Tunisia, Mediterranean, Arab Peninsula, Iran, Leh Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bangladesh, Borneo, Flores to Australia travel blog


Left via bus at 8am...

An interesting phenomenon happens while traveling, especially for a long time via slower transport (not air). It becomes increasingly difficult to see things new/different. Everything seems like ordinary or common after awhile. In some ways this is true (same/similar crops, etc) but lots of times I forget that what I'm seeing is new/different - I fail to recognize it because in this place/time it is ordinary - type of housing on stilts, temples w/ bright colors, peaked roofs, dogs roaming in packs or not but without owners, people (men mostly) sitting in groups in cafes drinking at all hours of the day, clothing hanging on lines, fences, bushes, lying on rocks drying on wash day, etc. I don't mention these things or even pay attention anymore yet in this part of the world as in many others these are facts of life, everyday occurrences.

Only after not seeing these things for several days do I realize the ordinary is no longer. Case in point, here in Borneo the country side no longer has rice paddies or fields of corn. Now just huge plantations of palm oil palms! No rain forest just cleared, flat or rolling lands largely filled with rows and rows of palm oil palms.

Wiki Info Kota Kinabalu

We checked out all the budget places in Australian Place and ended up in Bunibon Lodge, a bit more $$ but room has light (Bon loves light) and more room than the others. Folks were helpful and very nice common room area. Went to the nearby Mall where we had comfort food (salad! which seems difficult to find on this trip except in Iran), and I found an Acer dealer but no tech. (Went back the next day and he said he couldn't help, need to take to an Acer Highpoint service center!)


Continuing on the palm oil theme...I talked with a fellow who has been protesting here for several years (Malaysia and especially Borneo is totally controlled economically and politically by a small percentage of wealthy people). He said what has happened here in Borneo has been the displacement of poor, rural people who have 'sold' or 'leased' their land - they are uneducated, and have had only small parcels for farming - and now are displaced by the owners or leasers when they plant these huge plantations of monocultural oil palms. They get very little from what they used to farm and now cannot even grow food to eat but must buy food and try to find work in the cities. If they are lucky, the new owner/landlord will hire them to do menial labor on the plantation but most just have the small amount paid them for using their land or perhaps a lump sum as payment outright but probably now spent on 'stuff', a TV, or ??.

We walked around town today...went to the museum (nice, but still being established, developed), toured the many Malls, and kind of pondered where all the money comes from. See Wiki Info. Oil now, of course, we passed a huge new oil and gas terminal project coming into town yesterday, and of course, the palm oil and some tourism (this is off season, so not many here now). But beyond the obvious, ???

Info on Veggie Oils

Info On Saturated Fats

Info on Health & Cooking Oils

Info on Cooking Oils

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