the mossy forest in Bahau Hulu, East Kalimantan, Indonesia small creek in the Bahau Hulu forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia flower on Kakaban Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia baby turtles on Sangalaki Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia fisherman with a lobster on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia children playing on the beach of Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sunset over Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia catching fish from the Bahau River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia cooking coffee in the Bahau Hulu rainforest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia winding river from the air, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sandy beach on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia kids playing football on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia sea turtle on Derawan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia proboscis monkeys in Tarakan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo sunset in Sabah, Malaysia pier on Manukan Island, Sabah, Malaysia rainforest at the Kayan River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia butterflies at the Kayan River, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Monday, 18 April 2011
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Back at Home

children playing football on tiny Derawan Island off the coast of Borneo
children playing football on tiny
Derawan Island off the coast of
Borneo

We've been away for one day less than a month and the first time we read the the news was yesterday in Hong Kong because we had WiFi and plenty of time in our room. The headlines were the same as when we left: leaking power plant in Japan, pension issues, falling currency, and protesting firefighters at home, missiles in Libya, natural disasters all over the world, and the preparations for Prince Williams' wedding.

There is still no sound option of public transport at Ferihegy Airport (like one similar to Hong Kong's 23-minute Airport Express), but only queuing in the traffic jam of Pest in the overpriced taxi while listening to the occasional siren.

In the taxi you start to think about work, things to do, people to call, bills to pay. Arriving home a bunch of letters awaits. Well, we could do without these.

Spring has arrived at home, everything has become green, the snow has melted in Helsinki. The flight was strange: we started at the darkest midnight in Hong Kong, it was daylight all over Siberia, then we arrived at sunrise in Helsinki.

under shelter in the moss forest in
the Bahau Hulu area of Kalimantan

We had left tidiness at home but the fridge was empty so we ordered 2 pizzas. We unpacked our backpacks, the clothes went straight into the washing machine. There were some among them that we still could not dry at the always humid climate, some that still smelled like smoke from the all-night smoking of the meat of the wild boar in the forest. The bathing towels were still salty from the water of the Celebes Sea. I found light bloodstains caused by leeches on my smartest pants that I flew home in. And bedbugs moved into our sleeping bags in a village. Some clothes were left behind: several pairs of touring socks weren't worth carrying home, I lost my cap somewhere, and I found unwashable stains and a hole on my touring pants. Now let's go back to the ironed shirts, polished shoes and elegant handbags.

Slowly everything will become as usual again. There remain a bundle of lifetime memories, a few photos trying to recall these, two carved indigenous masks from Borneo, two sticks of salt packed in bamboo from our host in Long Bawan, a small seashell found in Kakaban's white sand, the morning song of gibbons recorded in mp3, and a few pieces of fragrant gaharu wood, for which the Arabs and Chinese pay fortunes, although you only have to walk a few days in the Borneo rainforest and it will be "lying there at your feet".

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