Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuchxng - Day 4 Part A


Early bird catches the worm. As Anuar promised to set off at 8.30 am, we were already all set by 8.15 pm. But the worm was caught in traffic jam. He arrived 1/2 hour later in his diamond-blue Naza.

The worm was not alone. Along with him was a big fat juicy delicious worm. It's William, the WORM!
Woohoo~! With him around I knew my hands would not stay quiet.

I mean busy snapping him with my camera.

Anuar bought a few buns (60 cents ONLY) to fill morning hunger. We traveled to the outskirt of area of the Kuching division. First destination was the Semengok Wildlife Rehab Centre, home to the orang utans. Anuar said we were lucky to see orang utans on that day because sometimes they would rather stay in the wild and not come out even during feeding hour. A lot of tourists taking pictures and watching them doing their stunt with their young. These apes knew they have to do their thing as bananas do not come free.

Next, we visited the Bunuk village. Yes, that's where the Bidayuh longhouse is situated. The road entering the longhouse is so narrow, even it is difficult for motorcycles to pass through. The longhouse, finally, appeared before our eyes. The houses are mostly made by bamboos and woods. What's special with Bidayuh longhouse is it is unlike Iban's. Houses are not only built in a stretch but also opposite to one another. Besides, A walkway can diverge into two or more, causing the longhouse to look less rigid.

Walking down to the riverside, we saw a granny who were about to leave after bath. She didn't like us taking picture. But I did took one, accidentally, before she voiced out her dissatisfaction. Of course I won't delete it (People don't call me Elween for nothing). Then there is another granny who was still washing clothes by the river. We went forth. Anuar started a conversation with her. Later I tried talking to her, and found out that the whole village 90% and above are Christians. She shared with me her faith in Christ who have healed her pain on her foot and was praising God for His healing power.

We got down into the river to wet our feet, and we found out that even with foams of soaps and shampoos in the river, there are still fishes around! They must be some mutated creatures.

After saying goodbye to her, we left the longhouse, finding that most of the houses are quite modernized. For bamboo sake, they even have plasma TV and Astro! I don't even have it. Better for me to return back to the jungle and sing o-yi-o.

And their stairs made me wonder how small the feet of Bidayuh people really are, especially stairs in their house. It's so impossible for normal-sized feet to walk up that kind of tiny tooth-saw steps!

Semadang hanging bridge was the next destination. Nothing much, just a hanging bridge. And a river. We went down to the river side. Unfortunately the water current was quite strong after a night of rain so didn't have a chance for a dip.

Coming up from the river, we took a rest in a shelter, set up in front of the hanging bridge. Anuar shared with his adventurous stories, how he survived when the storm wrecked his boat, and sleeping in the jungle alone around wild beasts. Whether true or not, don't hold me responsible. I am just a reporter. He also shared his hunting experience with the indigenous people (Penans, if I am not mistaken).

(to be continued...)

Friday, October 30, 2009

改编自coursemate 的一个status update:

“不要追求外表,他会骗人;不要追求财富,它会消失。 追求一个能经常让你微笑的人吧,因为微笑会让你灰暗的世界豁然开朗,阳光明媚。
(Lin, 2009)

" 不要追求外表,他会骗人;不要追求财富。。。这怎么可能。追求一个能经常让你刷卡刷到爆的人吧,因为财富会让你灰暗的世界豁然开朗,阳光明媚。" ( Locke, 2009)

Taken from a status update from a course mate:

Original text: " Do not pursue appearance because it can lie; Do not pursue wealth because it will vanish. Pursue after someone who will always make you smile, as his smile will brighten up your world of gray, where the ray of sun could truly shine." (Lin, 2009).

But it's better to be practical:

" Do not pursue appearance because it can lie; Do not pursue wealth...that's impossible. Pursue after someone who can offer you to brush credit card until it ke-de-pa-boom, as wealth will brighten up your world of gray, where the ray of sun could truly shine." (Locke, 2009).


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuching - Day 3 Part B


Instead of waiting for his return, we decided to go the Gersik village to see Dayang Salha's layered cake, famous for it's multi-color layer designs. We were allowed to enter the kitchen to see the procedures but unfortunately they only made Swiss roll on that day. Samples were placed on the table in the hall for free testing. F-R-E-E. So you can understand we needed the afternoon nap for at least 1/2 in the air-conditioned house, waiting for our bloated stomach to digest. Yes, that was what had happened at that time.

