The Adventure Club of Kuala Lumpur exhibited and ran displays at the show and invited me to join them before the event to go on an expedition into the jungle.
But before they asked me, they showed me a video of a previous expedition. There were lots of pictures of people removing leaches from various parts of the body. But the scene that really dissuaded me from going was one showing a 4×4 stuck up to its wheel arches in a muddy ditch. Two other vehicles were winching it out when the metal hawser snapped, and one strand whipped across one of the club-member’s face. It opened up the flesh on his face in an arc across his cheek, then across the bridge of his nose and forehead. How it missed his eyes was a mystery. Looking back now, I wish I had gone on the trip despite the potential for nasty beasties and lifetime defacements.
ASIDE: The show was in 1995/6 and emails and WiFi were not yet in common usage. I was to be away for many weeks and so I had to send letters to Jane. The last time I had done so was in my late teens before we were married. We had been married for almost 30 years and I was now 48 years old. Just how did I address her in a letter? I wrote the first letter full of good intentions, but Jane replied to say ‘thanks for the travelogue’ – so I had obviously pitched it wrongly. I knocked the edges off the tone and content as we progressed. But it wasn’t just the content, it was the act of writing. I had been using computers since the late 1970s and seldom hand-wrote anything.