Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Asia
I met a few really nice English people at Borneo BeacHouse Backpackers this morning, and ended up spending the day with them. A couple (Rob and Jen) and a solo traveler (Julie) were nice enough to invite me to go for a walk around KK with them, so I wasn’t about to pass up that invitation.
We caught the bus into town, which was an experience in itself. It’s not so much a bus, as a mini van that is beat up past recognition. They were driven by really old men who have probably been doing this same route for 47 years now. The vans are either built smaller for Asian people, or they stuck an extra row of seats in there, because it was damn near impossible for me to sit in the seats without having my knees hit me in the face.
We got to the main “bus station” in the city which was basically a huge dirt parking lot filled with coach buses and vans in no discernable order. They just found a place to park and that was the end of the line. We had a walk through town and there were parts by the water that looked really nice, but then there were parts a few blocks over that looked more like southeast Asia.
We grabbed lunch in a Pizza Hut in the basement of a mall and I saw two of the funniest signs ever posted. One read “Keep Clean, Do Not Spit”, and then other one outside the bathroom read “No dishwashing in toilets”. I would have taken both of those things for granted, but apparently that’s not the case here. I started to get worried about all the other bathrooms I’ve been to that didn’t have those signs. Was I walking around on people’s spit in the other malls? Was I constantly eating off dishes that have been cleaned in the toilet? I think I’m better off not thinking about it…
We walked around for the rest of the day checking out other hostels in the area for Rob and Jen, and checking out some local dive shops. I also went to an AirAsia storefront and bought a one way ticket to go to Sandakan tomorrow morning. The number one thing I want to see in Borneo is orang utans because this and Sumatra are the only places on earth where you can see them in their natural habitats.
We took the bus back to the hostel and just chilled there for the rest of the night. We didn’t even have dinner because we were still all full from the Pizza Hut, so we just relaxed and watched some TV and movies. I’m leaving crazy early again tomorrow morning, so I’m calling it an early night (11pm). 4:30am is going to come way too soon!