Myles Harrington

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

I ♥ STD

In Indonesia on July 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

Jalan Jaksa is the street in Jakarta where all of the backpackers head to straight off the bus. We of course did the same, via a McDonalds that didn’t have coffee (what?) and a Pizza Hut (we were bored of Indonesian food, just for one meal!) On Jaksa there is a bar right opposite our scummy hostel – Nick’s Hostel, that also doubles as the local whore house – called Memories that our guide-book says is a place that will not make memories. How wrong they were.

Off the bus and we hit the Hut. With my gammy teeth.

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The Calming Influence of Krui

In Indonesia on July 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

A natural stop off point on the route down through Sumatra was the town of Bengkulu on the coast. The bus ride was an average 16 hour ride in an ekonomi bus with seats s small that it’s as if the coach was designed to transport the borrowers, they didn’t recline and it had tiny windows that didn’t let in a breeze. To make matters worse the bus was a ‘full music coach’, one of the selling points of Indonesian public transport. This meant that they played a happy-hardcore-pop-synth tune on repeat that used a one line Anthrax ft. Public Enemy sample. This continued on and off until 4am and then they started to play it again at 7am; at full blast. At 3am I nearly got up and said something but all the other passengers seemed content with it. I suppose at least it meant the driver didn’t fall asleep.

The 'full music' coach of misery

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Heeelllllllllooooooo Miiissstttteeeeerrrrrrrr

In Indonesia on July 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I think I jinxed us in KL. I said to Claire I missed the feeling of being like a minor celebrity in India. The attention you got was incredible purely because of the colour of your skin. It was great fun having kids running after you, or away from you and friendly locals inviting you for tea. In Sumatra the celeb status has been stepped up a level. literally everyone calls down the street when they see you, or as they swish past on their mopeds and every one of them without fail calls out “Heeelllllllllooooooo Miiissstttteeeeerrrrrrrr”. If I hear it one more time I think I might have to start hitting them, or perhaps just start to ignore them. It gets boring waving constantly and my throat has started to hurt from just saying hello. I don’t know how everyone learned this was what to say to tourists but it soon starts to grate.

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The Indonesian Mission

In Indonesia on July 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

Off the boat in Dumai the next leg of my trip began. The kind people of immigration granted us 30 days in their country for $25. That gave us the mission of getting from the middle of Sumatra to Bali via Java, all overland, for the planned departure date of 12th August. 2,723 km; on the quickest route. We’d been warned by an Irish couple in KL not to attempt it because the roads in Indonesia are pretty horrendous and the public buses, the ones we have to use because of our budget, are in a dreadful state.

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On To KL

In Malaysia on July 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

After India, I’m used to spending very long periods of time in very uncomfortable positions. So a five-hour bus ride from Penang to KL I could do it blindfolded in the hold. So long as the price was right. The only bus that was available by every travel agent in town was an AC option for RM35 (£7). I begrudged paying that much for only five hours but when we got to the coach I could see why it cost that much. The seats were humongous, the air was freezing cold (I never understand why Asians like to be icy cold) and best of all, the seats had massage functionality. How ridiculous.

The new Robin Hood film was shown on board. Better than BA

The ironic thing was, given all of the shitty government buses I have been on over the last three months. The only one that broke down was the AC deluxe, rockstar coach. We were sat for an hour while it was repaired just outside of Penang.

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A Change of Scenery But No Change of Pace

In Malaysia on July 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

It was a great flight to Malaysia, only about a quarter full, so for once I had four hours of luxury travel, spreading myself over three seats. Claire was there to meet me as arranged and we headed in to Georgetown, Penang to start the celebrations of two months travel together. By pure co-incidence the Georgetown Festival was in full swing that afternoon so we joined in the festivities.

Georgetown's Dragons

Claire told me the tales of her previous night. She was snogged by a sixty-something Indian fortune-teller, so it was only natural we would head to the same bar. He was there again and we had a few discussions about Indian culture but no kisses. Read the rest of this entry »

One Night in Bangalore With The Bond Girls

In India on July 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm

My solo adventures with the Bond girls (Florence and Harriet Bond) began when David left us in Hospet, the transit town from Hampi. We arrived there stupidly early for the night bus so had to spend six hours coffee shop hopping.

Time to burn in a luxurious restaurant

We also made a crucial error by booking the last three seats on the 10.30pm bus. They were the ones at the back, the ones that don’t lean back.

The government bus back row

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The Night I Nearly Died and Other Cool Adventures

In India on July 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Whenever I explain to people I got a loan out to go travelling I always make the same joke about if I die while I’m away I’ll never have to pay it back. Last Tuesday night it nearly happened. I had moved in to a room with a bloke called David, one of the Brits I’d met on the beach in Palolem. After a couple of beers and some World Cup action it was time for bed. I never normally use mosquito coils, mainly because I’m not that bothered about the bites but David picked one up from the girls on the way home. He hung it on a nail on the wall and we went off to sleep. At 6am I got woken up by David shouting “something’s wrong”. I looked around the room and it was full of thick smoke and his bag that was strategically placed under the coil was alight. Another few minutes and it could have been a very different story. Luckily he sensed something was wrong.

The Seagull Guest House massive

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