Hope For the Guest

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive, do you think ghosts will do it after?


October 2015

“I didn’t see anything”

_DSC0344   Today I went for a walk, it was a humid day in Taman Negara and the jungle seemed busy with life. I stretched my senses as I walked to try and pick out which noises were animals moving close enough to see. The saturation of sights and sounds made it hard to differentiate between wind rustling the leaves or animals making a similar sound. There is a difference though, I started by assuming all sounds were animals and over time it became more apparent which were actually animals. After that started to seem easier it was much harder to tell the size or kind of animal making the sounds, sometimes squirrels sounded like Tapir or monkeys or a falling leaf would confuse it all together.

After  20 minutes walking a saw a rustling branch low to the ground and the first second I spent thinking it was a squirrel before my mind kicked in and said “wait, it might be something else”. I paused and after another second a boar as big as a big dog walked out from behind the foliage, a few seconds later a few small boars trotted past. I was surprised, I had heard they were very difficult to see. And maybe they are.
I watched them for ten minutes before they grazed out of sight. I kept walking slowly after that, hoping to see a Tapir or some deer. I didn’t see anything other than squirrels until 15 minutes later I saw a tiny shape moving a little ways off from the trail. It didn’t have a place in my folder of animals I’ve seen and in a few seconds I saw it was a mouse deer. I don’t know why their tails flick up and down every few seconds, it seems like the only weak point in their camouflage. Than it was scared off by loud walking people coming up behind be on the trail, they didn’t stop to see why I was staring into the trees.

After all that I started to wonder why everyone walked so fast and loud.
I saw more mouse deer but after that more and more tourists walked quickly past me and it seemed like a poor time for being an animal near a trail.

I am amazed that people come to the jungle just to scare away their chances of seeing what they came here to see. I don’t know how much of this story is in my mind and how much is true, it just makes me wonder.


Arriving in Kuantan happened very slowly, first traffic slowed the bus to a crawl and then the first bus station was out of town so I had to take another bus straight back the same route until I got into town again. I didn’t know anything about Kuantan because I didn’t plan on staying there, I missed the last bus onward so my trip to Taman Negara national park was delayed. My first hour in Kuantan was odd. I had never seen so many prostitutes. The first hotel I tried was okay but over what I wanted to spend. The next was empty except for an old lady that I thought at first was dead, I couldn’t wake her the first time and when I came back ten minutes later she was almost awake but when I asked if she worked there she shrugged and went to sleep. The third hotel had a deal but they added a tax so it was just as expensive as anywhere else, I still checked the room but when I got to the second floor there weren’t any lights on. The atmosphere was like a horror movie, I almost turned around as soon as the elevator doors opened. Eventually I decided on the first hotel because it was normal seeming.

That night I made up for the expense of the hotel by eating street food, I spent a dollar and got four kinds of fried things, meat on a stick, shrimp bread balls, fried banana and friend yam fries.

Kuantan seemed nice……

Said Goodbye

I said goodbye to my girlfriend yesterday, we decided before this trip began that we needed to travel alone. We wanted to start traveling together to give each other that kick out the door and support in the first part of our trips. Its scary parting ways and breaking up, its easy to feel lonely, and traveling alone is harder than with someone I can trust. I just know that if I’m going to become who I need to become this challenge is going to push me towards that.

I had a blast in the first month, it was great to have someone to share experiences with and to support me when things got stressful. When I look toward my trip on my own I think it will be harder and I want that intensity to help me learn about myself. For me I need time to myself to decide how I want to be in life, its essential for me to find out who I am when I’m alone.

Easy isn’t what I’m searching for. Since I’ve reached one month of traveling I’ve become anxious about how I want the next 7 months to be. I don’t know how to feel satisfied, how to feel like what I’m doing is enough. It’s a problem I’ve had for a while and I need to delve into finding a solution or I will continue living a worthwhile life without feeling like its worth a thing. That would be a shame.

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