of photos out on the grounds. It hit me how different my life is from theirs and I asked my guide some questions. The answers: They never leave the part of the jungle around which they make their camp. They don't ever go into the town that's closest to the park. They don't see newspapers or magazines. Nobody ever leaves the tribe to enter the other part of the world for good. Some of the tourists bring them chocolate or clothing, but those are about the only non-jungle items they have. And once a month, the government sends boats of rice, tarps and medicine down the river for them. I thought about all this for a long time. What if living in the jungle was all you ever knew?

One of the tribal men was wearing a digital watch. Couldn't get close enough to see if it showed the correct day/time. I had to wonder what need he would have for a watch, but maybe it was a trinket from a tourist or guide. I was just waiting for another one to walk by with an iPod clipped to his sarong.

I am officially the filthiest I have ever been as of today, so getting cleaned up is first on my list now that I'm back to civlization. One of the main challenges of backpacking is trying to get yourself clean at the very same time you have something to wear that's clean. They rarely coincide, but I left a clean outfit at the hostel here. Full cleanliness will happen today.

Talked with Mom and Dad briefly this morning, which narrowed the space between me and all of you for about 15 minutes. It was the last couple of hours of Mom's birthday in Spokane. They had just been to Luna for dinner and wine. My birthday dinner was a glass of Tang and a fried river fish. Head and all. Yum.

Comments:
hey there!
I just talked to my friend in Portland about Thailand. She has made many a recommendation. First, she strongly recommends that you go to Pai which is about 3 hours NW of Chang Mai-don't get caught in a Chang Mai prison or you will miss it. Over the course of a few months she became a certified yoga instructor at The Sanctuary located on the island of Koh Pha Nagn , a sister island to Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. A dormitory room is 70 Thai Baht a night and a Bungalow with a WC is 400 Baht. I checked the conversion for you and it is $1=41 Baht. It would be a great place to land for a couple of weeks get into some yoga (a little less than $4 a class) and do a little nutritional sabatical. Their website is thesanctuarythailand.com. Sounds like you are having an amazing time, I wish I were with you.
 
Hey world class traveler! Happy birthday (albiet belated). Hope and I will be hanging out this weekend, thinking of you. Awesome job keeping up the blogging, I feel like I get the gist of your adventure, a really nice reprieve of my 10 hour desk day.

Love you,
Kelli
 
Jungle Tour sounds amazing.I've done a similar one in Costa Rica and the Amazon. They really are amazing.
 
You Amaze Me!!! Your stories make me thankful for the country we live in, but also intrigue me with so many different cultures. Sounds like your birthday was "interesting and memorable". Thanks for the update. Happy belated birthday.
~LA
 
Hi, Cindy -- Thanks for the suggestion. I might be able to check this out in the next week as I move north. I always wanted to try one of these places, so this might be my chance. Wish we could go there together. School didn't start yet, right? Get over here!
- Amy
 
and you looked at me strange when i ate the head and all...yum...

carmell
 
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