MV Doulos in Kuching

MV Doulos

MV Doulos is currently in Kuching. It is the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship and on its last tour of the world before being retired. The last time it was here was in November 2001, or so says one of my old journal entries. This is their third or fourth time in Kuching in my lifetime. I remember being very excited about what they do and couldn’t wait for an opportunity to join and help do God’s work around the world.

Obviously, it didn’t happen or I’d be a completely different person now. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on what you know about me and what kind of function I fill in your life.

Bertha and Joyce are back in Kuching so we met up at tHe Spring for a drink before I suggested that we go take a look. I’ve been wanting to revisit this bit of memory lane and perhaps lose a chunk of money the way I usually do when you put me near a large collection of books.

The ship was smaller than I remembered, and their collection of books was disappointingly limited. Is that it, or did we come at a bad time?

I guess this is what happens after 7 years and you’re no longer the same person you were the last time you visited. It’s a good place to pick up some books on Christian living. They have a large collection of children’s books, but too kiddy to interest me. There are some classics and vintage editions of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys tucked in a corner somewhere, and a handful of coffee table books that are really very cheap.

But otherwise, there’s little to interest the three of us. One is allergic to religion, one consumes graphic novels and one thinks the selection is very dated. All three of us probably like our “Satanic” reading material better.

I found a book about movies – I forgot the title now – where the author breaks down a selection of popular movies to point out what kind of secular unchristian message they are trying to subliminally convey to the unknowing consumer. I used to update myself religiously in matters of “How Satan plans on getting yo ass now” but finding things like this made me glad I left the¬†complexities of organised religion behind. I’ve had enough church-related drama to last me a lifetime.

The charm of Doulos probably lies in getting to know the people who willingly gave up months of “normal” life to do something they believe in for no salary. God knows I once believed, but God probably has something more interesting for me to do.

I couldn’t be bothered to take photos inside the book store, but Irene has a more complete entry about the Doulos here, which include directions to where they are docked.

(I attempted to shoot the above photo using a trick Louis Pang talked about on his blog, but had to tweaked it a bit with Photoshop. I guess it doesn’t really count.)

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Author: Georgette Tan

writer . poet . introvert . NSFW hand letterer . equatorial eclectic


  1. When we were still very young and little, the ship looked very big. We are bigger and older now. When I was there the other day, I was thinking to myself, “so small? I thought it should be bigger?”. When come to think of it, It’s us that had changed instead of ship, the ship is that way all these while. Will sure miss it since it will be the last trip here.

    I love those kiddy activities workbooks, reminded me of the fun time that I had with those books last time. Will pay there a visit again somewhere next week to buy those books just for fun *LOL* will try to colour those pictures and stick stickers in the book, it’s been don’t-know-how-many-years I don’t hold a colour pencil to colour properly. However, wonder will I have time to “play” with those book after I bought them or ended up donating them ;p.

  2. I went there at night and the view from the ship is lovely. Only manage to buy some baby books for my little one who I think has the potential of becoming a bookworm since he loves flipping any book that he can get his little hands on. I can only find books for myself at the Times book fair at the Permata Trade Center over the weekend.

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