After three-and-a-half weeks of drinking, spewing, exploring, embarrassing myself, falling over, down and into things, running from perverts and chasing women, here it is – my last full day of my holiday. Another glorious Malaysian sky greeted me as I made my way out of my hut at dawn, skipped across the golden sand and flopped into the azure ocean. And that’s largely how the day went. I truly had no desire to do anything other than just flop around, soaking in the magic of the Perhentian Islands.
The only thing that interrupted a second day of snorkelling, sleeping, reading and generally bludging was a necessary trip to the other island – the BIG ISLAND, also known as Besar – to get some money out. It wasn’t much of a hassle really, and was quite a bit of fun. I returned to the fishing village, marveling again at their carefree lifestyle, then took a tiny boat across the two kilometres to the other island. The water here was truly wonderful – so bright and blue and clear that my brain had trouble registering that it was actually real.
Once on the island there wasn’t an ATM to speak of, but that didn’t really matter. The Big Island is the more tourist-friendly island, with more expensive resorts, but is still wonderfully quiet. There’s nothing that could be mistaken for a village, and little more than a string of tiny resorts looking out onto the beach. I got a beer and a couple of bags of chips and just sat down, staring goofily at the idyllic scene playing out in front of me.
As I was checking my phone, I noticed that I had a friend request on the Facebook, and it was from Cled. Yes, Cled, the gluttonous, perverted Yank I met in Brunei, had somehow tracked me down on the information superhighway (how good is that term!) and wanted to catch up. His profile showed him naked bar for some tiny pink lingerie wrapped around his pudgy body, which made me feel sick. I added him, anyway.
Cled messaged me immediately, and it was a dick pic. Of course it was a dick pic. While I was gagging, a fat woman in a sarong waddled over, and as soon as she saw what was on the screen, she started screaming. “This sicko is watching gay porn on his phone!” she squawked, and a group of angry tourists stormed over and surrounded me, berating me for being a sex pest. I tried to explain what had happened, but they weren’t listening, and instead started throwing things at me.
They were treating me like Gary Glitter, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before the angry mob started stabbing me, so I ran away like a small child. I belted along the sand, dodging boats and sunbathers, while the maniacs screamed and acted like berks as they chased me. The little champion who had brought me over saw me coming and waved at me, then quickly started pushing his boat into the crystal clear water. “Get in, get in!” he wailed, and I dived into the dinghy just as it slid into the water. The angry mob howled with rage as I escaped, standing at the edge of the water and shaking their fists as I mooned them.
After watching the sun sink into the ocean one last time while sipping on a can of Tiger, I found a quiet restaurant overlooking the ocean and reflected on my trip while munching my curry. It’s been fun, exciting, scary, hard and inspirational. I’ve walked through the world’s biggest cities, sailed down pristine rivers, and sat on stunning beaches. And tomorrow, it all ends… but I’ve got a feeling there’s still some adventure left in this holiday.
I wrote this back in May, 2012, while sipping rum from a coconut.