Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak

Week one of the Easter holidays over already and I’ve spent most of my waking and sleeping moments processing what’s going on and trying to come to a decision about whether to stay in Penang after summer or leave. It’s a really difficult decision with no obvious answer and no definite way of knowing which would make things easier to move forward and find some happiness (what is that emotion?!) The thinking and debating the future without Jerry continues on.

I spent the last week exploring Borneo with the highlight being climbing Kinabalu (which I’ve already written about so I won’t bother you again).

We arrived to Kota Kinabalu on Saturday and were lucky enough to have an apartment to stay in for free (thanks Phoebe). As with many Malaysian coastal towns KK’s beaches leave much to the desire so we wanted to attempt to find a slice of paradise- basically somewhere not covered in rubbish. Litter is one of the main problems in Malaysia as there doesn’t seem to be a collective care/attitude about looking after the environment or animals. The oceans and beautiful nature are being destroyed rapidly by the people who call this paradise their home. This is now something that makes me really frustrated and annoyed, and beach clean ups are a never ending battle we as a group have started to tackle.

We were told that we could get a boat to Sepanggar Island and it would be clean and there would be live coral for snorkelling. There’s not many things more depressing than snorkelling around bleached coral. We arrived and surprise surprise…all the coral was dead. I did snorkel and there were a lot of fish but I was really sad because the water was full of litter. It’s a privately owned island there’s no excuse. Anyway…we were all disappointed and depressed about the state of the Earth once again.

The beach was pretty, the sand was soft and the food was good. DON’T GO THERE IF YOU’RE EXPECTING TO SEE LIVE CORAL AND A CLEAN OCEAN.

Whilst in KK we also decided to go for some drinks and Jen tried Shisha for the first time. You go Jen.

There were some very strange music acts including two women who were dressed like we did in 2003-2005. I’m talking hoops, waist belts, rara skirt.

The next day we drove to the Tip of Borneo. I say “we”, Andi drove and I literally slept for 3 hours and felt sad. However I was present and out and about. We had seen a photo of it online and we wanted to see what it was like. It was cool.

I would definitely recommend visiting the Tip of Borneo. The beach was beautiful and clean with clear water for swimming. The rocks are cool.

After Kinabalu we flew to Miri, Sarawak, “The most liveable resort city”. We had physical injuries and illnesses and had just climbed a mountain so we went for afternoon tea.

We were very lucky to have a large, sea view apartment with the most incredible sunset.

The following day I spent a few hours crying about the state of my life, these amazing people spent a few hours listening, and then we went to Tusan beach. Again we saw it on Google images. I slept in the car (a theme is emerging) and a game of Categories got so out of hand that we drove past the beach by about an hour…oops. Eventually we made it back and the beach was pretty cool.

Jen made us spend some time trying to take a jumping photo that we just couldn’t achieve.

On the way back we went to Container City which is meant to be a quirky hawker market. It isn’t. The food was horrid. Don’t go. We were all depressed when we left cos food is life. It looks cool but that is just a front.

Yesterday was my final day and we drove to Niah national park to see the caves. It took us a day longer than we had originally planned to do this because we climbed a mountain and that makes you tired. The national park is beautiful and it’s a board walk so it’s not too strenuous.

The caves are impressive but hot, smelly and lots of steps. The painted cave hasn’t really got any visible paintings left just information about where they were once. We really enjoyed it and there’s lots of cool millipedes.

So that was our whistle stop tour of Borneo. Today I fly back to Penang to meet Liam and Lisa and then we go to Langkawi tomorrow for the second week of the holidays. How am I doing? I’m struggling, but I’m getting better at looking like I’m not. Thank you thank you to Andi, Jen and Andrea for being the best company, team mates, card playing opponents, therapists and wonderful friends. Very grateful as ever ❤

Grief – An explosion in space makes no sound at all.

Today is day 88. Grief changes with hours and days. I dream about Jerry every single night. At the moment, because I am deciding whether to move, I have dreams where we are both living in the UK having dinner with my parents, or at the pub. I wake up crying at the cruelty of my own brain and it takes me hours to recover. I didn’t know it was possible to feel such a physical weight of loss, to miss someone that much. I think it’s true when people say that you carry grief around forever and also that when someone you love dies you lose a part of yourself with them. I feel like I’m always almost there, but never quite there. It can be something as simple as listening to a friend tell a story, playing a game of cards, trying to think of a joke. I’m always almost in the moment but never quite achieving it. At the moment all my normal emotions have some kind of filter over them. They might be there somewhere but they certainly don’t feel the same. It’s easier to smile in a photo than it was. The pain is still there. Sometimes I feel so frustrated because I do all the things I used to love and I just can’t feel happy. Grief is exhausting, but I’m coping. In fact I’d say I’m doing pretty well at it. I go to work, I eat, I look after our cat, I talk to people. Lots of you message saying “how are you?” I still don’t know how to answer that question so this is the best I can explain it.

Jerry was a very, very important person. A family member, a companion, a best friend. We were in constant contact since the day we met. It’s very hard that he doesn’t exist anymore.

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