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“Restless Spirits” was born one early morning in a coffee shop in Kota Kinabalu. It started off as a blurred idea of portraying the aspects of life in Sabah that surprise, touch and amuse us. Inspired by the people , an exceptionally colourful lot, our blurred ideas slowly became fixed in frames.
Sarah lives in Sabah for the last 11 years. She spends her days painting on her cool terrace from where she has a magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu. I am a novice in Sabah as this is my third year. My journalistic background, Sarah’s paintings and a joined restlessness seemed to be the perfect match. Since the decision of actually making a book, we have had a great time exploring Sabah and its people.
We are not social anthropologists and the stories presented are based on what we have seen and been told. One day we received a serious warning. “Don’t go to that village. They will take your genitals and place them on your shoulder if they don’t like you”. We were lucky. They liked us.
Sabah is the place where everybody has a story to tell. They all know somebody that knows somebody has seen somebody that has experienced something. We have used some of those stories and apologize if our interpretation is imprecise. The cultural gap is huge and something like 100 different dialects makes understanding complicated. Our book covers only few indigenous groups and we apologize to all those we did not mention.
We hope you will enjoy your journey through our book. It might be a romantic view, seen by two romantics, but that is how we want it to be.