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Passport to the Rainforest World Music Festival

Here’s a short tale less about the destination and more about the journey.


30+ of the 50 ETAs book tickets to the Rainforest World Music Festival on a separate island called Borneo six months in advance.


Charlie, Janice, and I each bike from our house to the airport for the festival. Missing a turn, Janice “supermans” over a ditch, breaking her wrist and getting a concussion (as I gathered after the tenth time she asks me “…what happened?” immediately after the accident).


Janice is discharged. Of course, the discharge process takes two hours thanks to Malaysian business’s inefficient way of thinking. And of course, Janice and I are undeterred and head over to the airport on my bike for the next flight.

Literally 200 metres (.12 miles) from Janice’s accident site, my back tire pops while going 40km/h (25mph). We almost die. Thank the lord that I didn’t break her other wrist.

I love wheelchairs. So upon arriving at Borneo, I plop Janice into one, zooming around the airport and zooming past customs, where I discover that they require passports. Woops. I manage to slip by by pushing Janice, who does have her passport.


A ton of people, mud, mud-wrestling/splashing, ETA injuries/illnesses, and cat-related touristy souvenirs. (The city of Kuching means “cat.” Witty, right?). Oh and a bit of funky international foresty music:


My housemate Charlie and I get full-body strip-searched and sniffed up every crevice by German Shepherds once I explain to them that they simply didn’t check my passport upon my initial arrival.

…That’s what we were planning on telling the others, at least. Instead, three different folks grilled me on my story and finally let me go back home.

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