Friday, October 12, 2012

DOWN MEMORY LANE



Google. pic

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Grapes bring me down memory lane when I was a wee little girl of around 5 or 6. During one of those rare occasions, my dad (now late) decided to bring the whole family for a trip to town, now city of Kota Kinabalu.

We were a family of little means and that particular time, my dad must have acquired some money cos I remembered it was a joyful occasion. My mum, my younger sister and then my brother, who was the youngest then, excitedly woke up early in anticipation for that long walk to the main road where we would catch the bus downtown. My brother who was about 2, I think, was too young to walk and my dad would carry him on his shoulders.

Upon alighting from the bus, I was amazed at how big the town was. You see we seldom venture away from our kampong apart from going to that little town Inanam then and even that was rare. So we went to a stall to eat that biig bowl of mee soup and oh boy that was the tastiest food I have ever eaten ever, lol!


That meal was followed by a visit to a fruit market where rows and rows of fruits were sold, red apples, green apples, oranges, juicy grapes of various colours, green, red, purple.  I don't really know why we went there for I can't remember us buying anything other than going through that rows of juicy looking fruits. My mouth was watering every minute and I couldn't help but noticed those gorgeous looking grapes. So I tugged at my dad's hand and nervously whispered, "Pa, can I have some of those?" My dad didn't say anything but looked at me sadly and he looked at my mum. Mum said, "No, cos they are very expensive and we can't afford them." I nodded sadly and we started to walk away. I guessed my dad must have felt very sorry for me 'cos suddenly he stopped and asked the stall owner whether he could buy a small bunch of the grapes and how much would it cost.

I couldn't remember how much, but he managed to get a small bunch of the grapes and we happily divided it amongst us. It was the most delicious fruit I have tasted ever. I vowed to myself then, when I grow up, I would buy all the grapes that I can afford....haha..



Yours Truly with friends just having fun camwhoring at a vineyard in Seddon, NZ.
Those are just harvested grapevines cultivated especially for wine-making. 
There were some left-over fruits on the vines and we just could not help popping them straight to our mouth. No worries, no pesticides were used.



Pic below:  Credit goes to my lovely friend Agnes for
 WatsApp-ing me this lovely picture of a vine in Perth, Australia
 during her visit there recently.  

This post which I have posted before when I first started blogging. 
Now re-posted as was prompted by Agnes' pic of
these grapevines.

For  Grapes Nutrition facts, do visit  


Anyway, she is home now and complaining about the weather hahaha.. 

Here is her WatsApp (message through hand phone) to me (I was already fast asleep)   :)

Agnes:  I niss the weather in Oz. Here I constantly feel sticky, bloody humid.
I brought back wine which is from a winery near the house. U c d tiny grapes. D vineyard is about 10 min from the hse. Food is good.  Had kangaroo steak.

Me upon waking up early mornAdoii, sorry couldn't reply last nite.  I think I was fast zzzzzzzzzzz.  Love the grapevine pics. So green and fresh.     Hey what you mean your job here is done.... You still got plenty of work to do like accompany me go tamu (market) or eat ngiu cap (beef noodle soup).   hahaha..
 (this was with reference to  our earlier WatsApp  conversation. We ere talking about some products that contain SLS which can cause cancer. I told her we shouldn't use the stuff then 'cos I want to live longer and she responded:   

Agnes:  Who cares, last last die also.

Me:        Hooii...hahaha.. but I want to last longer. 

Agnes:   I don't know, I am ready to go.  Siap already my job here..

Me:      Hey what you mean your job here is done.... You still got plenty of work to do
              like who is going to accompany me go tamu (market) or eat ngiu cap (beef noodle soup).  ..hahaha


Hahaha...crazy conversation... 
Agnes if you are reading this... so when you wanna belanja me go eat ngiu cap? :D


Monday, October 8, 2012

TROPICAL ISLE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA..


Late afternoon on Friday 28th September, the 14 of us boarded the plane from KK LCCT Terminal 2 bound for Tawau.  The 45 minutes flight felt like 15 minutes for I was just about to doze off when the crackling sound of the announcement to land came out breaking my reverie.  My last trip to Tawau was like ages ago and that was for work related trip.  I was looking forward to visiting Tawau again as it would also give me the opportunity to visit my sister and her family of whom I have not met for a long time.  But that would come later as we first had to travel to Semporna to stay for the night before the trip to Sipadan Island.

The 2 vans were waiting for us upon landing at Tawau airport. The driver told us that the journey to Semporna would take about 1 1/2 hours though it later felt like forever.  The journey was mostly on flat land and in between dozes I managed to glimpse vast oil palm plantations.  We were told that we would be staying at the Dragon Inn in Semporna and when arrived, we were pleasantly surprise as the inn was built on the sea which looked like  a floating resort.
 

walkway of the Dragon Inn


.. no time to shop...*sob*

The following morning we woke up early to catch the boat to the islands. After breakfast, we headed for the jetty where the Chairman of Sabah Parks, YB Dr Joachim Gunsalam (now Datuk) and his family were waiting and travelling with us.  Incidentally, this trip was sponsored by Sabah Parks as part of its offer to the Reigning Unduk Ngadau and the Committee who will in turn promote these local tourist destinations.


cloudy day

the other boat... 


children of sea gypsy


the sea is their playground...they can stay underwater for a long time and
catch fish with their bare hands.



