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    Malaysian Travel Journal: Sadness

    This afternoon, as I was driving along, I saw a monkey. In my new surroundings, there is nothing remarkable about seeing monkeys on the side of the road. Nonetheless, I still find it super cool. The monkey I saw today was acting strangely, just sitting there, shoulders hunched, back to the road. It looked almost like it was in shock. I had about 50 yards to wonder why. That's when I saw the second monkey. Same size, same color, decidedly less alive, sprawled across a highway lane, having very recently succumbed to death by logging truck.

    I was overcome with sadness for the poor monkey, left alone, in shock, wondering what to do next. I've always imagined that animals can feel emotions, especially animals who mate for life or run in packs. Until today, though, I'd never witnessed animal grief. Hours later, I'm still thinking about it.

    Aside from the laws of the jungle being usurped by the laws of vehicular physics, Malaysia is a happy place for me. Adjusting to small town life has been easier than I thought. Having a car helps, as does the fact that Malaysia isn't that big, at least from my perspective as a road-tripping Midwesterner. The folks in my new town think two or three hours is a long drive. I think anything less than 10 hours can be driven after work on a Friday. 

    I like the quiet here. I like the clean air, which is a true gift after living in Jakarta. I like coming home from work and staring out my window at massive cumulus clouds gathering over the palm tree plantations. I kinda miss the booze though. Still, all signs point to more opportunities for amazing experiences. I know the 2012 is kicking off at home, but I simply can't get excited about politics when there are so many new and interesting things to learn.


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