Strange Characters

The joy of being a solo traveller is that you don’t need to spend time with people you dislike. If you don’t like someone, you can leave whenever you want, or out stay them, and then travel in a totally different direction. Those of you who know me well, know that I have no problem at all telling someone they are being ass, or that they are annoying, but what happens if they aren’t trying to annoy you – can you (as a decent human being) crush their spirit?

Most of you will have come across some strange people in your life. I’m talking creepy, weird, psychotic… I’ve changed the names of the people involved. Yes, I’m being very judgmental in my write-up, but then again, I do what I want 🙂

‘James’

James is 18 or 19 years old, thinks he is your typical English ‘lad’, and keeps up a steady stream of constant crude jokes filled with sexual innuendo to prove it. He gets immediately offended if you ask him to stop, and calls you a prude, just like ‘Angela Merkel’ (the Chancellor of Germany). He seems to think that this proves he is of superior intellect than you. He is very proud of the fact that he got accepted into medical school, and thinks that this achievement is worth more than completing a whole degree of another discipline, even though he dropped out of medical school after 2 months because it was ‘too hard’.

He has the social skills of a gnat, and thinks that everyone loves his sense of humour, that we just pretend we are disgusted by it. He shaves his entire body in public, and deliberately leaves pubic hair on a nearby laptop. The reason he doesn’t tell me his real age is because he thinks he can convince me to sleep with him. He has no problem walking around the dorm naked. Every good-looking girl is a potential shag, and every good-looking guy has something wrong with them, and should be bitched about at any opportunity (too boring, too hairy – and my personal favourite ‘too German’). Now that I look back on it, I think he just really disliked Germans for some reason.

His behaviour stems mainly from youth, never having travelled before, and from just not having any social skills (and possibly from being an only child). I feel sorry for him. Gentle attempts to steer him towards more suitable conversational topics and less creepy behaviour are waster efforts. He becomes attached to me, clinging to my presence like a limpet.

He follows me as I try to make my way around Malaysia. I develop a slight tick, but I think it can’t last forever, and there’s usually a lesson in all experiences. I eventually need to make a very obvious departure from Palau Pangkor (Pangkor Island) and head to Melaka by myself.

Anyway, that’s the story of why I only went to Palau Pangkor for 1 day, even though it’s really nice (kind of like a nicer version of Fiji’s main island). I have mixed feelings about doing things the way I did. Would it have been kinder to just say upfront that I preferred to travel by myself? What if we met again somewhere?

I also don’t feel like I have the right be the moral police, we are all individuals. Also because I am a bit of a prude. But… I don’t think it’s acceptable to walk around naked in an open plan, mixed sex dormitory in an Islamic country, where most of the staff are female. I don’t think it’s ok to steal fruit from a Buddhist temple. There are a lot of things I don’t approve of. He wasn’t an evil person, just really annoying.

‘Henry’

Henry is in his late 50s, I met him in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. He’s the guy that thinks, because you have drinks and dinner with him, you want to sleep with him. I’m sorry, didn’t you realise that you are more than twice my age? Didn’t you realise that solo travellers often eat and drink together? People like Henry make meeting new people harder, especially for women.

Guys, please note:

Just because I smile at you, it doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you

Just because I have a drink with you, it doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you

Just because I have dinner with you, it doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you

Just because I am single, it doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you

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