Monday, 17 October 2011

Borneo: Day 1

So I'm sitting here at 11pm eating cold Laksa from the fridge because I am determined to get this done and out if it kills me (or at least my sleep pattern), and I'm also hungry and lazy and the Laksa was easier to grab than the triple cream Brie. Tomorrow I'm having a clean at the dentist that is long overdue, and I reckon that even after my best efforts at brushing she'll find at least one bit of chicken in there somewhere. Gross, hey.

In any case, I have decided to simply title the days by number so that if you happen to check in along the way, you'll know where you're up to. Seeing as how this is very considerate of me and kicks the wordsmiths in the pants just a tiny bit, I hope at least a few of the stories impress you and make you wish you could have been where we were. God fully blessed our socks off and left us speechless.

Ok. I've Gladwrapped the cold Laksa. Let's begin.

Holidays really begin the moment you make the plans. If you miss the plane or for whatever reason don't get to where you were going, a part of you has already been on that trip. A part of you has lived the dream. Going to Borneo was never a dream of mine but was arranged and became the fruit of spontaneity. Suddenly we were booked to fly with 8 friends and we were going. It came about quickly but was oh-so necessary for all of us. The destination was plucked off a map and we agreed. It was pretty much as simple as that. The affordability sealed the deal.

One of my best friends is Malaysian and she gave us hints of what to expect, but when we got there we were blown away. The beauty of the tropics was raw and unhurried. Coconut palms were everywhere and were so laden that we were gasping with amazement as the airport transfer turned each corner. At check-in there was a delay, so cold citrus drinks and chilled, scented face towels were brought for our refreshment. The kids caught sight of the pool (read: water park) and were beside themselves to get to it. The air was humid and we itched quite literally to get out of jeans and into our summer gear.

The delay with our rooms protracted and we were upgraded. When the lady at last escorted us to our room, the view of the sky and sea at the end of the open corridor was good enough for me. Here. Let me sleep here. This will do. The view is great! But we walked on and came to our room on the very edge of the wing. Our hotel faced the China Sea and a group of islands I quickly decided were mine for the next 11 days. I knew that from my spot in the bed I'd be able to see a perfect postcard image of the smallest island between two coconut palms and a third just off to the side. This place was perfection so perfect I couldn't resist hugging our lady guide. She giggled.

God!! What have You done?? This was so far above and beyond all we could imagine. For the moment the view of the sea, the islands, the green, green grass, and the plentious slender palms was more than enough, even more than I could take in. I was reminded of Oahu's similar impossible beauty. The horizon was filmy and I hoped this would clear yet would not, could not complain if it didn't.

Our lady guide was about to depart but said we should call her if we needed anything.


A personal attendant on demand? What kind of place is this? Only a couple of hours later as we reclined by the pool, one of our friends put all our feelings into words precisely: "Other people come to places like this. But we're here! I can't believe it."

Note to self: Hug and kiss the travel agent upon returning home, and send her flowers every day for a month. In fact, for a year. No... every day for the rest of her life, and then send them to her children...

Knowing we had 11 days was a gift. Wondering how to spend them was a surprise.

Lord, please stop the clock while we are here, and let us enjoy every single day to the max!

"You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16v11

Tu me feras connaître le chemin de la vie:
      plénitude de joie en ta présence,
      et bonheur éternel auprès de toi.

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