We figure it is wise to follow the advice of the Mrs. Singh at Hotel Lotte, iPoh. Thus, we check-in at the place recommended by her, i.e. Hotel Indah at Lumut and explore the town a bit. The most striking feature of it is the ubiquitous offerings of smelly fish. One of the upcoming days we hop on a ferry over to Pulau Pangkor on a sunshiny morning in order to enjoy beach life and return in the evening.
We explore the island mostly on foot. When we arrive we don’t know what to do. We want to rent a scooter but there is only one option and the guy kinda plays on his monopoly. Too arrogant, too much Chinese biznizman. After about half an hour walk thru the small fisher village we join a group of youngsters from Yemen and a German girl. So we are seven and share one of the countless bus taxis waiting at the port to pick up and lend wheels to the tourists.
We go to the west of the island, then mostly walk on foot. All in all, we pay merely RM5 for transportation on the island, not including the ferry tickets. How we managed remains a mystery to me, somehow. We have some food. We take a dip in the ocean. Argghh… it’s so hot, I don’t even wanna get out of the water. The sun dries the skin in 3.5 minutes. Put up the hammock in the shade of Turtle Bay. One time, we get a plate of food that looks like vomit and walk away. After all, there’s a first time for everything. Who knows what happened to it in the end, mayne some stray dog snatched it. Bon appetit ^_^
Difficult to find an open tandas (toilet), sometimes. Either it is closed up or only for muslims or it’s jammed so you better not flush. Anyways, there’s some prob with the waste on the island and in malaysia, in general. People are not educated about the value of nature and about the impact of the environment on physical, emotional and mental health.
Shortly before we leave Pulau Pangkor, I pay for the food and drinks. The lady at the food stall adds two numbers: 12+4 and says ’26’. ‘Nice try,’ I say. Turns out it was unintended. Her kids show up. They apologize. Apologize again. And I am given way too much change. The lady just takes a bundle of ringgit notes and hands it over to me. Either she did not count dat shit or she could not. Right then and there it hits me, you know. The day before we’d had lunch in a small Indian restaurant. We had just arrived in Lumut, still unfamiliar with the surroundings. To cut a long story short: We had looked (and looked) like tourists and been properly ripped off. And now on this island we encounter open-hearted generosity. Hmmm.. or perhaps they both simply bad at maths? Whatever it is, it made me wonder…
How curious it is… this approach to money – as mentioned before, she really just grabbed some banknotes and handed it over to me. The prices, the rip-offs, the gifts… somehow it never adds up. Or maybe it does, but for whom? The people we give our money to, the banks, trusting them to give it back to us when needed?? In daily life, can I be a river, not a dam… by learning from others the value of generosity and experience for myself how great it feels to give, how much more fun it is to give than to take?
This babylonian matrix riddle keeps puzzling me. Please Ajahn Chah, make me smile!
Take money, for example. In the past there wasn’t any paper money. Paper was just paper. What value would it have? Then people decided that silver money was hard to store, so they turned paper into money. And so it serves as money. Maybe someday in the future a new king will arise who doesn’t like paper money. “How about wax droppings? Even though it’s soft, we can stamp it into lumps and suppose it to be money.” We’ll be using wax droppings all over the country, getting into debt all because of wax droppings. Let alone wax droppings, we could take chicken droppings and turn them into money! Nothing else could be money! All our chicken droppings would be cash. We’d be killing one another over chicken droppings.
ขอบคุณครับ (Thank You), Luangpor 🙂