I’m keeping things house style.
I have pictures but refuse to post them here. I want my words read more than my pictures admired.
Borneo has rivers that follow swirly and curly paths. A study of it on Google Maps is intriguing. I know nothing about rivers and I don’t think saying a river snakes across the landscape tells you much either. But saying that the Kapuas River looks like a snake playing weird contortionist positions is more accurate. The bends are gentle and almost symmetrical. There’s an intelligent design about its meanderings. And using a snake metaphor is just nonsense.
I wouldn’t want to degrade a mighty river to the status of a reptile.
The river is like a worm, burrowing its way across the island, loosening the soil and paving the way for micro bacteria to energize the soil for cultivation. The fruit is better here. It’s less polluted than other parts of South East Asia. The river is a meeting point. Where does it begin? I’m supposing from the mountain. I don’t recall seeing any rivers in Java, Bali, or even Sumatra.
Borneo’s river system is something you can’t ignore.
It’s the longest river in Indonesia, one of the longest rivers on an island in the world and is about 700 kilometers long. It’s the only river that has super red arowana fish. I ate one yesterday. The sauce was sweet and spicy, and the fish deep fried. The ghost hunter breeds those fish in one of the river tributaries and I wouldn’t be surprised he supplies the restaurant I ate at.
To eat from the river is to know the river. It’s life-giving and when flooded, it brings goodness to the land in terms of fertility.
The old bridges spanning across the river are throwbacks from another age. It’s like driving over a camel hump. Only in Borneo, hay?
According to my research, the Kapuas originates from Müller mountain range. The fucking Germans are everywhere, aren’t they.
When I first arrived, everyone was talking about the Papuans. They are here in Pontianak, they told me. This is the Papuan River, said, my driver.
I’ve since learned, what they were trying to tell me was that their river is called Kapuas.
So there aren’t any Papuans living here after all.
Do you think I could find Muller Mountain range on Google Maps? It didn’t exist.
The river’s journey ends on the west coast into the South China Sea where I was yesterday. See, I make the effort to travel. It’s a big effort, and one I’d prefer not to make. But sometimes I’m in a selfless mood.
The delta is rich and fertile and the mangroves love it.
Conservation is an obsolete term here. You could napalm and nuke the mangroves, and they’d grow back again.
The mangroves host many species. One I came across was called Homo Narcissistic Selfie. They are friendly bipods dependent on gadgets to pursue their digital head hunting.
If you don’t oblige to a selfie, they’ll nag you until you do.