My Tampoi…

March 4, 2009

Outstation to Bintulu

Filed under: Current Agenda,Life,Media,Photos,Work — ericltkong @ 9:15 pm
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This is my 2nd day in Bintulu for work. it’ll be a long month for me and thank God is not a remote places where there’s problem with phone lines.

I’m staying in the company’s quarter for executive and there’s no internet access for now that i’m at one of the HR officer’s home using his wi-fi.

Photos you’ll get to see eventhough i did not bring my DSLR along, just relied on my phone then. here goes;

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cheers & GB…

January 3, 2009

Similajau’s Trip @ 31st-Dec-08

This is an overdue of wat i did on the last day of 2008. the last day of 2008 was spent on making a road trip to Bintulu for Hartz Chicken buffet and to Similajau National Park.

I’m not going to talk about how was food-hunting experience although i have my DSLR and laptop bag confiscated before sitting my butt down for eating. i was damned pissed that time but too bad it was not my turf to cause any commotion. the food there have not change since i last eaten it like 5-6 yrs ago back in Kuching. i remembered the last time i ate was a 3-days marathon over the weekend. it was basically just a one-meal day thing and that is, hartz chicken. but when it comes to the 3rd day, the look at it turns me down cos the chicken do not taste like one anymore.

Here are some shots from the national park:

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Someone drop their body part on the beach…too much hartz buffet i guess

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A tree that resemble a cross

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For the rest of the photos, please click HERE.

And here are some shots chosen:

cheers & GB…

June 11, 2008

Gawai Trip Pt. 2

This is the Part 2, continuation from Part 1 of the last holiday trip. the next morning which was apparently a sunday, we drove another 2hrs plus to reach Justin‘s longhouse Tanjong at Betong. started off around 6 something and reached there around 10 something in the morning. actually i dun intend to leave sibu that early since we’re still tired from the previous day trip.

one side of the longhouse

This longhouse (Tanjong) has only 18 rooms. rooms here means it includes a living room or sleeping area as well, kitchen and bathroom. and so, 1 room will have 1 family and they all shared a very big ruai (living room).

the background is the ruai

This longhouse’s structure is very strong, thanks to the wooden pillar (kayu berlian) and it can last for generations i can say. even if the strong wind comes and everything has been blown away, the stilts will still be there unscratch!

built on 29th Oct 1939 and moved in on 28th Apr 1940

Fyi, every longhouse has a headman and in this longhouse, it was justin’s ancestor. if you were to pay attention to the wooden wall of the above photo, you’ll see some carvings and it shows that this was partly built by the chinese ppl.

Oh ya, every new visitor who comes to the longhouse are welcome with open arms. we were greeted by the headman the moment we arrived there. keep on reading and you’ll able to get to meet the headman in a rather bizarre way… :)

The purpose of rushing there was to be able to make it for the lunch session. they have this custom where half of the longhouse families will invite the other half over for a meal on this special day. so, 1 half will invite for lunch and the other half will invite back for dinner session.

The first thing we did after putting down our luggages was to explore the whole area. justin brought cheryl and i to his farm which has a few cows. the empty green land was so vast that i thought i was in NZ. as for the cows, we didn’t see them until i moo-ed them over. and they did! furthermore, they’re very tame as walk steadily to our side waiting for us to serve them grass but we didn’t. haha…

one of the cow who was willing to pose for a shot :p

After hanging out at the barn, we went back to the longhouse for lunch session. but before the lunch session, there’s will be a hitting of the gongs ceremony. this is done by 2 or more persons that walk along each room in a way to notify each family to come out and follow them. this ritual is done for at least 6 or 7 rounds until all the families have come out and follow. to simplify the explanation, it’s like a possession inside the longhouse.

