Daydream of the Week: Borneo

BorneoWhen I lost my job in the fall of 2008, I thought my life was over. Like many single women, my entire identity, for better or worse, was attached to my career. So when that was taken, I, simply, felt lost. With not nearly enough money saved to out-last my year-long lease in expensive LA, I was still quickly talked into logging onto Cathay Pacific and booking a flight to… Borneo. An old friend of mine was living in KK, and she invited me to visit. Some people might judge that expense, but my jobs are always so all-encompassing that I rarely find time for trips, let alone big ones. So I figured if I was going to always have either time or money, I was for once going to make the most of having some time. My friend Cynthia and I drove all around Borneo, getting lost on private beaches and watching how quickly driving half a mile down the road can completely change the coastline. Once, we found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of disgusting jellyfish, when we had just been in perfect waters five minutes before. Even though I had been a big traveler my whole life, that particular trip ended up being a life-changing move: I later went to Mexico and then Europe, as cheaply as I could. Sure, my debt went up a bit for the first time in my life, but that year-long lease was up before I knew it. As most of you know, that was when I threw everything in storage and jetted off to Costa Rica for a month or two… which turned into my living for a year on the cheap in a one-room house, starting my own company, saving twice as much money as I had owed when I got there, and learning to let go of expectations, to be free.

From one paradise to the next, I owe a lot to these two places!

Scorpions: Costa Rica vs Borneo

When I first moved to Costa Rica, I lived in a scorpion den up in the cliffs. Mornings started with a “scorpion sweep” for anything with a stinger, from the large nasty looking ones to the little baby scorpions, and the whole vibe in the house was that you had to be scared to death of them. In my new neighborhood, sightings are rare, but my phobia has stayed. Although now I know I won’t die on the spot if I get stung.

Pictured above, a darling little baby scorpion baby that was hanging out across the street at Lisa‘s house. The small ones don’t know what they’re doing yet, so if they sting you it actually hurts the worst. If you don’t know how to properly kill one, do not ask me. I claim to have done it once, with a telephone book, but I will finally admit here that it was already dead. (It still took me three days to bravely get the thing out of my house.) Denise has her form down perfectly and will demonstrate if asked.

Here’s a picture that my friend Cynthia sent me of a scorpion found in her friend’s bed in Malaysian Borneo, one of my last trips before I settled down in Costa Rica. Believe it or not, the poor girl didn’t see it before she attempted to snuggle in, and it pinched her. I think I picked the right place to live!

While I do not think I would have survived the heart attack that having those large pinchers come at me in my own BED, I have been warned that those baby scorpions really do hurt the worst, due to their immaturity and not knowing to conserve their poison. So be on the lookout for scorpions of any size!