Taman Negara

Something remarkable while driving: one of the towns we passed hosted a sacred tree which according to the legend, started bleeding when they started chopping it down to build a road on that place. So the people decided not to chop it and built the road around it. Now there is a temple around the tree.
During our lunch close to Taman Negara, the oldest jungle in the world, according to the Malaysian people, we had an interesting conversation with a Malaysian. About Malaysia, Malaysian people, Malaysian culture, education,… He had 8 children and lived close to the National Park, which he had never visited. He was very open to us, and these are some of the things I learned:
– a Muslim man can have 4 wives
– this is possible because there are more women than men, and some men are drug addicts
– when I asked a question he usually answered looking at Peter. (In another occasion I experienced that a men who wanted to take a picture of me and him together, asked peter if it was okay to take that picture, not me)
– men shake hands with men when they meet or say goodbye, but not with women.
– Malaysian people are kind and helpful, and never pushy
– he even paid our food (I felt a bit bad about that because he had 8 children to raise and I was just traveling around)
The man was a barber, so at the end of the conversation we asked if he could give peter a shave, which he did. He didn’t want us to pay, but he accepted to take our money for his children. A nice meeting.
We drove on to Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara, booked a hide in the jungle, grabbed our stuff to sleep there, bought some food to survive, took the boat to the other side of the river and started walking. After two hours walking, we arrived at the hide just before it got totally dark. We got installed (I discovered my ankle was bleeding because a leech had bitten me) and enjoyed the jungle sounds.

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