Friday, 2nd May 2008
Headed to the airport after work and had trouble finding the longterm carpark that was near the airport. I have not much voice and can't stop sneezing so after checking in had coffee with a freind who had come to see me off, thanks Wayne. Then went in search of tissues. Boarding was delayed by 15mins due to a boarding pass machine malfunction so the flight left 1 hour late which worried me as Ih ad to catch a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching. I slept twice on the flight a total of 4 hours of an 8 hour flight. food on the plane was very asic and I only had one glass of wine and some orange juice, plus lots of water. I watched a couple of movies in flight and really enjoyed the Movie staring Steve Carel , the comedian with the big nose. Can't name the movie thought but it was a chick flick.
Saturday, 3rd May 2008
I had no time to check out anything at Kuala Lumper airport as I had to rush from one end of the airport to the other to catch my connecting flight. Woohoo it is my birthday today so I intnd to enjoy it. I arrived in Kuching at 10 at the Mederka Palace hotel a very ornate looking hotel on the inside but the room is very tiny and bathroom even tinier marble bathroom and marble everywhere in the lobby. Exchange rate is $1. AUD = 2.77 Malaysian ringit.
I had a latte at the hotel coffe shop then wnadered down to the tourist bureau and the waterfromt and the old marketplace. The locals are all freindly and saying hello. I wandered along the waterfront which has changed a lot since i was here 30 years ago, ll the old buildings have been torn down to make way for a prominade which stretches for a few KM's. Groups of young locals congregate along the waterfront, decked out in there westerm fashions all resting or chatting on mobile phones. On the other side of the river you see the Astana (palace) built in 1870 then the new Gov't building that is being built plus the old fort. Lots of jetties with small boats to take you on trips along the river. At 3.30 I stopped at James Brooke Bistro on the waterfront and had late lunch of ginger beef which was 18 ringit washed down with a carlesburg beer for 6 ringit.
I then wandered through a local shopping centre and a local tried to sell me some miracle cream that would remove dead skin cells and supposedly sunspots and freckles for only 10 ringit, I declined to buy this. I got back to my hotel at 6pm and sat in the English pub bar downstairs in the hotel. It has all manor of things english. I had 2 glasses of chardoonay for 21 ringit and it tasted exceptional nothing like the chardoonay i drink back home. being in a different country may have contributed to it tasting better. I have thoroughly enjoyed my birthday so far. Traffic certainly is more than it was 30 years ago. Cars & scooters/motorbikes seem to travel at 70-80km's with what seems little road rules. besides the odd 1980's toyota corona and a 1970's volvo most cars are brand new little 4 door daewoo ty pe cars none over 10 years old also the 4x4twin cab utes are popular. wearing of thongs, t shirts and shorts are the go on scooters and motorbikes. I did see one old harley with the guy in full leathers. Time for me to head to ed and get some sleep.
Sunday 4th May 2008
Up at 6am to get early morning photos of trees in front of the hotel in Padang Mederka and some buildings. Then back to room to relax ujntill 8am and then down to the Aurora bistro for my buffett breakfast. started off with yoghurt and fruit, coffee, followed by poached eggs with a little scrambled eggs as well and tomato and toast washed down with an orange juice. So many items on the buffet many so much for my dieting.
Mostly Asian guests at the hotel with a sprinkling of westerners. I noticed at breakfast only 1 oher westerner eating alone, but no wasn't going to chat him up. My cold is turning into stuffy sinus and chest but I will not let it ruin my holiday.
11am and I have just come back from a walk to the city mosque and toan old shopping complex, where i bought some shoes. I know I said I wouldn't buy shoes but at 6 ringit what a bargain. So far in total i have only spent 165 ringit. I am sitting in the hotel lobby drinking lots of water and watching people come and go. the humidiy is playing havoc with my chest cold.
2pm and I ventured out again after a rest, I walked along Jalan Mcdougall past St Thomas Anglican church down past the brigly coloured cinema complex. A lightening and thunder show happened for a few minutes followed by a massive downpour of rain for 30 mins, I managed to stay under the shop walkways to keep the camera dry. I looked in a gallery at some beautiful silk paintings and spoke to the artists. A large silk painting cost 1200 ringit which realy equates to less than $60 Aud. but i had no way of carrying it or being a sunday of posting it home.
Walked down to the warerfront again and went to the crowne plaza shopping centre to try and find a chemist I just wanted some panadol and something for my chest cough. No chemist on duty on sunday so could only get panadol for the sinus headache. Cannot buy cold and flu medicine without the chemist permission.
I looked at lots of silver jewellery expecially rings but alas i dont have skinny little Asian fingers so nothing would fit. i purchased a Kuching (cat city) t shirt for my youngest daughter .
3pm saw me back at the waterfront at the James Squire bistro again, drinking more carlesberg and this time trying the spicey chicken laksa. which was divine. I was going to do a sunset cruise at 5pm but didnt have enough ringit money and only place that would change travellers cheques on a sunday is my hotel and I didnt want to walk that far and back again. Money changers dont take travellers cheques only change cash. after a few drinks i wandered back to my hotel and went up to the roof top pool to swim and get some sunset pictures. sunser was at 5.30 pm. Sunset over the distant clouds wasnt great due to the dark clouds.
8 pm finds me back in the English bar at the hotel, deciding i will really celelbrate my birthday and have a blast. I could have gone out somewhere else but with my chest getting worse decided it would be easier to just down lots of chardoonay and crawl back upstairs to my room at the end of the night. at 7pm I was the only one in the bar besides the Malaysian band that was setting up ready to play.
To be continued.