Management at the Aston Tanjung Hotel had heard I was a top world record breaker. This, I could see, impressed them and their behavior reflected their thoughts.
I sat in the ground floor dining room, waiting for the next gift in my life: a free vehicle ride through to the port city of Batulicin, arranged for me without my having asked or hinted whatsoever. The driver was meant to arrive at 10am, but his car wheels rolled into the pick-up bay four hours later. Just before he appeared, the hotel manager asked to take photos of me because he wanted to frame and place one on the hotel wall. Why, what an honour, I thought, and agreed. For me, that was the most natural response to such a question.
Knowing my photo was soon to be added to the local Aston’s walls, I left Tanjung with a spring in my step. The next driver I sat alongside was another very cool young chap. I liked him but I liked his disco music even more. He played it from the moment I slid my buttocks onto the seat and introduced myself, to the time I had to swap vehicles halfway to Batulicin. When I left him though, the worst thing I remembered about his lift was the restaurant he stopped at for a meal: the food display cabinet had maggots crawling over a lot of the food, from which I had to choose something to sustain myself.