Sunday, November 05, 2006
With our itch for adventure, satisfied tummies, a rudimentary map and no clue, we set off for a "car ride". We thought about it for a while, and then concluded hiking up a waterfall could be quite a cool way to spend the rest of the afternoon. Remembering vaguely, that as a child, my parents had brought me to this place called Kotta Tinggi, we set off in the general direction, following the very informative road signs. Malaysia Boleh!!!
The Malaysian road network has got to be one of the most confusing in the world. The road signs would point to Kotta Tingi, we would follow it, there would then follow a very noticeable lack of signage, by which time we would find ourselves back where we started. The road map that I had wasn't helping either. It was actually a simple map of the state of johor with the major trunk roads shown, but little else. As a result, we had to rely on instinct and my general knowledge of the area, which Darren found amusing to dispute.Ming
- Err magic wok (his bowling nickname) .... I hate to tell you this, but we're going in the wrong direction.Darren
- What makes you say that? I've got a feeling we are going in the right direction. This feels right.Ming
- Err, well, we passed the carrefour on the left, and the malaysia telekom building is on the right. Therefore, that way is north. We're supposed to be going east.Darren
- No no no, we are actually south of carrefour ... therefore we are going in the right direction (He conveniently changes the geography to suit his needs)
After 15 minutes a sign pops out ...Darren
- Oh ok ... (makes a u turn)
The able navigator, takes a sweet out of the glove compartment and rewards himself ... mwahahahah ...
We must have wasted about a good hour plus trying to get on ther right road, but we finally did. Ah, this looks more like it, the scenic route.
Long before the North-South highway appeared, I remember travelling up roads like these to KL. Bumpy as hell, but the fruit stalls, vegetable farmers (carrying baskets on their shoulders), and natural lavatories made it an experience I remember fondly. We used to go up in convoys of 5 cars, family friends, kids and all. We went all over. To KL, Ipoh, Genting, Cameron Highlands., Penang. This happened almost every year, and we would do lots of stuff like jungle trekking, horse riding, shit like that. These two girls, Karen and Michelle (Below at a recent dinner at my place), my sister and me even formed a club ... ... we called it the mickey mouse club .... yes I know ... I was a sad sad kid! Hahahahahahah ... my brother was way too cool to join.
Anyway, after travelling along that country road for about an hour and a half, we came to a crossroads. To the left, the sign pointed to Kota Tinggi, to the right Desaru. Not sure which one the waterfall was, I chose Desaru, thinking it rang more of a bell.
Malaysians will know I was wrong (Darren insisted I spit out the sweet as a punishment, but it was long gone). Desaru, is a stretch of 22KM long beach. After having spent quite alot of my time on sentosa's beaches, you would think I'd be sick of it. But no ... this is quite something else. The expanse of the beach is quite amazing. The sand is soft, and the waveeess! There were people surfing on them. I really did have half a mind of joining them, but realised I hadnt brought my beachwear.
It's a sad story that is repeated all throughout malaysia. Desaru is a natural beauty that Singapore never had and will probably never rival, and yet the potential of the place is just neglected to such a degree. Tanjung, siloso and Palawan beach, being manmade beaches could never compare to the raw beauty of Desaru. But add in amenities like resort style toilets, foodcourts, bars, landscaped walkways, piped bose music, and what a place it becomes. Desaru's public facilities on the other hand ... are far from desirable.
I had to pay 30 sen to get into this toilet! Which very frankly, was nothing short of skank, and the kind of place I'd go to film my horror movie (I'm making a movie someday soon btw).
And check out the "BBQ pit" ... ...
Depressed by the state of public facilities, we decided to head down the road to a resort we had seen on the way in for some respite.
Now, that's more like it!
Over a drink of pink guava, I poured through the brochure and room rates and started planning my own GREAT MALAYSIAN ROAD TRIP! Yes, yes, recruitment begins soon, I'm going to get a bunch of people, load them up into three or four cars, and off we go around the east coast, then back down the west ...! WHO's WITH ME!!??? Dun lidat lah! Malaysia Boleh leh!
Anyway, it was getting late, and I had promised my mum to join the family at my favourite restaurant in Singapore for dinner! CHONG QING HOT POT! Gooood ol' ass burning fun. On the way back, all these songs from our high school era started playing over the radio.
Me and darren started reminiscing AC days when we would call up 98.7FM, and request a song. Like "Hullo, I'd like to dedicate this song to all my classmates in sec 2B1, study hard for prelims, good luck, and also to my girlfriend, I heart you long long" ... hahahahahaha ... shit, those were the days. Days which held simple joys and expectations. Days not very different from today. Thank god we started out the day without a plan!