By Redmond O'Hanlon
The tale of a 1983 trip to the guts of Borneo, which no day trip had tried due to the fact that 1926. O'Hanlon, observed by way of good friend and poet James Fenton and 3 local courses brings wit and humor to a deadly trip.
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Extra resources for Into the Heart of Borneo
And now we have fastened every thing with the police. you need to acquire your passes day after today. ” “Come on,” acknowledged Bidai, “they're ready within the café. you could speak; after which we are going to all get under the influence of alcohol jointly. Leon speaks a bit English, so you can be alright. Come and purchase us plenty of beer. ” Dana, forceful, clever, choked with normal authority, had ear-lobes distended into placing loops and used to be tattooed on his throat and fingers. He wore a tee-shirt and lengthy trousers; and so did Leon and Inghai, younger males who, I realised with mystery sadness, their ears the form they have been born with, their fingers unmarked, do not have drawn a moment look on an Oxford road. With plenty of suggestion and translation and encouragement from the senior officials (First classification) of the Kapit Immigration division, Siba and Edward, we overcame the possible very unlikely problems of calculating a good salary (we agreed to pay the govt expense for crews taking officials to go to longhouses, plus 1 / 4 for the additional risk); we labored out what number gallons of petrol we'd desire (600 dollars-worth); we made lists of shops to shop for in Kapit: salt, rice, aginomoto, cooking oil, onions, ginger, candles, sugar, cigarettes, espresso, arak, and cartridges. The evening sooner than we have been because of depart, Leon referred to as to take us to Dana's longhouse. He used to be changing into much less shy and awkward and, while Bidai and Siba and Edward weren't approximately, he was once ready to speak in English. As we left the resort and walked up the hill he drew me apart. “Redmon,” he acknowledged, sotto voce, “I hopes you and Jams now not elect inn women? ” “I have not obvious any resort ladies. ” “They on most sensible ground. Very naughties. ” “Do you opt for inn ladies? ” “No Redmon,” stated Leon, with nice seriousness, “there is new illnesses right here. Your spear it rots. You visit medical institution, they appear at your spear, you are taking drugs. we have now a note for this illnesses. I no longer realize it in English. We Iban, in our language, we name it syphilis. ” the line wound up out of town, prior a small airstrip and a gaggle of presidency homes and into secondary jungle. We became off directly to a footpath which curved alongside the edges of a sequence of small hills. I carried a kit-bag containing offers for Dana: bottles of whisky, an outsize pipe made in London, a tin of Balkan Sobranie, and my cartridge belt. This final, an English, previous, hand-sewn, worn, and fascinating cartridge belt, i used to be parting with below protest (“But Redmond,” James had acknowledged, “what attainable use may perhaps it's now you have been disarmed? What do you mean—it's a fortunate cartridge belt, you have got shot plenty of pheasants with it? Redmond, you're an Ignoble Savage. ”). The jungle round us used to be secondary jungle, a re-growth of thick plants, of tangled younger bushes and timber and creepers on floor that were felled, burned and cleared for a season's crop of hill padi maybe ten or fifteen years in the past. Rounding a bend at the course, we discovered ourselves staring directly at a raven-sized chook with a deep chestnut-coloured again, a hooked beak, a purple eye and an extended black tail.