It’s true that you meet a lot of new people when travelling. Especially when staying in backpacker’s guesthouses. I checked into my hostel last night and within a few hours had gone in thirds with a Dutchman and a German in a bottle of vodka, and after finishing it with the help of a few Red Bulls, went to a local bar to meet more travellers.
It was night #1 for me, and without wrists full of bracelets, baggy fisherman pants and the South-East Asian sun tan, I was easily distinguishable from the veterans. Initially I liked the idea of segregating myself from the well-trodden tourist trail, which many a traveller has carved through the cities and beaches of South East Asia. But it’s not that bad. I’ll give it a go.
The backpacker districts around the world are a handy jumping-off point for the new guy in town. Somewhere where you know there are meals, bars and ATMs within walking distance, and plenty of friendly folks to talk to. As i’m writing, the city of Kuala Lumpur is under siege by a brilliant lightning storm, dumping buckets of rain down onto the streets of KL. Those massive, tree-branches of lightning which linger in the air for a moment, illuminating the city, before evaporating.
The almighty Petronas Towers, which I visited earlier today in the searing heat, are now barely visible through the clouds. The food, even the cheapest meat-on-a-stick stuff from roadside carts has been incredible. And cheap! I’m going north to Penang tomorrow. This close to the equator it’s baking hot and i’m looking forward to a swim. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future!