We headed back to Al-Fayad. Anuar finally returned. We ordered traditional food like Pansuh Manok, a traditional bamboo chicken cooked along with 15 kinds of herbs and Umai, an appetizer made of prawns marinated with lime and onions), and also their special's Al-Fayad Punch.

It took us 3 hours to have this meal! Gastric juice penetrated and burst out from our stomachs already. Plus, his appetizer and special punch were so sourish, adding to the pain of hunger we had to go through. He said the Pansuh would need 3 hours to prepare so we had to wait.

Then, Pansuh came. The wait was worthwhile when the smell flew out from the bamboo as he poured the essence from it. We began to eat like hungry wolves.

The whole meal costs 139 bucks. My heart cried thunderously, and I told myself, may the rain wash away the pain...

We spent the whole afternoon there since rain started to pour. He took out his giant umbrellas to keep water from splashing in. Since we had nothing to do, we sat down to discuss tomorrow's trip. Anuar came to us, telling us he also organizes trips (it's like rent-me-a-day kind of thing. But not as male escort, of course!), for 150 bucks per head. So we decided to tour with him, giving up the cultural village tour.

Anuar served us a cup of warm coffee as we were chit-chatting with one another, and also William.

William, a Belgium bagpacker who had been a week in Sarawak is very close with Anuar and his family. They called him their godson. He's a carpenter and also a brilliant mountain climber (yes, climb! those 90 degree's type of mountain!). He was extremely shy and quiet. All he did was smiled in his big built body and answered our questions for him one by one.

Anuar said he will be here for a month. He will bring him to travel across all regions of Sarawak, starting from the West all the way to the East (Bintulu and Miri). We were served a tiny portion of curry cooked by William with instructions from Anuar.

A little background info about Anuar, after an up-close interview with his wife:

He was a chef from Holiday Inn but quit to try his luck as an insurance agent. Due to tough competition from the Chinese, he couldn't continue in that line and also faced some legal problems. 6 months ago they moved to this place and established their own restaurant by their rented house and built the shelter all by himself. The name of his restaurant is named after his son, Fayad.

Monday, October 26, 2009


A:(悄悄地) “喂,有冇嗅到屁味?”
B:“有啊! 臭死了!"





唔该你用你发达嘅屁股捻下,玩你又点啦. 净系得蠢嘅人


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuchxng - Day 3 Part A


Early morning, my right foot began to swell, it hurt so bad. Maybe I have strained the muscles yesterday.

We were all exhausted after yesterday's trip so we woke up quite late, thinking that since we were only exploring the opposite side of the city, which is Petra Jaya, a Malay village across the Sarawak River, we should have enough time to visit the places we intended.

By the way, the Spaniards checked out early morning.

What?! I didn't peep at Christina taking bath okey! It wasn't my fault that they left!

We went to the waterfront. There are several jetties at different locations. We walked to the front jetty right before the Khatulistiwa Cafe, which is the nearest to the opposite jetty. To cross over, you only need to pay a minimum amount of 40 cents. Remember not to ask the price because if the boatmen know you a tourist, they will charge you 2 bucks. But basically we just leave our coins on his boat. He didn't even to see how much we put.

In the boat, we met a man called Anuar. He introduced himself, telling us he has a restaurant right in front of the jetty. We went with him to have a look but continued our walk to the Magherita Fort. There was only an officer guarding the fort.

I was a little disappointed, not because the fort was small, because it was repainted fully white and lost the essence of 19th century's architectural feel. The reason behind was because at that time our paramount ruler was coming to officiate the use of the new building beside the fort as the State Assembly Hall! They wanted to make it look new to welcome him. So angry!

I found a cannon which exactly shares the same birthday as me!
and I touched lots of hairy skulls which I thought were coconuts for displayed. T.T

After the visit, we returned to Al-Fayad, Anuar's restaurant. He had gone out to the airport so we were attended by his Melanau wife with guestbook and pictures. She shared with us her traveling experience (like Anuar, she travels often) and suggested to go into the real longhouse at the Borneo border.

(Part B to be continued...)

By the way, when I found out Muhyddin was coming to the school, I wanted to do humiliate them at the balcony by telling them: "I have already met him in person, you small kids are so slow, blueh blueh blueh~!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuchxng - Day 2 Part B


The walk was finally over. I was so glad since our body is wet and smelled of mud. Escaped from the jungle and signed off, we headed back to the jetty. A bus was waiting there so we quickly hopped onto it (actually we planned to visit the Buntal village but time did not permit us to do so).

