Week 69: The Village Of My People

Friday, 26 April 2019

Reading time 03 minutes 33 seconds 

Travel makes you modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world – Gustave Flaubert

Of course I want to see an Ewok village, and off we set!

I’d been drinking in Thailand way too long. I was fairly sure my little teddy bear friends from the greatest movie ever made were not real. Or were they? I had been disconnected from real life for some time. Had technology advanced from Dolly the sheep and the Ewoks were the next step for the scientists? They must have loved Star Wars as much as me. Of course they’d invent Ewoks, it’s what I’d do if I was a scientist. What would be more important to happiness than that?

I was at the start of a weeklong hangover and this was hour one. I’d been drinking and god knows what else for 3 days without much of a break. My mind was starting to collapse and my friends were no help with their offer of travel. The finish line to feeling human was a long way off. I hadn’t slept much and when I had it didn’t feel like normal sleep, probably because I drank so much Thai Red Bull & Whiskey. I wonder what else they or drunk me had put in that stuff?

Hazy memories consisted of morning after parties, afternoon chilling parties and of course the main evening parties. Why were my pals considering a trip? How was I the only one feeling rough?

I was living on party island and I may have slightly over done it. It was only meant to be a 2 day flying visit but that was 6 weeks ago. I’d become a hedonist and had already calculated that with my limited funds I could live here for 2 years if my liver could handle it.

The Ewok village being mentioned threw me all out of whack, which was not a huge leap. I was informed that it was located in Malaysia which was another country. It felt a long way away. My friends assured me it was next door. Well I guess it was polite to visit your neighbours. 

I wasn’t convinced on Malaysia until they mentioned the Ewoks. I had plans of staying in my hut by the beach, eating fruit, drinking coffee and watching the sea while smoking cigarettes and contemplating my life. It was a much better plan, until those silly little teddy bears were thrown into the mix.

Two Hours later we were on the boat leaving party island. What followed was my own version of hell;

• 2 hour boat journey to the mainland
• 10 hour minibus to Bangkok
• 12 hour coach to Malaysia 
• 6 hour minibus to the Taman Negara rain forest
• 3 hour boat journey to the heart of the rain forest
• 30 minute walk to teddy bear heaven

I travelled on the dustiest and bumpiest roads I’d ever experienced and the roughest seas and rivers. The hangover didn’t make it any easier but I was finally in a 130 million year old rain forest and closer to my little furry buddies. Shortly it would all be worth it. We were tired upon arrival so decided to get some sleep and go meet our new tribe in the morning.

The little sleep I had over the last few weeks were near a DJ booth playing Drum and Bass so imagine my shock when I discovered that a rainforest is louder and much more annoying. Insects make a deafening unregulated noise with no natural beat to fall asleep too. To add insult to injury they also try to bite you. This only happened with the DJ once but that’s a tale for another day.

In the morning my hangover was still there but was being overpowered by my childlike enthusiasm. Sadly the weather was against me as it was chucking it down which I guess I should have expected due to my location. I noticed a huge sign which stated that humans breath in what trees breath out and we should protect them. It was made of wood so someone misunderstood the message.

Being in Taman Negara was magical, being with friends who I loved and adored was even better. Life was perfect, until we got to the “Ewok Village”

I would not hear the brilliant Yub Nub song played today.

There was no village and what’s worse Ewoks were not real. I’d been conned, how could I have been such a fool? Obviously they were fictional but when I was told it seemed so believable, looking back I may have still been fractionally tipsy.

The “village” consisted of ladders laying down between the branches of the trees and tied together in what the British health and safety executive would call a very negligible and dangerous fashion. You had to walk precariously over each one while dodging insects who had less natural rhythm than yours truly and still wanted to bite me. This was all done within the canopy of the branches.

My friends looked embarrassed. I looked angry. Just for a moment back there I believed in magic. Now what? My childlike enthusiasm had been destroyed. Ok, time to take stock of my life and the world in general. I now needed to get my head and it’s ache back around life without an Ewok or the village. 

My expectations were not met, but I was still in one of the world’s oldest rainforests which was gorgeous, with people I loved and I was finally sober and in the trees. 
Life was good, but it could have been better………..with Ewoks and their village. What exactly is science doing?

Picture: It’s a repeated photo but seemed right for this walk down memory lane. Is it me or the brilliant Warwick Davis?