Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lahad Datu, Impressions and Reflections

Torben had drawn a rough map for me the night before, and after a good night's sleep I felt refreshed and looked forward to exploring Lahad Datu a bit on my own. It was hot and humid, of course, as I set out around 10 AM, but the town was already bustling, even though it was a Sunday. I walked down to the water's edge, the views were pretty, the trash lying everywhere an eyesore! Looking at the road with it's pretty landscaping in the middle, and the palm and shade trees planted along the road, as well as some big signs indicating "No Littering" was an odd juxtaposition to the reality of the garbage! I sure hope the beautifying of Lahad Datu will win over the old ways of just throwing things away and leave them wherever they may fall. It's just another reminder that our creating "new consumer markets" around the world have consequences - we wrap everything in indestructible packaging – and it doesn't go away!
I went through the open market, enjoying the colorful display of fruits, vegetables and herbs, umbrellas in all colors of the rainbow creating shade and the hustling and bustling of people. Everyone seemed really friendly and smiled at this odd creature with her sunhat, camera, backpack and binoculars walking by looking at everything and enjoying the lively scenery.
I continued out and reached the oceanfront and it seemed like I could see some dilapidated houses further along built on stilts over the water, so I headed that way, even though it did look a bit shady to say the least, but Torben had mentioned it, so I figured I got this far, I should at least check it out, and probably I would not have a chance later on – so I decided to go and explore.

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