Tag Archives: travel

Sea Monkeys Part 2

It’s our second day in Tioman. It’s around 2 am now and it’s quiet. Except for A’s sleep sounds I can hear nothing else but the air conditioning and the beat of my own heart as I type this on the blackberry. A quarter of a big bottle of Gordon’s and a beer at the Island Bar just now have put me in a somber and reflective mood. The pace at which time crawls on this island has been good for me. Regardless of the fact that I actually got bored just now, running out of things to do.

But a couple of hours, give or take, at the bar, listening to a good podcast by KEXP had enlivened the evening. So now I wait for sleep and the 10 am ferry out of this truly beautiful Island.

We were wading in the ocean barely 8 hours ago. In A’s arms floating with my eyes on the blue sky and the setting sun. We found a nice spot just 10 minutes away from our room. I remember being uncomfortably aware of our displays of affection in the water, intimacy that could have been mistaken for brazenness or straying from accepted conventions. But the uneasiness was shortlived as we waded out of the water, my arms around her shoulders and my heart absolutely in her grasp.

At the bar just now, I was looking at S’s photos and got reminded of her and I was painfully aware of her absence. When I was sitting on the balcony just in front of our room overlooking the dark sea with stars in the sky I could’ve sworn I saw her approaching up the steps, all giggly and and pink and so full of trust and love. Sure, we could’ve brought her along but I wouldn’t have had the same kind of careless private fun as I am having right now. A seems relaxed and talkative too, due to our acceptance of the fact that a 3-year-old would detract us from a totally stress-free, cathartic 3 days and 2 nights away from city traffic, noise, and every other distraction of modern urban life.

We have bonded over these days and nights. One of the most important moments of my life occured when she told me that I ‘hold the fort’ in our family life. A great compliment from an amazing soulmate who has endured hell and high water for a sad schmuck like me.



Filed under anecdotal

Sea Monkeys

We arrived in Tioman at, well I didn’t bring a watch, but it was still afternoon and hot. We parked our car in Rompin at my friend, Uda’s house and he drove us to the jetty in Tanjung Gemuk. It was still early when we got there and we had to wait for Mr. Nasib, the ticket bearer for the whole entourage. So we stopped at this place to have drinks and roti canai. The place is ran by God-bothered types who must be members of the Ruf*qa’ (ex al-arq*m members predominantly). The roti canai’s were good but we had to wait till almost 1o minutes after our food had finished for our drinks which were already lukewarm after the wait. I saw one of the Rufaqees (sic) walking past me with a jar of Nesc*fe that had a label on it. It occured to my suspicious mind that they had to get it from somewhere, explaining the extraordinarily long period we had to endure for our drinks. And they had to get it from somewhere because they were supposed to be boycotting Nes*le due to the Dutch film fiasco. Or whatever. They were nice enough to not have change and a slightly annoyed A had to ask “Oh saya la yang kena cari duit tukar?” Oh, and they had signs at the toilet saying “Sila gunakan selipar tandas yang disediakan”. Very proud of their slippers, these restaurateurs must be.

So, we boarded the ferry at around 12 noon and after about two hours of chit-chat, digital music on earphones and holding hands, we arrived when it was still noon and hot.This particular jetty was at Kampung Genting and our designated accomodations was a chalet at the Genting Damai Resort. It was a short 5-minute walk from the jetty to the reception area which doubles as a dining hall. We had buffet lunch which consisted of really fresh kembung asam pedas, some big-ass squid in green sambal which I didn’t really dig, and the indispensable, all-purpose stir fried mix-veg.Those and some ulam and sambal belacan, downed with excellent cups of 2008 orange cordial of the pasar malam variety.

After some vigorous eating, we took our keys and were escorted to our room. This required a significant effort considering some geo-elevation issues and the fresh kembung swimming in our bellies. To our pleasant surprise there were two double beds which is like, brilliant. A: one for sleep and the other to guling-guling in. So we guling-guling lah.

Then we went down to this sundry/souvenir outlet and bought jajans and prepaid topup. Warning to D*gi subscribers: crappy coverage here. So A bought a whole new Celc*m starter pack so she can keep contact with me tonight while she’s attending some consumer-related meeting while I write this at a beach bar sipping on duty-free but still mainland-priced beer. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’m having too much fun boring you.

Anyway, after the trip to the shop we went back up to our villa on the hill and watched Gilmore Girls (seventh season, disc 1) sitting scrunched up on the bed trying to make out what Lorelai was arguing about with Luke on the tiny laptop speakers. Two episodes of that and we changed into swimwear and just waded around in the water looking at little fishies peeking out of little holes in small rocks or coral. That was when we noticed this bar when we heard the Maroon 5 singer, Akon belting out one of his annoying songs. We sat down and ordered nevertheless as A had to rest an aching right heel she suffered after a fall. So there we were, with the setting sun over sparkling waters and an orange sky nursing a coke and a hell of a gin and tonic. Double dose, as I was told later by the sexually ambiguous bar tender. Sweet.The drink, not the bar tender.

Anyway the bar is quite nice. The mainland beer prices were due to the transport costs the proprietors have to bear transporting it from another outpost. At 9 bucks a can, it’s not actually bad. Liquor (Gin, Bourbon, Margaritas) are at 18.90 a pop. Not bad considering I don’t intend on bingeing.

It’s called ‘Island Bar’ by the way. Not very original, I must opine. If I had a beach bar I would call it ‘Sea Monkey’, after the clanging noises we kept hearing on the boat on the way here. A was asking what was making all that noise overhead (we were in the lower seating compartment of the 2-tier seating area) and I could only guess naughty seamonkeys bothering the tourists above. They have wings too. And fins so they can swim, accelerate just below the surface and just shoot out of the water shrieking. Ngwaaaaaaaa.


Filed under anecdotal