Our hitch-hiking Malaysian adventure is about to Begin. We start our day with a laundry and Indian food. ‘Banana leaf’ is our favourite. We pay 2 dollars and we can eat as much as we want. This is definitely the best option for a cheap food in Malaysia. I buy a tarp in a local shop. It will be usefull later on, to protect myself from rain, when sleeping in a hammock. We take a ferry. Watch the Island disapear underneath the cloudy sky. Now, we need to get a bus to the place, where hitchhiking would be more possible. Here, we are below the labirinth of sky highways. There is no way to get on the road. We are waiting with Malaysians for an old, rusty (but always air-conditioned) bus. We pay 5 ringgit and get off in the midle of a road leading East. Little unsure, we stand by the side of a dusty road. It eradiates all its afternoon heat. We are prepared to wait for a while. We throw our bags on the sandy patch of grass, next to the hot asfalt street. It will get dark in 3 hours, so we better get started.
As soon as I I put out my hand, local woman starts a chat. She is friendly and invites us for tea. Her house is right here, so we agree and we follow her inside. She has an aquaculture. Hall of her simple house is full of tanks with red and silver fish lazily swimming in circles. We follow her into a dark living room and sit on a bamboo mats layed out on a dirty conreate floor. In front of us there is a huge tv screen. They show pieces of Malaysian news. Her children gather in a corner. Giggling and whispering, they don’t stop staring at us. She brings the tea in green ‘Milo’ mugs and puts it down on a floor. I take a sip. It tastes like pure sugar. I smile politely and put the cup back down. Her son cuts the durian and she is proud to offer us this ‘King Malaysian Fruit’. It is the first time I try it. It tastes disguisting and smells like onion. I cannot even force myself to eat it. I stick to the juicy rambutan which she brought from the kitchen on the back. We talk in English. She talks about her husband and her Australian lover. How she cannot sleep because she misses him and how she wrote him letters. Her children are listening, but I am not sure if they understand. She loves to go out, smoke and drink. And she loves karaoke. She sings for us. We listen and smile. She is quite good, but her voice is drown in the TV sound. It is time to go. I am so grateful for her selfless invitation. She shared her food and time with us, not asking for anything in return . It will get dark soon. We head back on the road. After five minutes of hitch-hiking with not much of a hope, a car stops. The driver is a funny Chinese guy who drives like a mad man. As we follow the curvy road, through the jungly mountain, sky gets darker. Sun sets behind the green rainforest hills. We are not even discussing where to stay tonight. I know our driver will help us and we just have to follow, wherever he is going. He is from Grik and he will stay there tonight. He is taking us there, too.
When he stops in front of a big hangar with Chinese style gate, it is already dark. He introduces us to his friends and offers us to sleep here, meaning the vast steel hangar he is showing on to. I am confused, what is this place? Inside, there is a huge space with plastic garden chairs organised around a few simple tables. Half of them is occupied by old Chinese guys, drinking their beer and tea, chatting and looking at us curiously. Behind them, there is a stage. It is a proper theatre stage, with a red curtains. Stairs below the satge lead to a Chinese restaurant serving out the drinks. Chinese guys are driving in and out on their motorbikes. Stopping right in front of their chairs and joining their friends. Others are hopping on to their bikes, waving goodbye, just to come back with an echoing engine noise few moments later. Place looks like a scenery of an animated Chinese movie. We feel shy at first, but everybody is friendly. They speak English just enough to understand where we are from. Although not quite, cause they think Yoshi is Japanese. They offer us food and water. This place also has a toilet an a shower. We feel so blessed. I put up my hammock and a mosquito net. This will be my first night in the hammock I bought in Koh Phangan. I have a feeling I might like it. Laying down in a cocoon of soft cotton, enjoying a gentle rocking. It’s nice to be suspended in the air like that. I fall asleep into the sound of motorbikes cricling around, feeling gratitude and peace.