Sunday, October 16, 2005

Kids of Tioman Island, Malaysia

kids of Tioman Island, Malaysia
[photo by gail on the web]
In January 1993, I travelled overland through Malaysia from Singapore with no onward plane ticket. I only had a one-way ticket from Australia to New Zealand to Malaysia.

After the urban craziness of Singapore, I retreated to the tranquility of Tioman Island upon recommendation from a friend I'd bumped into in New Zealand. I needed to think about what my next step would be, and Singapore wasn't the place to do it. Tioman Island is where I made a decision that would ultimately affect the rest of my life, so it holds a significant place in my personal history.

I took a tiny ferry from Mersing, on the east coast, and shared a beach bungalow with a couple of English girls from Suffolk I'd met in the village of Mersing.

For days all we did was explore the island, observe lizards and other exotic wildlife, read books in beach hammocks, and shoo away monkeys from our hanging laundry. There were few tourists on the island because it was the off-season, which was a big draw for us. The village children were curious about the foreigners, but I didn't really look like a foreigner to them. It appeared to be to my advantage -- one day a couple of them let me take their photo.

These kids were absolutely adorable; the little girl carried around her own matching parasol, and I wish I could've taken a photo of her with it. Instead, the photo is in my mind's eye. Indelibly so.

adj : capable of relieving pain; "the anodyne properties of certain drugs"; "an analgesic effect" [syn: analgetic, anodyne] n : a medicine used to relieve pain [syn: anodyne, painkiller, pain pill]

It's been exactly two months since David's cancer diagnosis. I wish I could say life is easier, but it doesn't feel that way. David's in constant pain, and I'm in my own world of pain. If my friends or family were here, I'd turn to them. In absentia, I turn to photography. I need the creative outlet, and nothing else seems to work as well right now.