Since i did mentioned earlier that half of the families from the longhouse will be invited by the other half for lunch and dinner, the possession will go on as the invited families will be greeted by the other half of the families at their respective room doors. as you passed by each room, you will be greeted by tuak or soft drink if you do not drink. oh ya, it’s only 18 rooms but not all the families are around so it’s ok if you were to go pass 8 room having to drink the tuak being serve! fyi, the longest longhouse has 64 rooms and imagine to walk pass 32 rooms…..pheeww…

Once after this is done, all families will gather at the ruai for a “fund-raising program.” this fund-raising program comes wit gifts which every donor will get. all the gifts are actually 90% alcohol-themed and remaining are soft drinks. too bad, no such gifts as gadgets. :p

this is the prize-tree whereby all the gifts are beneath the wrapped-carpet

Since our side was the host, i just basically sat there and watched the whole event before having the chance to get my hands on the food that is served on 3 tables long!

FOOOOOOD….

After the lunch, it was music time. the folks there played all kinda tunes on the gongs. of cos that was not the only highlight, they even have dance as well. and this year’s gawai theme is ‘Poco Poco‘ and ‘Bujang Skrang.’ ‘Poco Poco‘ is originally an indon song (if i’m not wrong) but then there was an iban version that they played and dance to it. and man,this song has a very catchy tune. haha… here’s the video of ‘Poco Poco‘ if you’re wondering how it sounds like:

The dance was not only for the folks but even those ppl at our age too! so, the music and dance went on all the way till evening. as for those who were not dancing, they were seated with their families and friends enjoying their ‘beverages.’

Of course there were ppl who couldn’t be involve in either dancing or spending time with their families and friends. and the person i’m talking about is of cos the tuai rumah (Headman). he was so in his own world that i dun think he knows when the sky will collapse on him. hahaha… the theme song for this year’s gawai for him must be ‘Can you feel the tiger love tonight.’ remember that song by Elton John, of course without the word ‘tiger’ in the title. Randy has posted about this particular song’s lyric on his blog HERE.

nominee for The Photo of the Year 2008

While they were dancing, we were spending time exploring justin’s room. here are a few shots that i took around the room.

The tempayan (huge jugs) behind cheryl symbolized how wealthy or status of a family. so, the more jugs, the better off is the family.

The above 2 photos are the sword that was used for beheading other warriors. these swords are normally has hair attached to the handle. the hair belongs to the beheaded victims from those days.

Not only swords, there are also spears and blowpipe displayed on the wall as seen below.

Besides that, we did explored a little more of the surrounding outside.

jambatan (bridge) Tanjong

walking down the bridge

Mr. porky pork

We also fooled around with the animals horns inside the longhouse. haha…

Darren has the biggest horn! hehe…

Here’s a couple of shot of cheryl with one looking out of the ruai and the other in sarung;

someone made her angry… i wonder who.hmm…

the sarung gal…with belt :p

At around evening while waiting for our turn to be invited over to the other half of the longhouse for dinner, there was ngajat (traditional dance) performance or should i say rehearsal for the later night event. a few shots as prior to the dinner that also include another fund-raising but it’s our turn of donating and getting gifts.

See the bald guy in the above photo, i was told he was a magistrate in kuching. the day when we arrived we were told he was so drunk the previous night with his bodyguards that they all slept all the way till evening on the very next day. there was a joke about the magistrate; ever wonder do you come across the news certain cases have been postponed around this time due to the magistrate is busy? that’s becos he was too drunk to hear a case.

Here one of the ngajat‘s shots though not clear. too bad i din manage to video it.

The nite started off wit dinner before the fund-raising is carry out. Here are the shots for the event that nite. i din stayed back for the late nite event after the fund-raising cos i was too exhausted from the trip on the car.

the gawai gift tree

the tuai rumah just woke up and still look sober

tuai rumah making annoucement

group shot in possession

this is the gift i got from donation

Before i go off, stay tune for the next part and hope that i’ll post up the next part. and lastly, i felt that i’m very old nowadays.

cheers & GB…

June 6, 2008

Gawai Trip Pt. 1

Since i was back last tue till now, i din blog about my vacation due to a few factors. firstly, there was way too much photos for me to edit (totaled 800+ of them). then i was hit by flu and sore throat and still enduring it. last but not least of cos is the workload when i went back to office. but thank God that everything was under control.

