Sunday, November 20, 2011

He's changed

A few months ago, I might have settled for that Basic Dorm and risked suffering the snores and nocturnal telephone calls of 15 people. But my budget backpacking days are behind me, and I was happy to splash an extra 43 pence on air conditioned Superiority. Ooh, la-de-da - who does he think he is? He's changed.

Just to clarify, I haven't really changed. Thought I'd clear that up, in case you're one of those people who find me through pornographic Google image searches and take everything I say at face value.

I may be earning more than I used to, but that doesn't mean I have a desire to spend more. Paying for luxury has always felt like wasting money for me - an unnecessary trade-off for essentially the same service (a room or flight for the same number of hours, just lacking a TV that I won't switch on). As a freelancer whose monthly income is dependent on the whims of editors, it also pays to be cautious.

This place cost RM30 (GBP6) per night, and the prowling monitor lizards were thrown in free -
what could I possibly need more?

I've always felt extremely uncomfortable around extravagance - one of my least comfortable experiences in Singapore was visiting the famous Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, usually listed as the number one thing to do in that tiny metropountry. Not because the drink was needlessly expensive (though it was nice. Obviously not really delicious, like hot chocolate or Coke, but for a Singapore sling - brilliant), but because I didn't enjoy rubbing shoulders with the international businessmen and their superior class of hookers. These aren't the people I want to be around - give me a sweaty backpacker and his scabby whore any day. Just to clarify...

The reason I'm saying this is that I've met a few people now (we're talking girls) who expect me to change my habits over time, as if luxury travel is the goal we're all working towards. I'm just staying in cheap accommodation, using local transport and eating at food courts while I'm young and adventurous, surely? The novelty will soon wear off and it'll be back to the nice restaurants and hotel rooms where they fold the end of the toilet paper for you.

Alright, so I had to upgrade a little out of necessity in the Philippines -
but only due to lack of dorms. Check out the two-ply seal of quality!

That isn't going to happen. If I'm still travelling around when I'm old and terrifying (imagine how big my nose will be by then), I probably won't stay in dorms, as I wouldn't want to freak out the kids. And if I accidentally have a kid of my own, I'll treat them a little better than I treat myself (not too much though - I don't want them to get ideas above their station).

If you're a girl who's had the dubious pleasure of my company, you'll know that I always upgrade my accommodation a level when entertaining/disappointing (only one level though - let's not go crazy). So while I'm happy to buy you that perfume you like, or take you to see nice things, you can't always look forward to spending the night in the minimum level of private comfort possible. I'm that kind of guy.

I don't see the problem, so stop asking me why I stay in hostels like you don't already know my personality. I've answered you before - you're not asking, you're criticising. I don't have to explain myself to you! But writing these crisis blogs is probably good for me.

On that complete lack of note, and because it doesn't fit anywhere else, here's another pleasant-enough-but-not-worth-its-own-blog-entry Bornean city:

Sandakan Heritage Trail,

This is called the Malaysia Fountain.
Even if it worked, I doubt it would live up to its responsibility as a national icon

That's more like it! I'll go anywhere if it's recommended by an unconvincing bipedal crocodile

This roundabout apparently straddles a 14-minute time zone

One hundred steps (apparently)

About five and a half steps

I didn't get any euphoric flashbacks this time. I'm not seven any more

World War II memorial. This is a good city for dead stuff

This is only a section of the Chinese graveyard.
Look at all the lovely death

I don't think I've visited any Malaysian city without seeing at least one dead thing

Kum Tam Temple gets into the festive spirit in October

Goddess of Mercy temple, looking pretty serene...

Until you see the context

Masjid Jamek - the oldest mosque in Sabah, and the only one with a fun exit slide

Some furry get


  1. I forgot that I already demonstrated this despicable profligate attitude over a year ago, when sleeping on a roof just wasn't good enough for Princess. Princess needs his bed. (Also interesting to note just how much I wasn't getting up to back then, when I could get two blogs out of that).

  2. I saw an amazing fountain in Tel Aviv that would actually have been amazing if it shot fire and spun round like the guide book said it would.