Tuesday, December 24, 2013
From KK to Kuching is a 500-mile Air Asia hop, but delayed by torrential rain. When we finally arrive at our lo-budget rainforest resort which juts out into the South China Sea, it's dusk. And it's basic. Switching on the lights in our cabin sees ants the size of cockroaches scatter under pre-IKEA furniture. A bout of broom-bashing deals with them, but our spirits are not raised at dinner in the semi-open 'restaurant' where we are joined by a handful of offbeat diners. A sparrow-like waitress of uncertain age attends. A man the size of our cabin sits opposite wearing bizarre, individually-toed trainers which protrude at right angles. A man is playing Leaving on a Jet Plane on a Bornean guitar (called a Sape if anyone's interested). Suddenly, it is all too much for Liz, and as we chink our glasses she breaks into mild hysterics, midway between laughing and crying. It is Christmas Eve and here we are in a rainforest in south-western Sarawak, a monsoon blowing a gale outside, with the cast of Twin Peaks. The only person missing is the Log Lady.