the lady tourist was crossing the bridge to get to the other house, saw us watching and gave us a little dance ..hehe



 ..friendly diver tourists at Mabul Island with friendly locals



the other boat.. it was racing  with our boat ...:)


We had earlier been worried as the weather forecast had forecasted a scattered rain and thunderstorm.  But the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  We set off into 2 boats and out into the open sea we went. The water was a little choppy and the ride was quite rough that at times when the boat hit the large waves, it would bob up and down giving out that loud thud that it felt as though the boat would split into two and my breakfast threatening to spill out.  We finally arrived Sipadan Island after like more than an hour of a see-saw ride. ..phew! Sipadan Island is a small rainforest covered tropical rising from a depth of more than 600 meters from the bottom of the Celebes Sea. It is touted as one of the best diving spot in the world!  

my first glimpse of the famed Sipadan island

to the turtle hatchery

.. out to the open sea releasing the day old baby turtles

 ..Go, baby go!!

of the hundreds released, we were informed that only 70% will survive. 
Others will get eaten by sea predators..

awww... 'sweet young things' - that's Elsie and Mell

                   And  the not so young ladies...
Opps can't remember who they are...hehe


We were received by the Sabah Parks Representative who went on to tell us a little bit about the island. The island is now protected and inhabited by army and Sabah Parks Staff only.   In its effort to preserve the island’s pristine state, the Park since 2005  has ordered all the onsite dive resort operations to move out  and has also limited only 120 divers on the island daily.  

Sabah Parks showed us their turtle hatchery place. This is part of their program to rehabilitate and protect the endangered leather turtles from extinction by collecting the eggs laid by the turtles, placing them in the hatchery and to later release them to the sea.



Some of us later went snorkeling as diving would take a lot preparation of which we were not prepared at all.   We had fun snorkeling saw various types of sea creatures but we unfortunately did not have time to venture and explore more of the place.  In the background, I thought I heard the Sabah Park Ranger warning us not to step on the corals as a piece of coral can take years to form.  Oopss,  sorry but I think I had accidentally knocked onto some when I lost my balance as I tried to remove water that had seeped into my goggle.  In the process, I stumbled due to the weight of the life jacket, teetered over and I felt a sharp pain in my legs. I had grazed my legs on the prized corals! 


..the present from Mr Coral..  :).  I was not alone having this.  We were later given first aid treatment by the Park.

We later said goodbye to the island and left for Sipadan Mabul Resort where we were to have our lunch.  Sipadan Mabul Resort which overlook the turquoise blue sea is nestled in a coconut grove on the south-east of Mabul Island. After our lunch, we headed home with a stopover at majestic Kapalai Resort and the stunning Bohey Dulang Island.

 'bye Sipadan


..did I say Mabul Island is nestled in a coconut grove...


a stopover at the beautiful Kapalai Resort


.. price to stay at this stunning place is beyond reach for ordinary folks like me.
Government servants are given special rates though....lucky 







 above : Kapalai Resort, floating man-made Sandbox...
 God's spectacular creations...
the soft gentle breeze and wide crystal clear open sea
 as far as your eyes can see
 under the clear blue skies

 ..the Bohey Dulang Isle..note the cyan coloured waters
Hope someday to join a Photography Safari at this island..

sea weed  - a pure marine-packed collagen

..still young giant clams.. 


..the Sleeping Lady Isle, sleeping peacefully. 
could not help noticing the twin peaks ... hahaha..isn't she gorgeous!?



goodbye Bohey Dulang.. hope to visit again someday

We arrived Semporna almost 5:00 pm and headed direct to Tawau where the Tawau Kadazan Community there accorded us a grand dinner reception.  



Monday, October 1, 2012

ISLAND IN THE SUN, A BEFITTING GOODBYE TO SEPTEMBER...



Yesterday is dead and gone. Goodbye September. You were good to me. Well not perfect but still good enough and I've got a lot to be thankful for really.  As the saying goes, nobody wants to be in pain, but you can't have the rainbow without the rain.  But oh, hello October… please, pretty please, be good to me. 

I’m still flushed, a present from the merciless sun. There are some reddish glow on my nose, my cheeks, angry red marks with a burning sensation on my shoulders, my neck and my arms so badly tanned.  Looks like the 50 SPF lotion couldn’t help much against the burning sun and protecting me from the tan effect.. arghh.  Knowing my skin, it will take several months for it to get back to the original tone.  I am not very fair-skinned by nature and have always been envious of those fair-skin ladies who will burn yet get back their normal colour in no time. With this newly acquired but certainly not welcomed tan, looks like this would be my lament for months to come. 

Folks, this is the testament of my glorious weekend rendezvous of island-hopping on the breathtakingly beautiful isle Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai Resort and Bohey Dulang situated on the east coast of Sabah.  With God's grace, the weather that last weekend of September was perfect and I had the most wonderful time. So burnt skin or not, I would do it again in a heart’s beat! 

Thanks to the Chairman of Sabah Parks, YB Dr Joachim Gunsalam for according me and my UNK gang the fantastic opportunity! Sabah Parks is a statutory body under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment. 

Ok, will talk more about the trip later.  Meanwhile, allow me to show off some pictures of the trip... :). Cheers!!



 our ride

..spot me..


Sweet Young Things..

.. the group pic


releasing the baby turtles to the sea..



.. a closed-up 

lovely Jo and moi at Maldives...errmm.. .at Kapalai Resort







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