May 15, 2014

BALI DAY 3: Tanah Lot, Black Sand, Whisper Thin Pork

Now for some hyper throwbacks (ugh I hate that word). Reminisce, shall we? Did this trip to Bali really take place two years ago? My fellow travellers are now in all corners of the earth. Suzanne's in Australia, Nian Fong's having the time of his life updating us on his working holiday at NYC, but whew. the rest of us are still in Malaysia, having the time of our lives. Working. 

So, that's that. 

This is the... third day? WE FINALLY GOT TO TANAH LOT! 
BEHOLD. THE LAND OF CRASHING WAVES AND CLIFFS.

I MISS THIS PERSON. QUITE A BIT. 

as you can see, the wind's incredibly hyperactive.  

If you are one of my rare readers who've been following my unfruitful Bali posts, i think i've mentioned that this Bali trip can also be known as the place where iphone's panorama function came in good use! honestly, you either fork over the money for ultra wide angle lens or you panorama the x out of the place. 

As this trip took place two years ago, what i can write about this place should serve as a good guideline because it has stayed with me for so long! 

Discounting tourist herds, Tanah Lot is a beautiful bay that slows down your breathing. 

Eyes roam from end to end, trying to drink in the vast vista, take deep deep breaths; all the while trying desperately to keep your hat from being blown away.  

That really spoils the zen-ness.

We had our share of touristy shots too!   

almost one and only group shot of the entire trip :O 
Then we proceeded to the beach. There is actually a temple by the bay, but it's only accessible during low tide. So no can do. Can only admire from afar with the rest of the touristsss. 

SOMEHOW. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US (except for sing han) HAD THE IMPRESSION THAT BALI IS FULL OF FLUFFY SANDY BEACHES. 

that's what you get for not researching your destination. 

so we packed beach outfits and all. Tanah Lot's the nearest we get to beaches for the whole trip! :( 
this is... weird rocky grey land. compulsory jump shot! (check out the crowds behind us)
Saw fat crabs and of course, crab chasing has to commence. Until it intelligently sought cover under the rock. 

We were having fun, listening to the super loud waves crashing and wind howling, chasing crabs, taking photos. 

All of a sudden, Nian Fong started saying, "eh there's a turtle leh."

I wasn't paying attention to what he said because we were still preoccupied by the crab. I vaguely remember Gordon replying things like "that's a sack of rice lah. where got turtles here one."

This conversation repeated itself for sometime. 

Until we took a closer look. 

IT DID SEEM LIKE A TURTLE. 

It's my first real life encounter of a turtle. Usually we only get to see it on National Geographic. 

It's larger than a sack of rice, and the dark oval shape kept getting pushed by the waves, bobbing against some rocks. i wondered why didn't it just swim away. 

Until the reason became apparent. 

Two guys were standing on some rocks, nearer to the turtle than the others, and they were shouting instructions at each other. 

Finally the turtle came nearer and nearer to the shore, and then this happened: 
the turtle was already dead. and they were towing it along by its neck. 





*horrified silence*




then Sing Han commented, "the Balinese eat turtles one. it's their culture."





*horrified, bug-eyed stares all round*




HAIH. it's their culture. I wonder how did they get the noose around its neck. At least they weren't hunting them down with motorized boats. That wouldn't be fair to the turtles. 

We slowly wandered on, taking a look at the nearby stalls and houses (mostly not open), and heading to the other end of the bay. 

There was another small temple at the very end of the cliff, linked by a natural narrow stone walkway. 

On the way there, some of the wind is alleviated by some trees and bushes. When we reached the bridge, we took a step forward. Into direct contact with the wind. 

(sorry if i sound very long winded)

 THE WIND!

SO STRONG!

we were physically blown back and sand instantly entered our eyes hahahaha

everyone retreated hastily. 

"ow ow ow ow ow!"


Sadly that seemed like the end of our Tanah Lot trip. Blinking, we slowly made our way back.

Then i noticed a sort of gateway with this crazy steep stairs in the bushes. the wind was blowing so hard, big bright green wasps were taking cover at the stone walls. 

the steps seem to lead to a beach below, so we gamely decided to make our way down. 
pause for a selfie. the steps were slippery and mossy.

we made very slow progress. but it's all worth it. 



TA DAH! 
it's a black sand beach. volcanic sand? very interesting. i have never come into contact with black sand before. 

Plus, we had the whole beach to ourselves! 
Nian Fong insisted on some inspiring 'looking far away' photos. 


Scroll down for more photos of us! heeheehee. 


I MISS THESE TWO PERSONS. PLEASE COME BACK SOON. 
i lied. this is the second (or third?) group photo of the trip. 

the beach may seem rather dirty in the photos, but actually it's just fine glittery black sand. all other objects on the beach consist of fat rocks and branches. 
*WIND*


having found a 'secret' beach, we happily headed back to the car, where Nyoman the driver is awaiting. 

once again, good food in Bali doesn't come easily. HAVE TO DRIVE FAR FAR. 


so there's plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, doze, sweat our butts off, and then we arrived.  

the infamous babi guling. google WARUNG IBU OKA and you can find loads of hi-res juicy images and detailed information on how this pig is stuffed with aromatic herbs and slow roasted on a pike for HOURS on end and then finally whisper thin slices are served to us with a drizzle of UMAMI-FILLED spicy sauce. 

huhuhu.

a couple on the neighbouring table turn out to be Malaysians too! and they kindly gave us tips on what to order and what not to. heehee. i love my country lah.  
 guests sit on cool stone floors on the second storey, overlooking a garden. 

