where you can't wear red because it excites the orang utans and you can't wear jewelery because the orang utans steal it
Borneo defies description. Sandakan has never recovered from WWII and all the post-war construction is covered with streaks of black mold/mildew. The high rise buildings have broken windows covered with sheets with MUCH clothing hanging on little lines; their corrugated metal roofs are patched and stained. The commercial areas of the high rises are decidedly third world. The people are undaunted. They smile and wave and practice their English - which is quite good. They look at you curiously and we are told that the object of their scrutiny is the noses of Westerners because their own are quite flat (I don’t see much difference myself). We were privileged to visit Buli SIm-SIm water village, about a mile from the city center. The village is built on stilts out into the sea. Garbage is picked up from the houses 2x/day and from the sea every 3 months. The water beneath the houses is thick with filth and plastic bags. We visited a businessman’s house - at the end of the village so it had expansion possibilities. In the house were toilet rooms (pipes discharged right into the sea beneath the house), many LARGE fish tanks holding eels and crabs and Amazon fish, an open area where boats hung, a living room space with a huge TV and speakers and leather sofas, a couple of office areas, a plastic bucket with scrub board where a woman was doing laundry, a space where engines and motors were under repair, a large area with picnic tables. Walking to and from this “mansion” we encountered many many many small versions with adorable children on the decks.
In town were: market stalls with all sorts of dried fish, odd chickens, unfamiliar vegetables, and bananas; Buddhist temples, a mosque, and St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church! In 1942-3, Australian and British POWs were held in the church before they began their death march (6 of 2000 survived), so there are many many touching memorials and windows given in their honor and in thanksgiving for the people of Borneo who aided them. Also - an Anglican middle school - and here you thought we were through with all that!
We are sailing to the Philippines where a typhoon has just hit. The Captain says we will skirt it and only encounter a tropical depression, although the boat is rocking a lot.
Finally - attached is a photo of our last dessert - served at a luncheon buffet. Sorry, the website won't load any more photos. The discrete little card by the lovely dessert read "CUSTURD CAKE"