Saturday, October 15, 2011

40: Sarawak

A holiday visiting family in Borneo was a wonderful experience. This is their house, complete with orchids and palm tress in the garden and various other flora, of whose names I am ignorant.

By the way, my brother works for Shell - even the numbers on the street make this point obvious.

There are beasties - snails and centipedes I can deal with, even if the latter are probably poisonous.

The mix of religions in Sarawak means there are Chinese temples, Muslim mosques and Roman Catholic churches all in close proximity to each other.

Some muppets on the steps...

The panels depict lucky animals such as these ducks

These ones were't quite so lucky.

More temples where people come to worship and waft incense and pray for wealth, health and happiness - in that order.

It's all go at the fish market where some of the fish are still alive and the eels are flapping away. If you look closely you can see a hammerhead shark, so we didn't.

These are midden ferns and supposedly they are a delicacy.

Coffee at the Marriott Hotel where many of the ex-pats take their children for pool parties.

Words to live by
And so to the other extreme - these are shrimping huts on the beach

And this is the Piasau Boat Club.

With a mixture of ethnicities, food is a highlight, from mango slushies to asam laksa and spring rolls.

Unfortunately, homework is homework, wherever you are in the world.

Too hot for running, morning beach walks are the thing, with 'picturesque' shrimping huts to photograph.

Some are better at fishing than others.

And some aren't after fish at all.

In the fruit market, my super-in-law makes her purchases from 'the grumpy pineapple man' - the amah chops these up later.

These are ikan bilis (or dried anchovies - ikan is the Malay word for fish). Him Outdoors ordered them from the menu to see what they were; not a great idea for him, but quite a treat for me!

These are dragon fruit, another delicacy we are told. We didn;t eat any, but they do look pretty.

And these are cabbage hearts, as used in Malaysian cooking - very tasty, if you like Brussels sprouts.

Photographic evidence of Him Outdoors eating raw fish (at the Japanese restaurant we went to) - apparently it's the seaweed he doesn't like!

Storytime is always a treat - especially it gets you out of doing homework.

A walk in the Lambir Hills begins with a scenically lit swing bridge.

Him Outdoors does a mosquito impression - scary isn't it?
The rainforest is deafening with a cacophany of birds, cicadas and monkeys. We only saw a couple of beasties, however, and I felt I was being watched - I nearly walked into this spider's web, strung across the pathway before I saw it, and I ran away from a bright orange leech which was stalking bloodthirstily towards me!

Back at the Boat Club, what better way to relax than with a book and a gin and tonic, watching the sun sink into the South China Sea?

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