The Night Before
Dayna stayed over at my place, where we had a girly sleepover … somewhat. Due to some last minute turn of events at work, I had to tie up loose ends at home until the wee hours of 2am, while leaving Dayna to entertain herself watching dramas on her iPhone (which I still feel bad about until today).
Well, we still managed to cook … somewhat. (I know, this is the second time I am saying ‘somewhat’.) The plan was to prepare garlic butter prawns with pancakes and scrambled eggs, which was what we set out to do, until I realized that we had run out of eggs. (Doh!) No eggs? No sweat. We still had prawns and pancakes.
So we set to work! My pancakes turned out a delightful shade of golden brown. The prawns smelled awesome with the garlic butter sauce. Until mum took one bite out of the prawns and wrinkled her nose.
Apparently, the prawns had gone bad.
We ended up throwing out all the pancakes and the prawns and had to settle with take-outs for dinner. :(
The Big Scare
We got up bright and early on the morning of our trip and left my place with plenty of time to spare. Dayna then decided to phone Cherlynn to ask if she’s on her way … and drama basically unfolded from then.
Basically, the situation was this. We had to reach the travel counter at 6.40am and our bus departs at 7am sharp. Cherlynn was still at home at 6.30am, unpacked and unshowered.
All hell broke loose. Upon arrival at the travel counter, I was close to grovelling at the extremely stunned lady who attended to me, who later told me adamantly that the bus leaves at 7 sharp and that it may not be delayed for any reason, whatsoever. Mum on the other hand, was running from travel agent to travel agent (the building we were in was basically swarming with competing travel agencies), looking for alternative buses to Genting that departed at a later time.
It all seemed bleak until the same lady at the travel counter informed me that Cherlynn could still board the bus at some deserted bus stop near the Singapore-Malaysia checkpoint … if she could get there by 7.30am.
Then came more frantic phone calls, and Dayna and I finally settled ourselves on the bus. But we just couldn’t fully relax until we had our third member with us. (Oh, and my attempt to inform the bus driver that we had to pick our friend at the above-mentioned bus stop resulted in me getting yelled at. Such a friendly driver, I must say.)
Thank goodness for Whatsapp that allowed us to constantly ping our locations to and fro. And finally, at 7.20am, a location update from Cherlynn made us both heave a collective sigh of relief.
Phew! She’s finally there!
Correct location. PHEWWWWW!
She boarded the bus, and we held our squeals until we were safely out of the bus at the Singapore-Malaysia checkpoint. That was when we grabbed one another and let out peals of relieved screams … to the amusement of anyone who witnessed the scene (policemen included).
Despite how panicky we were at the time of the incident, we knew that this was going to be an incident that we’ll look back and laugh at. (; So glad you made it in the end, babe.
Room 10101 – Geek Room for the Geeks
Upon receiving the keycard to our room on the first day, the first thing Cherlynn did was to squeal “Ohmygosh, it’s binary!” So did Terry when he received notice of our room number through SMS (he joined us from the second day onward).
Us outside our awesome room 10101.
Yeah, it’s such a geek thing. Thankfully, no one writes code in binary anymore … unless you deal with hardware. Give me a cup of Java coffee anyday.
Random Jamming Sessions (Here, there and everywhere)
While we were not busy embarrassing Dayna and Terry with our wild antics, Cherlynn and I would be singing out loud at random places and (often) without warning.
From Coffee Bean Resort Hotel …
Singing “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” by Lesley Gore.
To First World Plaza (during lunch at Kenny Rogers).
Singing “Nobody” by The Wonder Girls.
And basically everywhere else. There are plenty more photo and videographic evidence but they should never see the light of day in the WWW. Because as you can see from the photos alone, we don’t look quite normal in the midst of a song.
Most over-sung song during our three days together? “Drive By” by Train. If we were to break into a song randomly, this song will be it. We’re so contagious that we’ve even got Terry doing it. If it isn’t a “Drive By” singing moment, it’ll be a Lady Gaga moment.
Stay tuned for Part II.
(P/S: Credit for the above pictures goes to Dayna.)
When it comes to travel, I always felt what makes a vacation awesome is always company first, destination second. And so far, my thoughts has yet to be proven wrong. Memories are made not from the places we visit (well, perhaps to a certain extent), but are largely curated by the moments spent with friends – the conversations, laughter and in our case, random outbursts of singing.
In this case, we went to Genting Highlands. The place itself was nothing new. (To me, at least – considering I’ve been there countless times.) But this trip was special. It left me feeling absolutely high, and that ‘high’ feeling still remains until now … even though I’ve already returned for a good four days.
