I'm going. I've paid for tickets. Okay, I don't actually have them in hand yet, but I'm not leaving for five days. Well, two business days. And my new tropical-weight sleeping bag should show up the day before I go. I hope. And it looks like, due to a bad sense of anticipation on my part, the bicycle I was going to take on this Bikeabout is not going to arrive from Hawaii until the day after I leave.

I'm sure that things will work out. One way or another.

Already it looks like the missing bike thing may be a good idea. I'm thinking that it might be easier to travel the big distance without dragging a bike. And then buy one when I get there. There has to be a bike I can love in Borneo, right? Damn. That's just it. The great unknown.

And I do mean "unknown". We're not really talking about the Unknown. I mean, something like 20 million people live in Borneo. They work and play and grow food and raise families. And I'm going to Malaysian Borneo. Malaysia is a pretty darn industrialized country. It's not like I'm going to get off the plane and step into a nest of cobras on the edge of a trackless jungle. I can dream, of course, but really, I'm probably going to have to work at getting to the deep, dark interior. It's really only unknown because I, personally, don't know anything about it.

And speaking of unknown, I haven't run across word of anyone trying to tour Borneo on a bicycle. I've read several descriptions of the delights of riding on peninsular Malaysia. But nothing for Borneo. I've heard of people doing some mountain biking in selected areas of Borneo, but no touring. Which might mean that NOT dragging my ratty old mountain/commuter/touring bike along could be the best plan of the whole trip. Although it's not going to be much of a bikeabout until I get SOME kind of bike.

So instead of taking a bike on the plane (where I wouldn't be riding it anyway), I plan on taking along my new Christmas present. My dear father, who obviously missed me while I was in Hawaii -- especially before I got the email thing -- got me an iBook laptop computer. This will either allow me to stay in contact very effectively, or will be the quickest $1000+ I've ever accidentally dropped in a river. Or it will help feed the disadvantaged children of a competent thief.

I like the idea of taking it along. Seems like a great way to while away some of the boredom inherent in travel. And I really like the thought of keeping some contact with the world of familiarity. Call it a Macintosh security iBlanket.

So that's it. If I do wait another two weeks to hammer out another update, then it should come from Borneo. Where I'll probably be desperately trying to find some sort of phone line.

Now it's just eleventh hour mini-panic. Did I get enough shots? Am I taking enough stuff? Am I taking too much stuff? Will there be somewhere to sleep when I get there? Am I an idiot?

I'm going anyway. It'll all work out.


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