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Paul Farrell

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Paul Farrell


I received the following are e-mails from Paul as he travelled back from Spain to Australia via Borneo, Thailand and Malaysia.

From: "Paul Vincent" 
Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 08:22:23 -0800 

Have you tried Snakefruit ?  Looks like snake on the outside,
looks like garlic on the inside, but tastes......well,
indescribable but just imagine your 4 or 5 favourite fruits, and
add the tastes and multiply it......mouthgasm.

Greeted by monkeys, beautiful coloured dragonflies, and a large
brown beetle as I wandered into the jungle for the first time. 
A day solo wandering through the most vibrantly juicy and alive
place Ive ever experienced, watching a snake devouring a
squirrel, thick carpets of ants across my path, insects at times
deafeningly shrill, monkeys swinging through the bushes, and the
trees and moss and dark spaces filled with green everywhere,
with flying flashes of vivid blue and red and yellow, and huge
leaves and towering plants, and dense  like a Henri Rousseau
painting come to life.  And after 2 hours emerging from the
lushness onto a white beach....

Here in Kota Kinabalu, the people smile with their eyes.



Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 03:36:01 -0800 

There's a cave in deepest jungliest leech-infested sweltering
central Borneo that is 51km long.  Yes, 51km.  And another
conservatively estimated to be bigger than 16 football fields,
biggest in the world. Of course I can't resist the idea, so
tomorrow I'll be looking to find a way to Mulu.

Today, atop Mt Kinabalu, another crescendo experience.  "Is this
actually happening??".  A gruelling 2 day climb up 9km of steep
lush covered slopes, forests of moss and orchids, misty
mysterious jungle  and then through the clouds and sheer rock
faces to towering wartlike pinnacles of rock - the top of
Borneo.  Clouds forming dragonlike swirls and gullies dropping
into darkness below.

With knees of jelly I sit here, feeling blessed and exhilarated,
and amazed at the beauty of this planet.

From the tallest point to the deepest, I'm heading underground.

Love, always.

Infinity = One

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 08:15:07 -0800 

Blissful days in Mulu......

Massive caverns and caves, awe-inspiringly, unbelievably big. 
And awe-inspiringly, unbelievably beautiful.  Sounds of water
drops echoing in sensurround.
Walking in a warm tropical rainstorm through the lush rainforest
- yeah, leeches and all that, but it's all part of the fun.
6am swims in crystal clear waters.
Cooking over a fire again.
The sun rising through morning mist over the jungle river.
Photographing jungle spirits in the trees, while boating down
the river, myriad reflections in blue green yellow violet.
Dragonflies in neon crimson and blue and green.
Watching fireflies at night, listening to the jungle sounds.
Beautiful gentle tribal people, sharing their stories.
Sitting for hours watching the river, listening to a most
incredible talking bird, which sneezed, coughed, laughed like an
old woman, and spoke like a young girl.
Climbing up cliffs and through tangled moss forest to the
limestone towers of the Pinnacles.
Mountains disappearing into the massive white cumulus clouds
sweeping down from brilliant blue skies.
Intense thunder and more rain.  The river changes again.

In a word, magic.

Back in Kota Kinabalu for a few hours, and on to Thailand.......

Love always,


Subject: Trip 5 
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 23:34:25 -0800 

Sitting for a day in Little India, Penang........endless Roti
and daal and conversations with Indians, and watching the
cartoon of charcters passing by - a taste of another potential

Now here on a Thai beach, I feel I've entered another world. 
Far from the tranquil jungles of Borneo, I find a brilliant
sunshine haze of monsoon windy palm trees and coconuts filled
with delicious juice and incredible food and peace of a
different kind, amongst what seems to be a superhighway of young
Brits and Australians and Kiwis here for beaches and full moon
parties and.......

In a way I feel nostalgic already for the womb of the jungle. 
Yet here has its distinct kind of edge, and to drive through the
palm forests and see the fronds gently swaying against a pale
grey sky and feel the warm breeze against my skin is certainly a

There are some wonderful fallen palm fronds lying near the beach
with which to build fantastic spider sculptures.....

