Land of a Thousand Handshakes

Land of a Thousand Handshakes

One thing that never ceased to amaze me in Bario was the friendliness and kindness of the people. Even though I am an outsider, they greeted me with open arms. Welcome to Bario, a greeting which they addressed with full of sincerity.
Where are you from?
When did you arrive?
What are you doing here?
It was so warm to hear these three simple questions. 
On my first day in Bario, my batch came up with a “crazy” idea – a walk to the airport. As Pei Chi and Rui Ci arrived one day later, our initial plan was to walk to the airport after our church session in the morning to pick them up and go back with Uncle Julian, our Home-stay host’s son, in his car. This plan sounded very interesting and wonderful, but our “words spoke louder than actions”. 
At first, we did start walking after the church session. It was just a 5 minute walk, then we ended up sitting on the back of a 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) as we were offered a free ride by a kind driver. 
Yeah! People in Bario are that friendly. 
It showed how kind and friendly the locals were as they can easily offer you a ride without much hesitation. If this took place in KL, we would need to think twice or even thrice about their offer as we wouldn’t know if they had any malicious intents (KL is among the cities with high crime rates). Even sometimes when we are in need of help maybe due to an accident, some of the urbanites practice an egocentric philosophy where they just think of themselves. They would use their smartphones to take pictures to share on social media, rather than lending a helping hand. This is a very serious problem in the community nowadays, especially in the city.      
As it was still early, the kind driver dropped us at Gatuman, the only place in Bario with WIFI (City kids cannot survive without it XD). That was the only day we got access to the internet throughout our stay in Bario. We spent some time there and had a great chat with Uncle Lian, the owner of Gatuman-b@rio. The way he shared his intriguing stories and enriching experiences was so humble although he was a professional petroleum engineer in SHELL.
Gatuman, also known as e-Bario
We thought of continuing our plan to walk to the airport as we were nearer to it, but time didn’t allow us to do so (a very good pretext) as Pei Chi and Rui Ci had arrived at the airport. We were forced to rush to the airport in Uncle Julian’s 4WD to pick them up. At last, our “A walk to the airport” plan failed.
Rushing to the airport with windblown hair
If you are wondering about the truth of the friendly locals, pay a visit to Bario and you will be surprised. =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.