Rain started pouring again. We stopped by the shop lots and bid goodbye to Alan. Since the monsoon rain was coming strong, we decided to have a late lunch at the open air market, which is not open air at all. I order another bowl of Kolo noodle, which was nothing similar to the one we had yesterday. The soya drink was very fresh and is recommended in a guide I read yesterday.

Back to the hostel, 6 backpackers/students from Spain checked in the dorm. Only one of them can speak and understand English better and her name was Christina. Pablo is hot though.

Anyway, I had a little chat with her. Before I continue, we were being told by Chan that Muhyddin was coming to the school located right behind our hostel. Kids were practicing clapping and bands were busy strumming their stuff.

So Muhyddin appeared on the TV during news so I told her that the guy in the screen is our Deputy PM and was here at the school in the afternoon. For kolo noodle sake, I spent more than 3 minutes explaining what deputy PM is and she still couldn’t understand. Forget it. I gave up communicating with her for boob-watching since she was wearing a low-cut anyway.

As they left for dinner at night, we went ours.

Thought of finding a Cafe called Nori 10 but failed. It's a Dayak traditional family-run restaurant but at the end we found Top Spot Food Court, which turns out to be a seafood heaven located at an open air building at level 6. Lots of fresh living seafood. We thought seafood might be a little too expensive. Among all the seafood stalls, we found a tiny steak stalls so I ordered a beef steak. which tasted like shxt. Don't ever try that stall with Maggi signboard.

But Seng Ching and I ordered a plate of curry Bamboo clam. Ehm~ first time eating this kind of creature. It tastes great!

After dinner, we went to the office to grab people to talk with us. Then we found Nik, a photojournalist who has stayed at B&B for more than 4 years (he was from Kelantan).

He introduced us many places where usually tourists do not get to go. And wherever we go, he said, all we need to do was to announce his big name and we will be welcomed. He was such a talker. It was interesting for the first one hour. His voice became drowsier in my head after talking for almost 3 hours.

And he is one unethical photojournalist as he shared with us his experience in collecting pictures in places like hospital. But I guess journalists need to be unethical at some point to get what they want.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuchxng - Day 2 Part A


Today’s plan is to explore the Bako National Park. We took a No.6 bus from the Petra Jaya station (there are several stations so you need to study which leads where) to the Bako village. The fare costs RM 2 per trip. It’s a ½ hour ride. On the way to the station, Wendy bought a newspaper under the overhead bridge. The newspaper vendor told her the paper cost 2 bucks. She gave him 2 bucks right away. The kind newspaper vendor told her he was pulling her leg, and advised her to be aware of cheaters around. The actual price of newspaper was only a buck.

So we got up the bus. A Mr. Miss was sitting behind me. She/He is more masculine than I am, there was no way to hide that BIG body under his/her long hair and thick make-up. Upon reaching the Bako village, some secondary school boys who got onto the bus started making fun of her. I felt bad for her but…she really needed liposuction.

We finally got down from the bus at the jetty. To reach the park, we need to take a 20-minute boat ride which costs 47 bucks per trip (thunder lightning strikes) carrying a maximum of 4 passengers. There were only 3 of us. Then we got to know this man called Alan, who was on the same bus with me too. He is a British citizen working at Shanghai. Since he was given a week off during the China’s national day celebration, he came to Kuching for 3 days.

So we got off shore bare-footed and walked to the counter. We had to register for the trail we wanted to go before going on our own. Ok this is another stupid act from me: You see, the word ‘trail’, made me think of those too-too trains at the zoo, where they carry visitors around the place to see animals. Little did I expect ‘trail’ here means ‘jungle-tracking’. We even took the 3 ½ hours Lintang trail which lasted approximately 5.8 km! I tried hard to hide the ‘grumpiness’ in me since there is an outsider with us.

My room has more insects and animals than the national park (=.=). But along the way there are lots of giant plants and rocks and also yellow streams (I believe it’s sulphuric). Throughout the journey, it rained and stopped twice. Wendy gave Alan her umbrella and I gave her my hat. She had her Dragonball fan all along. We stopped somewhere and Alan shared his bread with us . He shared a bit of his stories and also his sister-in-law’s working as a freelance journalist for an IT company.

Part B to be continued...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Week without Sunday in Kuchxng - Day 1


I shall save the details on our flight. In brief, I traveled to Melaka to meet the girls, took a bus up to LCCT, spent a night at the airport and took off at about 7.30 am.

