It's just so...clean...
Trip Start Feb 06, 2005
42Trip End Jul 2005
I know, this is sheer treason to the older travellers who regaled me with their stories when i was growing up and helped instill my wanderlust. I'm sure their motto would run something like: "Authentic food and experiences are the only way to go!". But this trip has definitely opened my eyes to that one. There is always someone who has travelled longer (met a Japanese guy in Kuching who's been on the road for three years), gone to more exotic places (a Scottish nutter who walked through Sarawak, sleeping alone in the jungle) and lived more 'authentically' than you (any of the hippies in Mcleod Ganj). At first it's disconcerting: no matter how adventurous and spontaneous you are, there's ALWAYS someone who beats you.
Then I realised that its not a competition, each trip is fantastic. Even the three week specials who fly out of their lives and blow a heap of cash before flying back into reality
Anyway, I grabbed the next 'Jungle Train' to the big smoke that is KL. I didn't have time to stop, but I was hoping to at least see the jungle as we went through. Alas, there are only night trains now, so I missed the last bit of real nature on the Malay peninsular.
KL's great. There are millions of people, lots of laksa houses, markets, cheap DVDs (my bag weighs a bloody tonne now) and assorted material possessions. The sheer materiality of it! When I left home, I felt so relieved to see my stuff leaving on the back of a truck. I was unencumbered. Now I want to be encumbered! I want stuff! I want clothes without holes in them (thankyou a myriad of laundries throughout Asia), I want capitalist consumerism in all its glory! Touring Buddhist countries has well and truly cured me of my Buddhist leanings. And KL's the place to be if you love stuff.
So apparently this is the part of my trip where I start philosophising on the secrets I have learned, the thoughts banging around my head and the beliefs I have developed. Sorry- won't happen again. It happens to all travellers at some stage... usually they only inflict it on other backpackers. Occasionally they start cults. Fear not; as those who went to school with me well know, I have already had my own cult and will not venture down that path again.