Friday, April 15, 2011


Gunung Brinchang at 6666 feet
(The PIN Number of the Beast)

The Cameron Highlands are the cure for what ails me. I've been having a bit of trouble with the climate since I arrived in Malaysia - it started as soon as I landed in Thailand really, but the flooding that took place in parts of that country during my last couple of weeks there seemed to temper the weather somewhat, which was a nice relief (I just hope no one got caught up in the catastrophes).

But after a week of getting burned and dehydrated during the day threatened to turn me into a vampire who only sees Malaysia by moonlight, I realised that one way of combating the problem would be to head Up. And conveniently, the Cameron Highlands were nearby (perhaps a little toooo convenient? No, I don't know what I'm talking about either).

The Scottish Highlands of Malaysia

Heading to the Highlands continues the strange Scottish-Malaysian theme of the week, though despite what some travellers had told me, it didn't really feel like returning to the UK. Not that I have any interest whatsoever in going 'home' (I don't have a home) or being around English people again, I just want the cold and rainy weather. Making me the direct opposite of British expats in that respect (and in some others too - the dirty, dirty men).

After one day, I've already embarrassingly spent more time here than I have in the Scottish Highlands, even though I lived in Scotland for over three years. But I was less adventurous back then. I'm really enjoying the cooler climate and the novelty of having to take my coat along when I head out, even if the shorts and sandals are a dead giveaway. Still, at least there are enough bloody foreigners around to make it feel like I'm truly in the UK - am I right, racists? I hate you.

Eternal July

Boh tea plantation

Before I left Scotland six months ago, I hadn't been out of the UK for years, so my body had a bit of a shock when September never seemed to end and I skipped over winter entirely.

But recently, Malaysian scientists seem to have developed a new super-heated month I haven't encounter before. Bizarre things happen in this climate, such as the phenomenon of wading into the sea to cool off and discovering the sea is actually hotter than the air. The air that's already baking you like a Warburton's loaf.

I'd place this dangerous new month between June and July, and call it 'July' - combining the first half of 'June' with the second half of 'July,' do you see? I see how this could lead to confusion, being spelt and pronounced exactly the same as 'July,' but I'm still hoping it'll catch on.

Maybe I should stay in the Cameron Highlands forever. Just walk into the jungle never to be heard from again, like Jim Thompson who disappeared here in 1967. But he did live in Delaware, so being gored by boars and falling thousands of feet down a mountain slope would be a preferable fate.

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