Finding a Small Bag of Rice in Asia…

SO let me just tell you guys that if you ever find yourself in Asia with a water damaged phone… it is NOT that easy to stick it into a bag of rice. This was the last photo taken on my beloved iPhone 6 before that’d managed to upload to Google Photos before she met her match with a giant ocean wave the following morning.

May 29th, 2017 may she RIP. Skip this next paragraph if you know how bad I am at telling quick stories and just go tot he SHORT VERSION of why I’m not texting you back…

LONG VERSION: I’d taken the earliest 8am ferry to Mamutik Island, only to arrive and find the beaches covered in garbage, which was mildly annoying as you’re paying an admission fee every day to get into the Tunku Abdu Raman National Park. So naturally, I looked around, walked to the far stretch of the beach (still covered in garbage) and then decided that I would rock climb my way around the perimeter of the island and hopefully find another small beach on another side of the island. The island is 15 acres in size, so it was a fun 3 hour climb, lots of Monitor Lizards, one snack sighting, lots of cliffs and ledges, probably super unsafe to do alone, yadda yadda yadda… and I’d made it back around to the other side of the starting beach (which had during that time been cleaned of its garbage waves). And the literally  during the very last 2 feet of rock climbing as I started to put my feet on the sand, a huge wave crashed up unexpectedly and, I slipped right in between two rocks not only gashing my leg open but also getting my iPhone splashed with water at which point it shut off.

SHORT VERSION: My phone got wet in Ocean Water and decided to shut itself down.

So back to this bag of rice. I was out on an island several hours away from any grocery store, rice terrace, or Silica Gel packs, and as soon as I got back to Kota Kinabalu I frantically begin looking for a grocery store. Which is easier said then done when in Asia where a lot of goods are still sold at markets, convenience stores are in abundance, and grocery stores are scarce. Not to mention not have gps or wifi at the touch of your fingertips to figure out where one is at. I finally find a grocery store a few blocks from my hostel and go in and am scanning the aisles for rice, I see lots of noodles, even pasta, but no rice, so I go up to the counter and ask to buy rice. The man points in the corner and says “rice”. Upon turning to that corner all that I see are giant 25kg sacks of rice. Which of course immediately makes me bust up laughing when I realize that I am on the continent of rice terraces, in the land of rice with every meal, and where rice is the main staple in every diet, and of course I’m not going to find a small bag of rice. Seeing that it is unlikely I’m going to be able to drag a giant sack of rice back to my hostel, I logically resort to plan B which consists of grabbing one of my Ziplock travel bags and going to a restaurant to buy a small quantity of rice.

I can’t even put into words what happened next without both cringing and laughing at the same time. You would have thought that I was asking for their great grandmothers world famous duck sauce recipe with the looks I was being given when asking for un-cooked dry rice. To me it was simple, I give you money and an empty bag, you fill it with dried rice, everyone’s happy. You don’t even have to cook me anything and you can charge me whatever you want, I just need some dry rice. I went to 1, 2, 3, four, five, 6, SEVEN restaurants before finally a waitress understood my need for rice and said she could make it happen. I nearly hugged her.

I watched as she explained to the kitchen that I was ordering dry rice, and then I watched them all peak their heads over the counter one by one and giggle and laugh. Alas, I finally got my bag of rice! Phone in bag, I waited 48 hours before trying to power it on, and when it still wouldn’t work, I accepted that the sea had won the battle with both my leg and my phone.

Sea 2 – Lynee 0.

But on the bright side… I’m going to have this wicked new scar on my leg that looks like a firecracker exploded, and a comical rice purchasing adventure, a super cool new second hand Lenovo with Malaysian apps on it, AND … how many people can say that they scaled and rock climbed around an entire island???

On other news, I officially officially don’t have a good way of getting a hold of people and making phone calls until I’m back home, and unless your number is one of the four I remember from grade school, I need your digits!

In other other news, I have been really horrible about updates, it is #firstworldproblems of not having an iPhone, and I’ve had an amazing few weeks in Malaysia and Brunei to share, so when I’m not using self defense against attack monkeys in these next few days I will try to post some photos and pictures!


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