10 months ago:
I used to ask myself "what would it be like to take a dart and throw it at a map - then pick up my things and go to where ever it had landed." Although my trip through South East Asia wasn't what I had in mind, it was one hell of an adventure.
Ten months ago I was working full time in South Korea teaching English to over worked, extremely exhausted children. My girlfriend and I woke up to the typical sounds of horns, children walking to school, and farmers blaring advertisements from their megaphones that were connected precariously to the truck. By the time the fog of sleep lifted the sun was already fast approaching the 10 o-clock position. I looked out the window down the road to the SK gas station. It was busy with its Thursday morning visitors and the mountain in the distance looked beautiful bright green from the newly grown buds of spring. It was a rather typical morning. We took our time eating brunch, walking to school and preparing for class.
Then, things changed fast. I was presented with the most interesting situation - DEPORTATION. Who would have known that work visa's are to be issued by the city one intends to work in. Finally after a week of interrogation we were told to leave the country. As it turns out we were not officially deported, it would look bad on the country, so instead we had an exit order to leave the country in 30 days.
So, there I was sitting in a hot tub in the gorgeous city of Malacca (aka Melaka). The city was beautiful, and the owner of the hostel was wonderful. His name: Howard and he was in his late 30's or early 40's. He was a long distant biker and his personality was something of an energetic child. His hair looked as confused as the construction of the city.
If you've seen Malacca, then you know what I mean. Buildings are constructed around old housing. Rather than tearing down and building up, they simply add walls and turn the outside walls into indoor rooms. There are modern buildings up against ancient ones, incomplete concrete pours and re-barb hanging out everywhere. This pretty much sums up Howard,the biker, the tour guide, the party friend, the hostel owner.
So, there I was... sitting at the Hostel in Malacca, wishing I had a dart and a map. But you know what, this was good, real good. Instead of a dart, I had Aileen's adventurous spirit guiding me and the Lonely Planet my map.