BACKPACKING DAYS -Part 4

MALAYSIA-From 18th Nov.05-20th Nov.05

Well this so they tell me is what proper travelling is all about !.. in 48 hours I experienced all the things that a ‘’proper’’ backpacker should while on an adventure!!!....’’the journey from hell’’..’’food poisoning’’….’’persistant /dodgy locals’’ etc  etc…I suppose at the time it was a case of '' Im a British backpacker, get me out of here''!!ha….but looking back the jungles & towns of Northern Malaysia was’nt all that bad!

Me & my fellow explorer, Matt from London (a guy I had met up in Bangkok originally), had only just crossed over the border from Thailand into the town of Padang Basar when we were approached by a rather elderly old local gentleman….’’You want taxi ?, where you go?’’..’’Yes, but we have no Ringitt!, where is bank?’’ we answered…’’You come, I show you’’…….so off we go..5 minutes later after numerous tales of how he fought with the British in the 50’s & also met the Queen! Our genial host lead us to an ATM in the centre of town. Matt went first..but to no avail…’’CARD NOT ACCEPTED, you have a go mate’’..’’OK’’ I said..Same again though… ’’No good mate, same with me!’’……by this time a fairly big crowd had gathered around us & our local guide and the hushed whispering of the local dialect started to get louder…..then all of a sudden…DARKNESS!!!...the street lights had gone out!.....’’C’MON MATT’’ I said ‘’LETS GET OUT OF HERE’’……so with both of us getting paranoid thinking the locals had never seen a white man before we started moving, but with our new best friend in tow!..’’Hey don’t worry don’t worry..lights always stop now, it’s ok!..we go taxi yes’’……’’BUT we still have no Ringitt to pay’’..’’Yes yes you pay in Kangar(our destination)’’…So we head off to the taxi stop…..upon which we check the prices on the blackboard on the wall….KANGAR-35 RINGITT.’’ Ok cool…….can I use your toilet please?’’…’’Yes sir ok’’ the taxi driver says……so off I go into the toilet, well a toilet off sorts!.....I walk back into the waiting area to hear Matt shouting ‘’Cheeky *********,look at that!..i popped out for a fag & they’ve changed the price on the blackboard!’’..it now says KANGAR-65 RINGITT!!!!!....Matt was having  none of it….’’HEY..your trying to rip us off!’’….’’No no sir…KANGAR always 65 ringitt’’….’’You ********** liar’’ Matt retorts…’’Sir I no understand..my English no good!!!’’…at this point we had realised our cunning old dog of a ‘’guide’’ had done a runner……..so after a quick discussion & realising our options were pretty limited & being absolutely shattered after a massive bus journey we left it at that………but I should have sensed there & then that my time in Malaysia would probably be eventful…….and low & behold a few days later after another arduous bus journey, a bout of food poisoning & more locals doing their best to rip us off we were ready to go back to Thailand!!!

Though saying that Malaysia is no different to the rest of Asia..in that these things happen!!!..& the good things far out way the bad…….it was staggeringly picturesque there & those sort of things are just part of travelling…always entertaining & make such good stories!!!!!!!

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