Smiley-looking Chan, the owner of B&B Inn picked us up from the airport, holding a card with my name on. While walking out of the airport, I thought the Pajero was his as he walked to the driver seat (which in fact, he was just crossing the road). I waited at the Pajero and they were looked at me and said: “what are you doing?” The answer from me was surely, “Nothing~”.

He took a detour around the Cat city, telling us what place is this and that. After checking in, we were led to our room by Lily, one of the workers whom we are not close with. We had a double-decker and a queen-sized bed which can accommodate 4 persons in the room.

Chan introduced us a place near the Carpenter streets where we can taste one of the famous hot spot for Kolo noodle (it's at Bishopgates lane if I am not mistaken). He warned us: The boss does not take order. He might be infuriated if he is disturbed. The next thing you will be seeing is his ladle knocks on our foreheads and possibly banishes us out of the garden of Meeden. So, what we did was waited outside for our turn since the petite shop only accommodates 11 tables. We waited ½ hour because some aunties are really good at cutting cues and we, city idiots, were clueless how rules were played.

After seated, a lady came to take order. Then food was served. The soup filled with pig-intestines and other parts smells great. It tastes great if you fancy this kind of gourmet. That’s so much about it. After lunch, we got back to our hostel. Nobody checked in that day so we had the whole house by ourselves. We tried to catch up some sleep in the afternoon.

By the time we woke up, it was already early evening. We decided to walk around few shopping plazas. First, we went to the Sarawak Plaza. Wendy bought a Dragonball paper fan. Then we proceeded to Tun Jugah, another building opposite it. I told myself next time if anyone ever mention Kuching is a shopping heaven, I am gonna gun him down myself. These two plazas are not fit to be called shopping centre at all! (But then after a few days, the local told us if we want to go shopping, we should go to the Spring or Boulevard instead, which is a driving distance from the city spot).

Filled with despair, we must have some meal for dinner to compensate our emotional loss. We came to a restaurant called Sambal. I ordered a plate of Dabai Fried Rice. I didn’t know what Dabai was. Neither do the workers. One of them even said that day was her first day working and she doesn’t know anything so I ‘kindly’ requested another waiter to check it with the kitchen. It turned out Dabai is a kind of fruit which looks like dates. The food was just fine, nothing special.

After dinner, rain started pouring. We walked under the rain back to the hostel. Watched a comedic movie and toasted bread for supper (bread, marjerin and kaya were meant for breakfast), while flipping through some travelbooks displayed on top of the table by the television. I turned in quite early because the next day, we are going to the Bako National Park.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Week Without Sunday in Kuching - Prelude

My six-day experience living as an East Malaysian has finally ended two days ago when the plane touches the LCCT airport. Thank you for welcoming my victorious returning. Before going deeper into stories of my daily activities spent there with Seng Ching and Wendy, I thought I might just share a little 'introduction' on our trip.

We have 6 days to travel. Thus, we planned to go away from the city alternately on the third, third and fifth day, while the second, fourth and sixth will be on city tour on our own.

Like I said before, we are not so much interested in tourist spots. We want something natural and original other than watching performances. Instead of joining a large group, we have decided to go places on our own. However, transport in the Kuching division is very underdeveloped. Travel to a place itself would take us a day even it's only a half an hour drive from the city.

We stayed in a place called the B&B Inn (B&B stands for bed and breakfast), which is the only lisense hostel for backpackers. There are lots of unlicensed Inn around like Borneo B&B which is few shops down the road. We were arranged at its new wing called Fendy's Lodge located at the next street, and the shop house is fully air-conditioned, with facilities like television, DVD player, refrigerator and water heater. We were charged 18 bucks per day for a room.

We traveled quite a few places, the famous ones including Fort Margherita, Bako National Park, Semengoh Wildlife Centre, a variety of Sarawak museums, authentic Bidayuh longhouse and many more interesting places. I will explain one by and one according to our daily schedule.

Of course, we wouldn't want to miss good food, especially the traditional ones here. Pictures of every meal here were snapped with my personal 'commentaries', helping you to make decision where and where not to go to if you've got any chance to visit that land.

One thing about men in Kuching - whether the locals or bagpackers - they like to smoke! Somehow, I have learned to adapt different types of tobacco smells. At least I have learned that living in this world, when things are not going according to our likings, we have to learn to adapt it. Though it might be harmful, it's not long term. So just bear with it.

So, that's all for now. Bear with me for the next 2 months or so for you will be reading my travel guide in Kuching. In fact, you should be thankful that I am sharing precious information without charging a cent! You won't get to read this elsewhere unless the money-minded side of me decided to publish my experience for sale (and the possibility is high...).


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009