24 Oct 2006


Nearly a month in, I've found a new routine. The first thing's always my glasses, which hang on the back of the bed frame behind my head.

Underwear, shirt, shorts. Travel wallet under the shirt. Contents never change: two passports, two visa cards, a hundred US dollars, and about 500 ringgit.

Time to load my shorts . 150 ringgit[1] from the travel wallet to the zipped inside pocket on the right. Small change in the back right pocket. Tissues in the same pocket to stop the change jingling. Map: right thigh pocket. Key, receipts, tickets, other authentication devices: left thigh pocket. Notebook, pen: left inside pocket. Phone: Right inside pocket. Palm, if I'm carrying it[2], back left pocket. Compass[3], LED penlight: right lower rear pocket.

I'm carrying everything I need, and it looks and feels like I'm carrying nothing at all. But I've forgotten to have a shower. I drop my shorts back on the bed.

They go "clank".

fn1. The day's budget for both of us. Unused amounts carry forward until they get spent on beer.

fn2. These days, I am. It's hard to write entries in netcafes, because they tend to be filled with the sound of gunfire, and anyway, the internet stresses me out. Handwriting's no good because it's frustratingly slow to do, and really frustrating to later retype, even when I can read it. So this entry's being typed on an RM350 folding keyboard attached to the Palm. I think that means somebody, somewhere, has won a bet.

fn3. Invaluable. The map gives position but not bearing. I even use it inside shopping centers.