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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

17 January 2011

Mr Cultural Sensitivity

15th January 2011

We arrived on Langkawi by ferry late morning, picked up a hire car that pretty much worked, drove around looking at fleapits and No Vacancy signs until we found a decent hotel with a room left. All this accomplished, we stopped for lunch in a very local little restaurant tucked away from the pricey eateries catering to the tourist hordes. We ate with local families, the ladies in head-scarves and the children well mannered. The food was a good buffet of fried fish and curries, the restaurant was open air but under a corrugated canopy.

So it was distressing to see a fellow couple of tourists walk in. He was in late middle-age, and dressed in nothing but a pair of tiny swimming trunks and a thin cotton shirt stuck to his back and left open to fully display his sweaty chest, overhanging gut and the curly crop of hair emerging from the trunks up to his belly button. Very nice. Up he strode, challenging the buffet with his meat and two veg, showing all the cultural sensitivity of a bull in a china shop. Mercifully his wife was wearing a sarong over her costume.

You should have seen the looks he got from the other diners. You should have seen how oblivious he was to it. Gah.

The astute might be wondering why we are on Langkawi, having bypassed it for Penang in the first place. Well, we found out that small-clawed otters could be found here. You remember, the ones we got a two-second backside glimpse of at Hala Bala. So we have squeezed in a lightning 32 hour visit and arranged a local guide called Indera who knows the best spots for otters. This afternoon we wandered the mangrove forests in a boat; we didn’t see any otters, but there was plenty of other wildlife and the mangroves forest is splendid.

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One Response to “Mr Cultural Sensitivity”

  1. Dave says:

    Curly hair protruding from his trunks huh, well you’re lucky he hadn’t relied on his hirsutism to forego trunks completely!! Someone perusing the buffet with a shrews nose poking out of an unkempt thicket of manfloss would be just too much to bear…

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