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Full Circle

Day 114: Kuching to Jakarta

Gunung Mas, Indonesia 
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Java's paddy fields where agriculture becomes an art form.
Michael Palin - Full CircleThe realization of how far away and how helpless I feel is so acute this morning that I make plans to return home and see Helen after the operation and about the time she leaves hospital. It will mean breaking, but not necessarily abandoning, the journey. Both of us are in absolute agreement on this. H continues to sound up-beat. She's been out shopping today for something to wear in hospital. She says she can hardly wait to get in there. Steve's news is also better. His daughter's fall has caused no lasting damage, but she must still undergo tests on one of her eyes.

Time to leave Borneo. Apart from the tantalizing glimpse of life in the rain forest it has not been the wild place I expected. Sabah and Sarawak impress as orderly, efficiently-run states with freshly-painted kerb-stones and corporate comforts. They radiate a glow of soundly-based prosperity, quite unlike the rough and ready Philippines. On the drive to Kuching airport I read in my New Straits Times that the Malaysian government is to make whipping mandatory for anyone forging immigration documents. Booming economy, stern society.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 114
  • Country/sea: Malaysia
  • Place: Kuching
  • Book page no: 164

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