Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kg Ulu Geruntum

That's the name of the place where we started our whitewater rafting adventure on Saturday. It's somewhere in Kampar, Perak.

The 5 of us took the 7.30am bus from Puduraya to Ipoh, where Charis, Viv and Eric met us. Then we rendezvous with Nad, Pang and Kun at the Gopeng toll plaza. The convoy of 4 cars then headed towards Gua Tempurung where an Uhuru (the rafting guide company) rep was waiting.

We arrived there, and promptly climbed into the lorry (yes, the 4WD turned out to be a lorry!) that will take us to the starting point - Kg Ulu Geruntum.

Amy was our head guide, and he assigned us to Kado and Mickey the other 2 raft captains. We split into 2 groups, I got in a raft with Iz, Diana, Pang and Kun with Kado as the captain.

So we head into the river with only 2 out of 11 actually know anything about whitewater rafting before. We learned the correct floating technique, the manouvreing techniques etc, and before long off we go!

It goes on about 9km, with the rapids on a scale of between 1.5-3. That means it's okay for us beginners lor. For grade 4-5, better leave it to the more seasoned veterans.

And there we were, 7 bankers, 1 HR manager, 1 insurance agent, 1 fashion consultant and 1 something-or-the-other (sorry Pang) working our way down the river, getting ourselves wet and wild. Wait, that doesn't sound so kosher.

We stopped at the midway point to take a (voluntary) dip to cool off (rather than the involuntary ones, which tend to make some of us panicky). The final stretch of the journey is almost sightseeing, the rapids are very mild (Honeymoon Rapid, Kado said)and the sight was awesome. Arrived at the finishing point sometime after 2pm, and proceeded to mandi sungai some more before heading back to Gua Tempurung for lunch.

Lunch was the only part of the trip we regretted. All of us, besides Irene, got diarrhoea. We're blaming the chicken curry.

It was a fun trip, a pity I can't take any pictures (you try it, and see if you can). This trip was well worth it. Next, looking forward to Kuching and Rainforest World Music Fest in July!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Longing For Distant Skies

me and Marina Bay

I woke up this morning with sand between my toes.

I was in Miri for the weekend, flew all the way there with 3 other friends just to catch the Miri Jazz Festival. Truth be told, I left KL with some reservations. Now that I've been there and back again, I can say I'm in love.

Chilli crab for lunch, superb!

We had seafood for lunch and dinner for two days. The prawns are huge and fresh, the crabs are succulent with roes abound, the squids are sweet and fleshy. Rice and vegetables became garnishings to our seafood fest.

Havana Sax doing their thing

On Saturday, we didn't do much besides driving around and getting lost in the small town with many one-way-streets. Later in the evening we went to the Parkcity Everly Hotel for the Jazz Fest. We arrived quite early, and so managed to see the sunset over South China Sea. The performers were highly entertaining. One of the bands (which I shall not name) even sang suggestive lyrics! Great fun we had, we only left the garden party around 1am.

Yesterday, we went to the handicraft shops around the city centre, and went to see the outskirts of the town as well. Then just before heading for the airport, we decided to stop by the beach nearby Marina Bay/Luak Bay. It was the best 45 minutes of my trip. The beach was empty save for us, the wind had an almost gale-like quality to it, and the water was cool beneath my feet. The four of us took pictures and videos to try and capture that moment. I doubt we succeded, but at least it will remind us of that moment.

Well I'm back in the office clearing mails the whole morning, delegating this and escalating that, coordinating this and orchestrating that. Life resumes as normal for me.

Me, I'm going back to Miri just for the sand, surf and sun.

I think the sand is not just in between my toes, I guess it's in my heart as well.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Is it any wonder that we allocate so much leeway to people we are close too? The closer they are, the more they can get away with. Say, if you were driving down MRR2 and some souped up Gen2 starts prodding you from behind, most times you'll yield and move aside (while uttering some curses, of course). But what if when you turn to look at the driver and it turned out to be your cousin, or your good friend? Of course, smiles are exchanged and you'll laugh the whole thing off. As if those cusses never escaped your mouth.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Synopsis

I've been on a readfest lately. Bought several books, and read several more. I've gone through Levitt & Dubner's Freakonomics and Garcia Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whore, and am reading Garcia Marquez's Love in Time of Cholera. However, I decided to loan it out to Alicia first and borrowed Eugenides' Middlesex from her.

There's still Burgess' Malayan Trilogy and King's Tales From a Buick 8 yet unread. I really should stop buying books and finish reading them first.

I am going off to Miri next weekend for the Miri Jazz Festival along with a few colleagues. It will be a short trip only, didn't take any extra leave. Will leave for Miri on Saturday morning and return to KL on Sunday evening.

Last weekend I was in Kuala Kangsar for MCOBA Weekend, which I find very drab this time around. I have made plans to skip the next two events in anticipation of 2010's event. Make no mistake, the time spent there was priceless. Had loads of fun with the guys, just that the usual festival atmosphere of OBWs weren't evident. Probably this was due to the fact that it was held earlier than usual.

Can't really elaborate on anything much, mind is empty and stomache is full. The period after Friday prayers are only good for siestas. Work? What is that?