Saturday, 24 October 2009

Some quietness on Sepang Coast

This was my first trip out back from UK, before the paddy field and monkey adventures, still during the Muslim fasting month. It was refreshing to remind myself again of the beauties of this land.

A walk on a pier, with concrete closer to land and wood towards the sea.

The coconut tree trunks supporting the wooden platform.

The intricately woven stump.

On our landward walk,

A motorboat speed by, from the nearby mangroves with the setting sun, hidden behind blankets of tropical clouds in the background.

As dusk approaches, the dancing flames and twirling smokes took on an added beauty.

This is the start of rediscovering a place you have always been.

Funky Monkey in Kuala Selangor

These are the monkeys who dwell upon the historical hill of Bukit Melawati, on the ancient branches overlooking the Strait of Malacca and mangrove swamps, hemmed between land and sea.

While there were a number of macaques on my last visit years ago, this time the Silvered Leaf Monkey far outrank their lighter hue cousins.

Interestingly, I saw a macaque eating waffle cone ice cream ob both visits.

In the primate infested hillside, the tailless species was rather generously offering the aboreal ones food of many kinds. An unbroken silvery black line formed on the metal dividers. As those who had their fill retreated, more hungry ones came and took their place.

The monkeys were so spoiled for choices that they became pretty picky on their diet. Behold the munching monkeys!

I also had the good pleasure of seeing a golden child.

Mother had to juggle between her food and protecting the little one.

One of the five foot tall primate insisted on harrassing the mother until she was visibly upset. I think she was being extraordinarily patient and restrained for a wild monkey. To be provoked so many times, it was a wonder she had not resort to fangs and claws.

A white lighthouse also stood upon the hill.

And a fishing village sits along the river by the hill.

These local products, popular with tourists were drying under the tropical sun.

And we have a thief caught red-handed!

Bad bad dog indeed!

Monday, 19 October 2009


"... a little flat and dreary for a moment after all they; had been through, but also, unexpectedly, nice in its own way, what with the familiar railway smell and the English sky and the summer term before them."

Those were among the closing lines in Prince Caspian. No, I do not mean literally the English sky and the summer term. However, my English adventures has been to me more like an adventure beyond the wardrobe. And like Lewis has described, the experience in the enchanted land ought to open our eyes to the niceness of the ordinary things.

Perhaps I did held the view that to leave a place and resettle in another is not an extraordinary thing, in fact progress would demand it. Afterall, did not our forefathers, just three or four generations ago left China in seeking a better future further south? And even now, I have scores of friends and cousins, again, leaving this place slightly above the equator for other perceived better lands, perhaps for a reason and hope not too distant from the one that brought our ancestors here.

I confess, my views are changing. Even as I reread one of my favorite book, 'Heart of a Nation', I see echoes of certain ideas and notions. While I will abstain from commenting upon the morality of migration (if you believe in such), there are yet so much to be discovered in a land that I might have mixed feelings about but are now trying to learn to love. Realize also, that I'm not talking in any nationalistic sense (for nation rises and kingdoms fall). Maybe a distinction does exist between the two terms.

So, perhaps this place, The Place, or any place for that matter is more than the sum of geography, history, the inhabitants, the culture, the politics, the economic potential etc. And it is Place that I hope to (re)discover and know anew.

The true blessings of travel is to increase your appreciation for both Places. It is never to trivialize the home ground. And I do not believe a trip as epic as Frodo's quest exist for me. Let me venture to suggest that you could never outgrow a place, for the more you grow the smaller you become, relative to the world you perceive, for your horizon has expanded. The higher you stand, the more you will realize how small you are.

"It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. " ~ Neil Armstrong

Till the day, scales would fall from our eyes...

Sekinchan: Early Paddies

The paddies were still green when I visited the village. Two days past the fasting month and hawkers and stalls lined the busy road linking towns between plantations of stocky oil palms and lanky coconut tree.

Two is missing... among these neatly stacked mangoes.

Paddies as far as the eyes can see, terminating only at the horizon.

The young ones

A drainage controlling machinery.

The towering white giant foreshadowing late afternoon showers to come.

And a resting place for the wise.

I would like to return when the fields are laden with gold.