Paul Arden | Monday, 11 April 2016

My outboard's impeller needs replacing this week, and it will take a week because no one else has a Honda 4-stroke in Malaysia! It should be ready to go by Tuesday and I'll be fishing again by the end of the week. What it has given me however, is a chance to catch up with friends in KL, pick up some replacement rods (my old HT8 no4 has been fixed as has one of my 6WT blanks - can't remember which one). I get these today - which is great news because I had a pretty rod-destructive start of my Temenggor trip this time around. My plan now is to fish here in Malaysia until early June, and then fly over to Europe for the rest of the summer, for teaching, fishing and of course the Fly Casting World Championships in Estonia.

I had a really quite surreal experience this week, when after having lived in the jungle for so long, I took a bus down to KL, and while waiting to meet a friend in a hotel, we sat at the hotel bar drinking (very expensive) beer and listening to live jazz music. Watching people sit around talking in this fantasy environment, I really can't imagine a greater contrast, and it took me straight back to my days of tripping!

It's also very strange not to be wearing my one and only camo shirt. I really don't feel myself at the moment. It's funny on the last evening on Belum I had the good fortune to meet a Frenchman. The first thing he said to me was, "I don't normally wear these clothes!" So he was feeling out of character too. It turns out that he's been living in the jungle with Aboriginals for the last 25 years! I'm hoping he gets in touch next week, because apparently he knows some excellent Mahseer spots and has invited me to visit. If I understood him correctly it's a two day trip to get in, much of which is spent hiking. I can take a week away from Snakehead to do this!

I imagine that this is why many people fish, to get away from city life and experience nature. For them - well most of you I suppose! - the contrast must be of a similar scale to that I had this week in the hotel bar. I don't know if you get to feel comfortable living outdoors, but I do know that I never feel comfortable in a city. I'm writing this FP on a 9th floor flat balcony over looking the sprawling city. It's noisy, the traffic is 24hrs and only stops when there's a jam (at least twice/day) and it's just insane!!

I suppose it goes deeper than that, because if you live in a city you really don't want to be poor. It's cool to sleep outdoors, I spend most of my life doing so, but I wouldn't like to have to do that in a city. No I am definitely not a city-person!!! The other thing I notice is that people are very closed. Millions of people who don't even see each other. The city for me is a cage.


So plan for the next few days; 1) buy some new headlamps (Lars - I think I've found something better than a Petzl - send me your address!) 2) catch up with Ling and the boys 3) have a whisky night with Ti and the Gov and 5) get the hell out of here!