Being on Mischief was … interesting. It’s only now I’m on dry land again, with fast Wifi (in an airport hotel in Kuala Lumpur contemplating the Club Sandwich menu) that I’m realising how utterly un-boaty I am. Still, there were some good days – mainly when we GOT OFF THE BLOODY BOAT for daytrips, like the one above to Kampung Komodo village. It’s the only settlement on the eponymous island and – as you’d expect for folks who share their landmass with over a thousand massive bloodthirsty lizards – the people are a hardy bunch.
The houses are all dragon-proofed by being built on stilts (even the goats have little raised platforms) and all the villagers have forked sticks on hand to nudge the reptiles away. Apparently even the smallest child knows how to pick up a rock and lob it at a dragon’s head to keep them at bay (although that didn’t stop a kid being bitten and bleeding to death after taking an ill-timed wizz in the undergrowth a few years back).
And as if periods weren’t enough of a SHAG in and of themselves, the women of Kampung Komodo also have to be ultra careful once a month as the menstrual blood attracts the beasts. Try putting that in a Bodyform commercial.
But everyone’s dirt poor and the Komodo dragons bring in the tourist dollar so the locals welcome their presence (albeit armed with sticks/stones/fire) and avoid eating deer or water buffalo as that’s the dragons’ staple diet. No word on whether the dragons steer clear of Pot Noodle in reciprocation. It’s basically symbiosis with the odd glitch: a man was chomped to death a few months ago and it’s pretty definite that the words ‘mutually beneficial relationship’ weren’t the last ones he uttered.
Anyway, cool place, nails people. THANK CHRIST I don’t live there.