Hello from Sarawak, Malaysia
As most of you know I am breaking a big rule in the sisterhood. We have two keys rules between the sisters. We don’t live together and we don’t travel together. Leanne and I have occasionally broken the living together rule, (with what is fair to say have been mixed results) and Janice and I are currently breaking the no traveling together rule. It is currently day 3. The good news is we are yet to kill each other, but there is still plenty of time.
I am gate crashing Janice’s holiday to Malaysia – destination chosen for food reasons. We are visiting Kuching on the Borneo island, and then Penang, and KL. Janice will then go to a beach resort and I’ll come home and return to work. We decided for a week we should be able to cope with each other. For those that don’t know, Janice is the boss of the family, so as long as you do what you’re told everything is hunky dory.
Now as you know I love a plan. I can’t start a day without having it all planned out. I don’t do free time. I like to have something organized for every hour. I won’t keep to the schedule at all, and I’m always open to other options, but at least I have a plan. Oh my God, Janice takes this to a whole new level! She should have been in the military. Every minute is scheduled. She is ordering me around like an army sergeant. I just follow orders, “yes sir, thank-you sir, three bags full sir”. We start the day with an alarm at 5.52am. By 0600 hours we are at the gym. At 0730 we leave the gym. Then we shower. Breakfast is at 0800 hours, at 8.35 I must leave breakfast to return the iPad to the hotel room before we depart at 0900 hours. And so the day goes on.
There are 2 slight issues between us. The thing that is annoying me about Janice is her map reading ability. Now as you know Janice is never wrong. But navigation is MY speciality. I’m known for it in our family. Janice strides off into the distance and takes me on these wild walks and I’m like “stop you’re going the wrong way”. When she misses a street she pretends that it was something else she wanted to see. Today I had enough, and I stood my ground and said no this other way is the right way back to the hotel. I was so confident that I bet her $100,000 dollars that I was right and she was wrong. So we decided the only way to settle it was to spilt up and race back to the hotel. Unfortunately it was wet and I was slipping all over the place in thongs, and she was striding off into the distance in her runners. I still maintain that my road would have also got us to the hotel, but I turned around and followed her when I heard her yell out “Alison I can see the hotel”. Annoying – the one time I question her she was bloody right!
The one thing that annoys Janice about me is perhaps something that is a fair enough complaint. After living by myself for so long I never close the toilet door. As you can imagine Janice isn’t so fond of this habit and yells at me on a regular basis. I’m getting better at remembering…
Kuching, “Cat City” is the capital of Sarawak. Most people come to the island of Borneo to visit Orangutans. I don’t like monkeys so we’re not going near wildlife. There’s a zoo in Melbourne for that sort of thing. I was more interested in the cultural side of things, and to find out about the long houses., which is what we’ve been doing while we’ve been here.
Kuching is a very easy city to get around, and we’ve been doing a lot of walking around, which is an adventure in itself. The footpaths near the waterfront are fine, but beyond that it’s fun and games. You can’t look at the streets around you – you have to focus solely on where your feet are going. There are unexpected steps, holes, open drains etc. Some holes are so big you could lose a person in them (maybe not me, but I’m sure small Asian kids would get swallowed up).
Yesterday with our guide Kenny, we visited a long house, and the Orchid Garden. Today we went to the Sarawak cultural village and then we had this amazing seafood lunch. (Loving the food, and currently averaging 2 ice-creams a day.) This afternoon we visited the museum, where we made some very special friends. Everyone is so friendly and wants to talk to you. The guy who made friends with Janice at the museum talked politics and religion. The guy who made friends with me talked fruit and taxidermistry. He was a third generation taxidermist at the museum. But alas he had no children to pass on the tradition. Not sure what we wanted me to do about that…
Oh and I must tell you about the special scales in the bathroom. I jumped on them when I arrived and I was like “wow – check this out Janice – I’ve lost 10kg over Christmas”. Obviously not true, from the number of clothes that don’t fit, but hey it gave me hope that I was perhaps moving in the right direction. Janice burst my bubble when she pointed out that if you leaned back on the scales you lost 20kg, if you stood in the middle you only lost 10kg, but if you leaned forward you were the correct weight. Bugger… I consoled myself with an ice-cream.
Loving everything so far (except maybe the super cold air con). Everyone we meet talks heat wave and bush fires to us. The Australian fires and heat wave have been on the news quite a bit here. Although I laughed the other day when I saw the newspaper, with a heading of Sydney and then news of the Tasmanian fires (this was before there were any fires in NSW).
Off to Penang tomorrow.