Love always,


Subject: Trip 6 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 22:24:34 -0800 

Well, a relief to have escaped from South Thailand !  With each
of 3 passing days, the energy shifted from peace to chaos with
the influx of hundreds of a different kind of traveller : "Yeah,
man, full moon, man, yeah, it'll be great, man, party and get
fucked on diet pills, yeah, man......".  Enough said.

A hasty escape, and a lovely drive overnight by the light of the
full moon to Bangkok, landing in the hazy glow of 5am in central
Khao San, and sitting roadside at a 24 hour cafe, surrounded by
the detritus of the night pushing themselves just a little bit
further, sliding towards dawn.  Images from a Tom Waits ballad,
seedy, everyone with a story.  Flotsam-and-jetsam - drunk
Westeners, men only a whore could want.  Green glowing neon
reflected off facades and fading against an indigo sky gradually
turning blue.

A day spent meeting local Thais in side-streets and shopping for
cheap everything, before boarding a night bus to Chiang Mai. 
Here I sit, brilliant sunshine, and a Thai cooking course

Much love.

Subject: Trip 7 
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 20:18:44 -0800 

Bambooed in Northern Thailand.
Lush and magical. A forest of giant spiders and snakes.
A wilderness lodge without electricity - nights by a fire with
infinite skies and shooting stars, eating by candlelight,
sleeping outdoors, connecting with land and life and universe.
Getting lost in the thick bamboo.
Every bend of the river another world.
Sensing the mist rolling in slowly, faintly liquid, each dark
Fruit from the surrounding trees, fresh, succulent, with which
to watch the morning sun dissipate the mist, and the valley
slowly change with the rising light.
A few others, those who made the journey.
Space to understand each other.

Bambooed, thoroughly.

Subject: Trip8 
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 06:40:21 -0800 

The dreamlike quality of past events catches me every time -
here in Brisbane, with Malaysia and Thailand nothing but an
illusion - all those lives whose path I crossed, the places I
sat and the moments witnessed.  The little things: the market
aromas, the fires in the Chiang Mai sky, the glitter of sunlight
reflected from temples, and that delicious  Roti Canai and
coffee with sweetmilk on the final chilled-out night back in

So back in Australia, I sit in the 1am calm of a little room at
the home of Laura and David (family), the others asleep in rooms
around and above me, parents, sister, and the 2 little ones
whose lives didn't exist when I was last here.  Lovely to spend
time with them all - chatting, playing, shopping, chilling, with
no other agenda at all.  The future full of options, the past
illusion, and the present the only important thing.

I imagine Madrid, London, Melbourne, all the souls in all the
places I know, and I smile with fond warmth knowing that it all
continues and they are there, right now, in this very moment. 
That means you, reading these words - making the connection NOW

Love always

Pavinder Pavioli

Infinity = One

Subject: An hour at the ghat 
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 17:33:08 EST 

Down at the ghat, the tourists gather to watch. 
The families of the dead.  The burning. 
Goats.  Sleeping, wandering, smelling the scraps for possible food. 
Boats offshore.  More tourists. 
Buffaloes stand, pace, shit. 
Old woman collects shit, sits on the steps and kneads it, as one would bread dough.  Meticulous.  Slaps it in pointillist patterns on the wall to dry in tomorrow morning's sun. 
The children, 4 or 5 years, run to tourists and offer postcards, or ask for money. 
Hash dealers scout for smokers. 
A black and white TV, screams, drama, violence.  Loud. 
Men bathe in the river, amid flowers, bones, ashes, food scraps. 
Bodies arrive, cloaked in golden fabrics, yellow garlands. 
Tourists in the boats get closer, smile, chat among themselves. 
Men in loincloths pile earth into baskets, dump it on shore. 
Smell of spices and food, shit, piss, charred flesh, incense, merging into a weird aromatic cocktail. 
White skullbone gleams through the orange flames.  Once seen, some tourists turn their attention elsewhere, or leave, or start talking. 
The golden sands on the opposite shore glow more orange, the green of distant trees richer and warmer, birds sing louder as the sun sets. 
Eldest son now squats closer to the fire, in white loincloth, shawl, and with shaved head, looks deeply into the flames. 
A flip-flop floats by. 
A young man spits a vile orange-brown liquid onto the step in front of him, then holds his nose and blows snot on top. 
A bell tolls in the temple. 
Pink cow. 

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