Perhentian Short Story: Arriving

Settling Down

The first 6-7 months of my trip had been fast paced. I spent a few days, at best, in any one location, then rapidly moved on. It hadn’t gone un-noted by my travel friends that I was continuously moving fast, scaling mountains, going diving, doing something or another consecutively and tirelessly. I can hear you all thinking, “Oh tough life”, well…shut up, or whatever the thought equivalent of shutting up is. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying, there are different ways of travelling and I used to do the fast version – perhaps not as fast as my friend Andrew would – but fast and full-on nonetheless.

So, as my boat pulled up on shore, I saw the white sandy beach, the clear water, the basic developments of Pulau Perhentian Kecil, I knew that I’d be spending a while here.

This was the place where I’d try the other way of travelling, a few weeks here, a few weeks there, staying in one place, getting to know the people, having some resemblance of consistency day-to-day that wasn’t the consistency of change.

It was just before mid-day and it was already really hot. I wanted to find somewhere to stay fast because walking around in the afternoon sun up and down the beach would be uncomfortable. After some moving around trying to find somewhere to stay and finding a dive company, I ended up staying in a small, basic bungalow at the end of the beach – Campak Bungalows.

I walked up and down the beach a few times. In the end, I left my bag at Spice Dive Shop. One of the dive instructors there, a long, blonde-haired, South African guy suggested a few places I could stay. Over the coming weeks, I would become good friends with Jesse.

The receptionist was asleep when I arrived. Jesse told me to just wake him up. So, at 12 o’clock in the afternoon I woke him up, and he seemed pretty drunk or high or something. But, the bungalow was priced okay – 50 Ringit a night – and the receptionist guy was very friendly. So, I took it.

It was now my home in Paradise for the two weeks.

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