This trip or i called it ‘vacation’ even though to some of you may not even consider it as one, is one that i have anticipated for since the beginning of the year. besides, i needed a break from the real world so badly that 2003 was the very last year i stepped out of this oil town. this trip is basically just make a trip down to Betong, to Justin‘s Tanjong longhouse. it’s really a good choice since i love nature and it doesn’t matter i there’s no shopping mall. wat’s important is that there’s shelter, food and clothes!

This post is the 1st part of i-don’t-know-how-many parts and this post will be basically about my trip wit my sweetheart, cheryl and justin. i took the last saturday off from work instead of working half-day. so, cheryl and i stayed over at justin‘s place on friday cos we planned to set off the next day around 9am. our things was packed and waiting to be loaded onto the pick-up.

Part of the luggages

Part of the luggages we’re bringing

I basically just brought a big bag and a backpack. but then my big bag is lighter than my backpack cos i brought along lappie for the trip, thinking that i have time to watch movie which i didn’t. we slept early that night so that we could get up early to prepare and also we’re tired from our work. haha… cheryl was the only one who stayed up till 2am to watched her movies. and please watch out the photos below if you do not sleep well for a long trip.

The following morning (saturday), we got ready the stuffs to be loaded onto the vehicle and prepared breakfast. it’s always good to eat nicely but not fully before driving for a long journey cos it helps to stay alert and can reduce a number of stops make for getting something to munch.

We also got ready a box of mineral water with us for the journey. i know it’s a hassle for road trip of 6-8hrs drive that you always need to look for places to relieve over here in the Sarawak, unlike semenanjung (west malaysia) where you have nice toilet or rest areas. over here, the common toilet will be the roadside if you’re not able to hold on but of cos there are petrol stations at certain areas.

It rained even before we set off at around 9.30am, not wat we expected though. i’ll be happy if it rain when i’m not going anywhere but sleep at home. driving in the rain is no fun, somemore on a long-winded road and some parts of it have huge pot-holes!

on full alert

cheryl was excited

ready to hit the road man!

wet wet road

As Mirians, it’s knowledgeable that there are 2 routes out of Miri. one is thru the airport passing Taman Tunku and the other one is thru the coastal highway all the way thru Esplanade beach. i’ve never use the coastal route before and this was the first time and i’ve come out with a conclusion of my own. the good thing about the coastal highway is that it saves alot of time but if you wanna see civilization, stick to the airport route. i personally like to look at scenery and therefore i prefer the airport route.

Rain got heavier as we drove on and this causes difficulty in seeing the road clearly. this is the main factor that slows down our arrival time to Bintulu.

it’s boring traveling on a road that no human live there!

The only things that can be seen along this road are palm trees and more palm trees! and if you’re lucky, you might bump into some cows crossing the road but just watch out for cow dung. haha…

We reached bintulu about 12pm and headed for lunch just before the cross-section of the road to Sibu. that eating place is a popular place for travelers to stop for a break before driving again.

We had ginger fried chicken, cangkuk manis and corn soup for our lunch. after filling our tummy, we headed for sibu heading thru the bintulu bridge.

Bintulu is an industrial city, where it has the highest pollution rate in this region. this is due to fact that the MLNG (liquified natural gas), fertilizer company and timber logs factories are here.

We didn’t stop by for going around the bintulu town area as we were rushing to sibu to fecth justin‘s father arriving from KK (kota kinabalu) in sibu airport in the evening. the journey on the way to sibu was the longest cos there’s no major town except for some minor town that you won’t be bother to stay over for the night. it takes around 3hrs to reach, depending on the weather condition.

In the midst, we did stop by Tatau area for toilet break. Tatau is a small area, just like Bekenu (located after miri). another small town after that is Selangau. the town area is different from other major town like sibu, bintulu or kuching as their town areas are just located right beside the highway instead of driving further for a number of kilometers.

While on the way to sibu, i felt abit tired but i couldn’t sleep cos cheryl was asleep at the back and i couldn’t leave justin driving on the road along. it’s advisable not to let the driver to drive alone on a long journey but instead keep talking to him to keep him awake. this is wat i did when i was bored since there was nothing to see on the road;

This is nostalgic for some of us, you can buy it for 10cents and it’s like a toothpaste that you put the paste or whatever-you-call-it on the little straw and blow it to make balloon. the only bad part is, it has an unpleasant smell. Here’s a few shots on the road before reaching sibu:

police watch tower but… where’s the police?!

