Taiping, Friday 13th January 2005
My slippers have worn out. The soles have holes in the hard black rubber. The soft white layer is shining through. It won't be for long till I walk bare feet.

It is not amazing that these things have worn out. For the past couple of weeks I did quite a bit of walking between hotel, restaurants, super market and internet cafee. I do have a pair of shoes in my luggage, but those are too difficult and too warm.

Taiping has plenty of places that sell new slippers, so no problem. Hmm, well, almost. If only there were slippers available in my size. My feet are not extremely big, yet just one size bigger than the largest size in the local shoe shops.

On my worn out slippers I stroll through the entire city centre. Taiping is relaxed, not a touristic hot spot. The backpacker masses ignore Taiping, as there is little to do here. It is a blessing for my tranquility, but now it is a backfires with my shoe size. Tongs everywhere, but nowhere, nowhere my size.

So, find a more touristic spot: the main bus station of Kamunting. I needed to go there anyway, to make a reservation for the express bus to Kuala Lumpur.

I enjoy the view going there by local bus. Malaysia is such a nice, relaxed country. The sun shines, life is so relaxed. Yet a motor biker seems to be very busy. It is special, but his back seat passenger thinks it is quite normal. The driver stears with one hand and fuzzles under his helmet with the other one. What is this man doing? Scratching an ichy ear? No, you won't believe it, but he is actually making a phone call with his mobile! Ha, ha, left is hand free set at home probably.

Unfortunately it is the same story in Kamunting. My feet are too large. The bus reservation is a success, but nothing new to walk on.

Well, I'll have to take my rebound in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. There are plenty of tourists there, coming from winters where it is not impossible to shop for slippers. So KL must be an excellent market for selling slippers to tourists.

The worn out slippers are a fine symbol for my ending time as worker in the sun.

The laptop closes. My holiday down under is about to start. So if my slipper quest in Kuala Lumpur is no success, I'll have to go shopping in Sydney or even Alice Springs. As walking bare feet around Ayer's Rock won't be a success in the fierce Australian sun.

Till next nut,