A group of young boys and girls were happily taking picture with an old caucasian man in front of Istana Balai Besar next to Istana Jahar which is now a museum in Kota Baru, Kelantan. The activity caught my attention while I was on my way to the Income Tax Board's office nearby.
"Oh go ahead and do whatever you like" He answered in impeccable English with a thick German accent. In my years of dealing with tourists I could discern the various accents like German, Australians, English, and Americans among the caucasians. The French and Italians don't speak much English and their lapses into their own language are dead giveaways. Those from the Scandinavian countries still escape me. Spotting their country of origins based on their accent was quite fun. I did fail to identify them on several occassions though.
Thinking hard on how to break the ice, I dug into my backpack and brought out my newly aquired toy, the Twinhead laptop. Booting it on I prepared myself to draft a new posting to put on my blog.
"No. I have yet to buy the modem that will allow me to be connected from anywhere. I will get one soon". I replied not even sure how soon is soon.
"I am Ernst Dieter Fuchs" he replied. Seeing my perplexed expression he spelt it out one by one and I dug into my backpack to retrieve my notebook and wrote his name. He explained the last name Fuchs as to mean fox in English.
"I am a blogger" I announced with pride of my new preoccupation as if it was a full time occupation which can earn me an income that can support my life. What a laugh if he were to find out that I didn't earn a single sen from it. I explained a bit about what I meant by blogger and being a very learned man he understood what I meant.
"May I write about you?" This request of mine opened the floodgate and he acceded to my request by telling me more about himself.
When he was 14 he did his first overseas travel with his uncle to neighbouring Holland and Belgium. That was when the travel bug hit him and he made up his mind to travel the world. Single mindedly he focus on his desire to travel the world one day. One of the things he did for his preparation was to study the languages of the world. Over the years he mastered six other languages excluding his mother tounge German. The languages he mastered are English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Definitely more than enough to travel the world without having to use any interpreter. He could even be one himself.