We made a final stop for another toilet break before heading straight into sibu. remember wat i have mentioned earlier in this post that wat happen if you do not sleep enough for a long trip???

sleepy head… :p

Reached sibu around 5pm and headed straight to locate the airport. one funny thing about sibu is that, once you’re in you’ll have difficulty getting out. i think it’s because all their roads are linked to one another. so if you’re not careful, you might end up going round the town for a few round before noticing it.

Once we were at the airport, the first thing for me was to look out for any ATM machine available. why? cos during that time, i thought my pay was suppose to come out. well to my disappointment, no money coming in yet.

tu lan face waiting at the ATM

We then headed into the town area to meet up wit Jaq who was suppose to follow us on the trip initially but she couldn’t make it due to family matters. we were told to meet her up at the Dewan Suarah (civic centre) which we did had abit of trouble searching for it but eventually we found it.

The civic centre here is larger than the one in miri. just a bit of extra info, there are more churches than temples or mosques here too! and the methodist churches here are really huge as in they have their own compound and some even looks like a resort where you can stay over at this quiet place to seek God’s presence. furthermore, these churches are mostly located out of the town area quite a distance.

What they didn’t have is number of shopping mall. they only have one whereby we have 3! hehe… still, i have to say i like their one and only shopping mall. it’s call Wisma San Yan (San Yan Complex) owned by one of the Datuk.

It’s not only a shopping mall on itself, but wit a hotel attached to its side too. something like wat Bintang Plaza is doing now, implementing a hotel next to it. above the shopping mall is the office and it’s looks better than BP in miri. we did went in to walked around accompanied by Ah Lung but couldn’t shop the whole building due to time constraint. we only managed to bought newspaper and magazines to feed our non-working brains for that few days holidays.

After we met Jaq, we went over to her place to take our shower before heading off for dinner. and we met up wit her friendly little dog named ‘Gaby‘ (if i’m not wrong).

We went out to this place called Dynasty restaurant but it was closed and so we had to think of another place to eat. so, we ended up at Nice House restaurant.

thinking of where to go for makan

These restaurants mentioned are air-conditioned. it’s unlike here where shops that called themselves restaurant but yet it’s open-air like the typical koiptiam (coffee shop). from outside, the restaurant doesn’t attract but the food served in there is definitely delicious!

This is wat we had from the above photo. the one in the bowl is a roasted chicken cooked in a herbal soup. over here, it cost around RM30 or more but in sibu, it’s less than RM 20! on top of that, we had 2 veges and 1 meat dishes and altogether was only for RM 35+.

After the full meal, we headed for the airport but then there was delay in the MASWings flight. it was supposed to arrive at 9 something but then was further delayed till 10pm. we reached the airport after 10 still there was no sign of justin‘s father and we waited since we were told by the announcer that it’s still in the sky.

At around 10.30pm, there staffs rushing in and out of the arrival hall. we didn’t know wat happen until justin’s father told thru the phone that the plane he was on landed without the front landing wheel.

already 11pm and yet flight MH3187 is still in ‘confirmed’ status

The plane actually flew around the nearby area for 6th rounds before deciding to make a landing. this was one way to reduced the fuel in the plane cos it actually landed on the airport runway, instead of on the grass. landing on the runway wit tar against metal-plating of the plane could cos spark and result in an explosion. even the cavemen new this theory of making fire and they din do science! praise God it did not ended up that way. of course, there was ppl who panic especially some of the ladies. after the plane has landed and stopped at the runway, a few ladies couldn’t wait anymore and just jumped off from the back of the plane to the ground. so, they got hurt and they have to be brought to the hospital for further check-up due to back, hand or leg injuries.

Everything was settled around midnight and we decided to stay over at Jaq‘s place instead of driving straight to Betong for another 2hrs. it’s been a tiring but really thank God for smooth journey. well, that’s all for the 1st day trip. stay tune for part 2!

Keep the faith…

cheers & GB…

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