After another day on the road as we headed out of Mukah on the 8.30am boneshaker, we check into the Riverside Inn, Bintulu.
Following some fine haggling by the 0.5, and upon her being smooth talked into viewing both standard and deluxe options, we end up taking the superior room and paying more than we had initially earmarked.
Even on a backpacker budget the 0.5 reckoned on the gulf in quality being substantial enough to justify taking a room with a window.
Don’t get me wrong, I like light, I really do. In fact I’d go so far as to say that I’m actually quite a fan of luminosity per se, but only when it is in context and even then, only relatively.
Personally, I don’t see windows as being a necessity on our trip in the way that say food, or cold beer might be.
It ensues that the 0.5 regards windows as a pre-requisite in a room, whereas I saw them merely in terms of the opportunity cost of sacrificed tiger beers (which I might add, I would happily have supped in the dark confines of the standard quarters).
To be fair, it turns out she made the right call. Not only did the room occasionally proffer hot water, but it’s wide panelled ceiling to floor windows commanded a fine vista of the busy river front across the way and helped to occupy The Boys time as he repeatedly cooed “Car! Car!” each time a boat set off from the jetty.
Best of all though, and for the first time on our trip, we had satellite TV.
By chance, it was also a Sunday and as there was an early kick-off in the football it meant I got to watch Man City demolish Spurs and provide just a glimmer of hope that despite Swansea’s impotency in front of goal three matches into our maiden Premier League outing, there may just a faint glimmer of hope that we aren’t all that bad, and that many other sides will suffer our fate at the hands of Mancini’s expensively assembled squad of ubermenschen.
The only bummer was that the 8-2 Man U v Arsenal game wasn’t screened live, so I’d saved my last tin of what was by then warm beer for no reason.
The next morning as The Boy cried “Car! Car!” at the strangest passenger ferry I’ve ever laid eyes upon (Note: The ferry only carried foot passengers and motorbikes so he was once again barking up the wrong dipterocarp tropical hardwood), we filled our day packs in anticipation of a day of jungle trekking at the Similajau National Park.
I popped out to grab us a few bottles of water and provisions and on the way back encountered a most strange sight at the café directly next door to our hotel.
Dressed in newspapers.
I’m slowly coming to terms with the peccadilloes of the Chinese, but can’t for the life of me fathom out what straight jacketing a few hens in the classified ad section of The Borneo Post is meant to achieve. From the faces of the avian super models, it would seem they are equally as bemused.
Answers on a postcard please…