*inserts sound of flowing water* 

whisper thin pork. we got the last few servings of this! the tables after us couldn't get any :(
some sort of fried crackly skin. as per usual, addictive. 
sup tulang to wash down the pork. 
a photo at the restaurant entrance! hope this gives a teensy idea of how the restaurant is like HAHA since i didn't get proper photos of the place. hunger does that to you. 

yellow silk parasols and stately kemboja flower trees everywhere. 

(i googled 'ji dan hua' and kemboja came up HAHAH)





*****




HMM. no idea how to end this post. So that's it folks, this is BALEH, DAY THREE. PART 1. 



PART 2 will come in 2015. 



Goodnight! I'm sleeping super early these days because i'm waking up super early to grab parking at the ktm station. 



*****


Here's your fun fact of the day: 

DID YOU KNOW THE ASSHAT SHAH ALAM CITY COUNCIL IS GIVING OUT PARKING SUMMONS? 

almost every single day?

even though the very same council is renovating all the available parking surfaces and barring us from entry to the parking lots?

INSANITY, MAN. INSANITY.  


look i'm thankful that you're anticipating our needs and creating beautiful smooth new parking surfaces for us all but in the meantime please don't boost your saman commission by coming here everyday. 

all those poor cars are sitting ducks. easy pickings. fishes in barrel. 


you see, after the extreme commute, everyones' faces are like:
same miserable expressions and clods of dirt :< 

like a mantra, we chant "it's okay. we commute. save the earth. save our legs. save petrol."


THEN YOU COME AND GIVE US BIG FAT WHITE RECEIPTS. OH NO SIR. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NO THANKS. NO FAT THANKS. 


so far i've totted up three of them, which makes it RM200. 

which is WHY i die die also wake up at 5:30 everyday.

so that i won't need to pay that asshat's commission. 




goodnight! sleep tight! 

May 11, 2014

a look at the colourful boat toilets of terengganu

have you ever tried to find out the origins of a name? rumor has it that 'terengganu' came from a bunch of explorers who found a huge fang (taring) and asked the locals what kind of animal did it come from. no one knew so they said "taring anu", which means something like 'whatever animal'. HAHA. so the story goes. 

i visited terengganu last month on a seven-day squid jigging trip. 

'jigging' brings up all sorts of unpleasant mental imagery. basically, you use a sort of jig to fish for squids. 

these photos were taken on the second trip outta sea to mencandat sotong! 

there are groups of five for each boat, as well as a marshall to count the squids you jigged. 

all the other groups were dawdling and since my group only had two members, we had plenty of time left for 'headcounts' and ..... nothing. 

lots of waiting ensued. luckily terengganu is such a photogenic state. 
these boats are all so colourful, it just makes me smile! and squint. 
and there's only so many self portraits you can take without getting bored. 
that's when i noticed that most of the boats had rather interestingly designed wash rooms, if you could call them that. boat outhouses? 
close up. that's a wicker door! 

there weren't any toilets in my boat's immediate neighbourhood, but then i noticed nicer toilets opposite. look at those pastel colors :D
so i asked my marshall for permission hehehe and hopped aboard other boats for a closer look. 
this is the toilet of my boat. very utilitarian and clinic colours.
my michelin shadow on the way to the other boats. 
COLORS. YES. 
ta-dah! painted a bold fire engine red, this is for those sos keropok lekor overdoses. 
whoever came up with these colour combinations must be a happy person. 
rickety detailing on the door to provide some privacy. 
those outhouses are open to the elements, so here's an instagram-like view from the top: a pail of water to... er.. flush, F&N bottle reused, a hole.  "ambil gambar? boleh!"

***


"ambil gambar tandas? rumah kau tak de tandas ke?"


***


"HAHAHAHAHA"


***


"amoi ini mau ambil gambar tandas!"



A moderately attractive orange 'n lime green wash room to provide to your every need. 
faded pastels lend an industrial air to these reclaimed exposed wooden planks. 
nails bleeding rust in another lime green outhouse. lime green's pretty popular, huh? 
swivelling chunk of wood acts as an effective lock.  
so i guess this is the view of an extra tall person minding his business. 



by this time, the other participants were swarming their boats and my team-mate gestured at me to hurry up and get back. So ladies and gents, there goes our very short tour of the creativity people can come up with if you give them enough pots of paint. 


I clambered back quickly and here we go! 

a last-ditch effort at zooming in and taking a shot of that pastel toilet HAHA. seriously that's cerulean blue, pale peach, light pink, grey, light blue, black, and turqoisey shades on a freaking boat toilet! 

the ones i remember from my childhood trips consist of ugly grey boards and huge blue buckets. there's no such happy colours and detailed wicker doors. i hope this explains my excitement and admiration. hehe. 


it was an insanely choppy ride, so i took that time to explore my camera settings instead of focusing on seasickness. 
woots! instant filters. 
here's a view of the sunset as we rock to and fro, clutching the camera with an ultra seasick frown on my face. it's pretty peaceful except for the real-life five-hour pirate ship ride. 

captain says that this is considered normal for them though. :(

taring anu's really beautiful. many thanks to the terengganu tourism board, mencandat sotong peeps, new friends and old friends for making the trip such a fun one, and my boss for giving me the chance to jig for squids! took so many photos and i finally got a slight hang of the ISO, shutter speed thingies heehee. 

no promises but hey, i'll probably write more about terengganu. sometime in the far future. heh. 

it's Monday tomorrow! i'm writing this just so i can hang on till 9pm then go to sleep until it's time to wake up at 6am for the traaaaain! 

that's it folks. goodnight!