Monday, 11 August 2008

A walk down memory lane 2: Kuching

Aerial view of Kuching from Merdeka Palace
I was in Kuching from 6 - 8 August for a conference. There were 4 of us from the office and we stayed at the 3 bedroom suite in Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites right in front of Padang Merdeka, Kuching. I was very excited to go for this trip because Kuching was another place where I grew up. It really did bring a lot of nostalgic memories, seeing the somewhat familiar places and streets where I used to walk, hearing the oh-so-familiar Sarawak language being spoken everywhere and eating the oh-so-sedap mee short, I was happy to be back in Kuching.
We arrived in the afternoon on 6th August and immediately checked in Merdeka Palace. That same afternoon we went for a city tour and one of the places we get to visit was the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. We went there to observe the orang utan during its feeding session around 3pm. I was gawky eyed, eventho' I used to live in Kuching but I've never seen a wild orang utan up close. Of course they were dangerous but we were able to observe them in their natural habitat. We were told that there was a dominant alpha male called Ritchie, who weighed around 100kg. Other orang utans were afraid of him, therfore during feeding time the others would run away when Ritchie came. We were told that the difference between a Borneo orang utan and the Sumatran orang utan is that the Borneo orang utan would grow cheek pads as they get older. Thus the younger orang utans look more or less like a monkey, only bigger in size.

Ritchie during feeding time

Orang utan with a 2-week old baby gripping hard to its body

Another highlight during this conference was its headhunter's theme party. We were taken to an Iban Longhouse in the Sarawak cultural village at 8pm. Upon arrival, we were dressed in a native top and kain batik bottom and a headress. Weird combination but it did got us in the mood to party, Iban style!
The native gear

Then, an Iban warrior, or Sea Dayaks, as they were known, gave our group a blessing in Iban language. They were a lot of "ooohaaaa" going round which was a form of greeting other people.
The Iban warrior

Setting in the Iban longhouse, seating on the floor

The Sarawak cultural village troupe entertaining us with traditional sape and singers

Proud of my Sarawak pouch which I bought for RM10 at Waterfront

Later, we were asked to dance following the steps of the Iban warrior and there were some games played. All in all, a very memorable night with a lasting impression on Sarawak's culture. Sadly, I was in Kuching only for 3 days and our conference schedule was very hectic with dinners. I wish that I had more time to walk again around Kuching going to all the old haunts which I'd love. I'd walk from pasar Satok through the National Library, through Jalan India and past the Charles Brooke memorial, through the Main Bazaar and waterfront....the good old days....

Right now listening to cd called "The Primitive Sound" compilation of traditional music of Sarawak ethnic group.....aduh...rinduk hati.......


hnyhar said...

Oh..oghe sarawak dah balik sana..sik rindu kaa..esp. mamat yang pakai cawat tuh..kih3. so sexy maaa..

Beautiful Life said...

mmg sexy dah lama tak tengok hehehe