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Where’s the Where?

The island of Borneo, East Malaysia, 2002.

Are ya awake, Maties?

It’s 6 am and Surya and I are at the North Borneo Railway Station in Kota Kinabalu, the biggest city on the island of Borneo in East Malaysia. We’ve been marooned here for 4 months, on a Fulbright Grant I’ve received to teach Muslim students “freedom and self expression”, because… for some odd or lucky reason, I’ve been chosen to represent my country in the Islamic world, shortly after 9/11.

There are images of Osama Bin Laden on the screen savers of my Islamic colleagues at the state university and on the ubiquitous t-shirts for sale in every mall. Osama Bin Laden is the most popular and famous man in this part of the world, as he is the only David to stand up to Goliath America since… well…. forever. But to me, it’s definitely… culture shock!

However, today we’re looking forward to leaving the 21st century behind and entering the condescending, but terribly efficient world of 1930s colonial Britain, where the brown-skinned, Borneon natives are oh so lazy, smile a lot but can’t be trusted, while the clever Brits have nevertheless industriously managed to engineer a way through the untamed jungle and over the wild river gorges.

This week’s travelogue, “The Iron Horse and the Bucket Brigade”, is about how to scoop your way out of trouble – with an international “bucket brigade”… when the steam engine runs out of… steam.

Another good metaphor… for life!

Please listen HERE

Enjoy and Happy Trails….


No time stamp on this episode. Please listen to the whole thing; it’s less than 30 minutes long. Each “e-travels” episode is a narrative and scored story, with original music and immersive sound design. Please put on some nice head phones or ear buds, relax, and take the journey with Trules.



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Production Credits

Sound design by Alysha Bermudez.
Music composed by Amanda Yamate.
Produced by Harry Duran at FullCast.
Supported by a USC Capstone Grant, with special thanks to Professor Phil Allen, Director of the Sound Design Program at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts