Malaysai was incredible. The Perhentians were just about everything you would expect, although I didn`t think I would add boredom to the list (still, the peace and quiet was good for me). At one point I hiked around the island and found a deserted beach with some unique and cool manmade items. An old and tattered handwritten note (written on waterproof paper) said “…is a place where nothing ever happens -Byrne.” David Byrne is the songwriter for The Talking Heads, and one of the songs repeats “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.” Everything on the beach had to have been put together by a group of people with a lot of time and ambition…maybe a successful band on vacation? A note from the man himself? After the islands I got `stuck` in Kuala Lumpur for a few more days and found probably the grubbiest/coolest hostel and most interesting people that I have met thus far. I sadly had to say goodbye and spent a couple days in Singapore before heading to Japan. More details and pics to come soon!
I feel bad that the last few weeks have been “coming soon,” but when I only have access to extremely slow internet and can only use a computer for a day or two at a time it is very limiting. However, I have easily fifty pages of handwritten notes that I`m pretty exited to sort out. Ideally I`d like to document it all online but I will definitely share the highlights of each place, with some great pictures as well. My trip may be ending but most of the people reading this are enjoying the break from the daily grind. Since that will continue, and I`ll want to re-live a lot of this, you can absolutely expect more to come. Although I haven`t been able to give details along the way I will be posting lots of goodies in time! With that said, here are a few quick notes about current status…
For my flights an inevitable stop is Japan. I was thinking I would just stay for a day or two, but the hospitality of a family friend has made me feel like I`m visiting my own family here. I am located close to an hour outside of Tokyo but I have been able to get to the city many times. In one word: holy-freaking-crap-Tokyo-is-massive-and-awesome. OK, maybe not one word, but a metropolitan area that houses 12 million people can`t be summed up easily. If you count greater Tokyo we`re talking more like 35 million. In comparison, my current home city of Denver has about 2 million. Much like New York and the other great cities of the world, Tokyo has collected into very seperate and distinct areas. I have only visited a very small fraction of those areas, and a very small part within each area. Each location has a unique atmosphere, contains unique people, and provides unique experiences. My pitstop interaction with Tokyo cannot do it justice. I am overwhelmed. Tokyo is cool, young, respectful, innovative, hip, clean, organized, sensible, fashionable, and really makes me think I could be happy living large in a big city. I clearly understand why Tokyo is included on short lists of world class cities.
I`ve tried to visit many of the major destinations and a few other places that also look interesting. Yesterday I was a few hours from Tokyo visiting a college friend who is teaching English in rural Japan. Also a very neat to see a glimpse into the past. We spent one afternoon having a BBQ with some friends, and swimming around in the clear waters of a mountain river…two things that have topped my list for events I am sad I have missed in the USA this summer!
So although peninsular Malaysia was my last hoorah, it`s hard to move very quickly when you are in a foreign country and ask yourself “What will I most regret not doing ten years from now?” Had I been in Japan wholly on my own dime I`d have had no choice to leave days ago, but being in a foreign country with good people, having a place to stay, and eating many free meals…leaving immediately would be regrettable.
With that said I am in many ways feeling pressure to go home. Throughout this trip I have milked the travel cow at every opportunity (as it stands I am going on four months…but only planned to be gone for five weeks!). Like drinking from a fire hose I have encountered much more than I could have ever expected, and it`s time to give the teets a rest. I am still looking into flights, but I will be leaving as soon as tomorrow, possibly as late as Monday. I still have a few connecting flights too worry about, but no places left to spend any serious time. In a few days I expect to sleep in my own bed.