Prior to the trip, I knew that Genting Highlands always had a sentimental spot in my heart despite being same old, same old. Most of my travel memories there had been with my extended family and cousins, although it’s been a while since we’ve done a family trip there so all these memories had already begun to fade, leaving me wondering what exactly was so sentimental about the place. As a result, my interest in Genting Highlands as a travel destination also began to dip. (Well, I go there largely for sentimental value than anything else – so when the warm fuzzy feeling fades, it pretty much becomes pointless for me to go there again.)
But this trip was just way too awesome. Granted, Genting Highlands is not the best travel destination in the world. It was nothing new to me either. But somehow, I feel as if this trip has so far, been the best trip I’ve ever been on.
It wasn’t only because of the wonderful moments spent with Dayna, Cherlynn and Terry. (More on that in a later blog post.) But also, as I went from one familiar place to another (from Genting Theme Park to First World Plaza to Genting Hotel), the memories from the past slowly returned. As in, hey, this place reminds of the time where my cousins and I blahdeeblah ….
Needless to say, my emotions were in hyperdrive throughout the three days I was there – from extreme happiness, to OMGIcan’tbelieveyoujustsaidthat HAHAHA, to nostalgiac, to pensive.
If anyone were to suggest Genting Highlands as a trip destination again in the near future, I will readily agree – so that I can go back and relive moments from the past, as well as build fresh memories with new people.
I think I practically have a location-based repository/timeline of memorable moments for nearly every corner of Genting Highlands in my head now. If only there is some way to document it. I don’t want to lose all these memories, ever.
So, I’m finally back – albeit a much darker version of my former self.
We’ve had bright sunshine, sand and sea, as well as loads of strong winds and sea breezes over the past three days at Pulau Sibu. The water was mostly turquoise-green, whereas it was completely clear and blue at one of the smaller islands (Pulau Kukus) that we were brought to.
I’m going to launch into a long grandmother’s story about the trip itself – so feel free to filter out whichever parts you’re more interested in reading. Alternatively, you can let the photos do the talking.
10 simple facts about the Pulau Sibu Trip
1) Five people were stung by jellyfish during snorkeling. (No, I wasn’t one of them – wasn’t snorkeling either because I can’t swim to save my life.)
At the beach near Sea Gypsy Resort.
2) We went to a total of four beaches – scattered around various parts of the island. Three with reasonably clear water, and one with clear blue water which I couldn’t bear to leave. Oh, and one of them beaches wasn’t the usual sandy ones we have – instead, there was smooth marble and limestones in various shapes and forms making up the shoreline.)
3) While all my friends have received plentiful of sandfly bites, I’ve received less than five – all thanks to the extremely effective insecticide brought by a friend. (Although it boggles the mind why THAT friend was the worst hit among all of us when it came to insect bites.)
4) We’ve eaten enough crabs, prawns, sotongs (cuttlefish) and fish to last us a lifetime.
5) All of us agreed unanimously that we hated the toilets at the resort.
There were four toilets/bathrooms that had to be shared among all the rooms on the ground floor – and they were often sandy, smelly, dark, brimming with dirty footprints and mosquitoes.
Plus, there was always some joker who would blatantly refuse to flush the damn toilet. Grr.
6) Four of us are horrendously sunburnt now – and I happen to be one of them. (Around the shoulders and the back of my neck – ooooh, ouch.)
7) I’ve been on enough boat rides to last me a lifetime either – with me tying on my lifejacket as tightly as I can, and clinging on to the side (or any available handlebars) on the boat with my dear life because … I can’t swim, remember?
8) Watching the tides going up and down proved to be an extremely interesting experience.
When we first reached the resort – it was high tide to the point that the disembarking area of the jetty was flooded, so everyone had to walk in the water.
However, at 6 in the morning, the sea had gone all the way out that even the jetty was moored in the middle of nowhere with nothing but sand all around it.
And take note – the jetty was a considerable distance away from the shoreline! (About 200m.)
9) I held a live fish for the first time during fishing – it was wet and slimy, and the scales were falling off all over my hands. Was pretty much amused at how the fish was still its usual silvery grey colour when it was first caught while it loses all its colouring (through the shedding of its scales, perhaps?) once it dies to an extent that it becomes transparent, revealing all its insides.
Our resort’s sign at the jetty.
10) The resort we stayed at was Sibu Coconut Village Resort.
A pretty run-down place with dark and musty rooms, and inconsistent bedsheet colours. Basically, don’t expect any form of cleanliness when you reside here. Also, the power generators went down three times.
Unfortunately, this was already one of the better resorts they have on the island and we didn’t spend that much time within the resort premises anyway.