The Admiral's Isles

Saharudin sits on his boat and smokes, waiting to get paid. it's hot — a given, even at mid-morning in the Malaysian town of Melaka. The river is rust-colored and lifeless, speckled with an array of plastic bottles and wrappers. Other vessels float by, some impressive, but most as weather-beaten and rickety as this 9-m wooden craft. Saharudin rents it from a man in Dumai, Sumatra, not far from his home village. Next to the massive logs being unloaded across the way, his cargo of thin mangrove trees looks like a pile of matchsticks in a lumberyard....

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