The banana has been on Mr. Kim’s onion boat since Thursday. I’ve been holding on for him to send me the classic, everybody-takes-it picture of the bike sailing into the sky on a couple of webbing straps that I wouldn’t trust to hold up your mum’s knickers*, but it looks like I’m not going to get one.
It’s a strange time of year and the boat crewsc schedule is a little out of whack. What this means is that the boat arrived at mid day on Thursday, so I had to wait for close to four hours in the canteen at Butterworth port.
It was thrilling, even though I didn’t bring a book. I was allowed to smoke so it really was heaven on earth.
When we finally get dockside I tried to get a picture of the banana in front of the boat, but the crew were about to start unloading and they went completely mental at me when I tried. So this is the closest you’re going to get.
I am quite sure you will agree with me that this is HIGH QUALITY BLOGGING.
Anyway. I’m still on Penang, more or less going out of my mind with boredom. I’m here so I don’t run out an Indonesian visa while waiting for the bike to arrive and also, Chinese new year is meant to be utterly mental here, as it also functions as a kind of Chinese pride rally for the large community here in Georgetown.
I’m filling my time with books, alcohol and existential screaming. Except today I’m treating myself.
Actual laundry with actual detergent, real god damn softener and a frigging dryer. LUXURY!
My cup runneth the fuck over…
*Not really a reflection on the strength of the straps, if we’re honest. She snaps steel cables like wet, frightened spaghetti
For the last week or so I’ve been in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, trying to organise shipping the banana from Malaysia to Indonesia.
Not much to say about Thailand. It was very nice. The roads were excellent. I went diving and had a holiday, forgetting completely about blog updates.
Getting across the Wang Prachan border was just as easy the second time. Five minutes on the Thai side, ten on the Malaysian side.
Here is me sorting out some shipping.
This is the office of Mr. Lim. He’s a shipping agent who runs a service called ‘The Onion Boat’. It’s basically a vegetable transport boat that will take your bike and he sorts out your carnet for you. Costs about 800 Malaysian Ringit and doesn’t require crating, which is nice.
There’s one snag though. Loading the banana will happen tomorrow, after which the boat will be at anchor for about nine days for reasons that are as logical as they are utterly impenetrable.
This means I’m going to be about ten days bikeless. It wasn’t that long between crating in Kathmandu to riding to Kuala Lumpur, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
I am going to use some of the time to get an Indonesian visa. As a British citizen I don’t actually need one, but there’s a practical reason. If I land without one I can get in with a stamp. But they’re only valid 30 days and cannot be renewed.
If I get a visa, I can renew it. As I’m looking to work all the way to Timor I expect to spend more than a month in Indonesia so this is the preferred option. Otherwise I have to do a visa run with the nana parked in a field somewhere…
Other than that, nothing doing really. Dicked about with the street art a little…
Other than that… Well… Nothing doing… Tune in tomorrow to see my bike either hoisted into the sky, then a boat or thrown into the sea by a crane operator with a grudge.
Hello, hello, is there anybody out there? Is there anyone reading this, because I certainly haven’t been writing it.
Since arriving in Kathmandu I sort of… Collapsed. It’s very easy to stay in the hostel, to go out and eat food and drink and be a lazy, lazy bum. Had to get the banana shipped, had to get it uncrated but that’s hard work that justifies the slack. That’s not what I’m meant to be here for. Wandering around a shopping mall buying a GoPro because I can. Eating god damn McDonald’s because it’s easy. Pffft.
I have been in Kuala Lumpur for the last ten days, for the first four I was ‘treating myself’ in a hotel, then I’ve been in a hostel for the last six, pretty much waiting for the mechanic to be done with my bike. It’s done today and I’m off to Penang. Hoping to get some mojo back.
Least it’s pretty…
Almost two weeks with no updates. My concentration span is shot so I’m not really taking pictures and I don’t have the patience to update this blog… Something I’ll have to work on. Some recaps are to come, but at the moment stringing words together is proving to be quite difficult.
In short, here’s what’s happened:
I like KL. It’s twinned with Gotham