Wednesday, 17 July 2013

kundasang...the valley of life part 2.


The time in Sabah/Sarawak is one hour faster than Semenanjung. While waiting for everybody to dress up, I went to the window admiring at the beautiful scenery outside. It was 6pm and the sun was about to set and it's getting dark especially with fogs started to make its presence. It's weatherly cold. I reminded all family members to bring jumpers/overcoats along or what so ever clothings to warm up the body since outside will be colder. Amer and Alia were already with running nose.

From my window this is the panorama that is so alluring at this hour of the day. So interestingly charming. I have to record this. There are 365 different sunsets per year, everyday with a different character of colour and setting. The  glow of the sunlight is casting an abstract silhoutte over the distant Bundu Tuhan's forest skyline.

I remember Dr. Sab used to bring me to one  'fine dining' venue serving ready to cook hot meals. I think for tonight I'll recommend this restaurant to my entourage. It compliments the weather by taking hot foods. The weather outside was almost ice cold. The car windows all shut down but still we're shivering inside. Amer was driving while I was at the front seat trying hard to locate the restaurant. At last we found the place. All tables were fully seated. We managed to get one table under a 'casuarina' tree with nice underground lighting. The ambience was so romantically sweet.

Everybody with own preferences. For the main dish everybody agreed on fish head curry while side orders were sizzling bean curds, stir fried kailan, fried eggs and sea food tom yam. Everything should be hot and spicy. While waiting for the food to be served, we experiments with some night shots of Canon DSLR and  my cute Nikon bridge. The long telephoto camera is a pre requisite gear for travel especially for wild life and nature photography. For Mount Kinabalu, of course camera with wide and long zoom is highly recommended. I brought some telephoto lens for Canon DSLR but it's too heavy and troublesome for a person of my age. So Amer and Nisa did all the photograhing using the Canon.

I was informed that this restaurant belong to one YB, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, a local Kadazan Dusun himself. This restaurant, NABALU restaurant was in operation for few years and the space is becoming bigger. At the entrance compound, more structures find their way for accomodation dorm and lodge type rooms. No wonder the background song is the Kadazan song by one of the Akademi Fantasia artist, Linda Nanuwil, a native of Kundasang. They are  proud of their roots. 

After dinner, as we were heading towards the hotel, we saw lots of cars and people stopping by the roadside for some late night shopping at the make shift stalls. As the weather is conducive for strolling and leisure walk, we parked the car at the far end of the stalls in order to avoid traffic confusion. I saw lots of young girls tending customers while the parents were having their sweet rest at the back of the stalls.

I spoke to one of the girls who's busy helping the parents at one of the stalls. According to her, most girls at the stalls are students either still schooling at the nearby kampung schools or attending colleges in town. Now is school holiday and some colleges are on semester breaks. Working at the stalls helping parents is part and parcel of their life. There is nothing as 'lepak2' or 'rempit2' like town folks do. Customers are only coming especially on weekends or festive seasons. The rest of the time this place is quiet. Formerly the stalls were on the opposite side of the road but now they are here due to road widening works in progress. Once the work is over, these stalls will be shifted to a permanent site.

There are travellers frequenting this road 24 hours. This is the main road linking east and western parts of Sabah. Some of the stalls are operating till the wee hours depending on the customers. 

I cautioned my kids about life in the real world, to let them feel and witness with their very own eyes how hard life is. My kids had never been in these girls shoes. At this very hour they're still awake and attending the customers with smiles. One of the many reasons of this vacation is to let my kids to see the real world in the remote interior. I want them to realise what life is like in the less fortunate places and want them to understand that they are the lucky ones been able to grow up in a well to do society. So this vacation is the opportunity for them to travel, explore new cultures, expose to multi culturalism. Hopefully that one day they will grow into conscious and conscientious individuals.

Here is an extensive market with many stalls selling wide variety of foodstuff from tit bits to cut fruits, honey, flowers and all sorts of vegetables. The smell of spices was so strong that it's faintly discernable in the air. Wandering aimlessly especially after a heavy meal with this kind of friendly weather, actually is a pleasure. More so when you know for sure it's hard to get lost. The place is compact, it's ideal for walking as an exercise. The prophet recommends us to walk 100 steps after every meal. Scientifically it fits the health bill.

After chatting with the sales girl, as a form of appreciations on her time attending me and for some knowledge from her, I bought some tit bits, keropok/fish crackers, pisang salai/smoke banana chips, cut fruits and some pickles for some 'night crunching'. These are going to be my loyal friends because I'm going to stay up till morning. I can't afford to miss the viewing session as I did on last visit. 

A night to shower with a lasting memory.

to be continued on part 3.