Well well....its been two months since i last updated my blog. Maybe its time to voice my thoughts yet again. The last semester was a trying one. Stress levels rocketed especially in the weeks before the exam but i think that's what every student experiences so I shouldn't complain. That aside, being the total care operator for patients and truly making a difference in their lives made all the studying, preparation and manual dexterity exercises worthwhile.
11 days into the holidays and I find myself staring at the calender, wishing time would slow down. I'll be flying back on the 14 and reaching Adelaide on the 15 whereby I must unpack all the boxes and suitcases.....sigh.....thinking about that makes my back ache! But still, I am thankful for the break, time for me to recharge, catch up with friends and family and experience the loving warmth of home. Oh, shouldn't forget the good food too!
My 21st birthday was memorable one. However, some parts of it are memorable for the wrong reasons. Now I know how important it is to have control over one's emotions in every situation. I was really frustrated with the bad service provided by a reputable chain of restaurants where everyone was to celebrate the 'coming of age' together. I was incensed by the impunity of the hostess with regard to alloting tables and making accommodations according to the sequence of customers. Our party of nine had to split up into a table for 4 and 5 respectively in the end, both tables situated far away from each other. Furthermore, food was served 45 minutes late and only after it was served to customers who arrived later than we did. For what it was worth, we told off the manager and reprimanded him for the insolent behaviour of the staff. The mood and atmosphere was crackling with tension and I am grateful for wonderful friends who injected some humour into the situation. We ended up at Jason's place to cut the cake and take a few pictures. It was a rushed job because most of us had appointments to attend to. Looking back, I can't help laughing at myself and the whole comical situation of having to gobble up the cake :P
On the 9th of July, we set out for Gopeng at 6.35 am thinking it would allow us to have a leisurely ride and be on time. It was a leisurely ride but we were way too early---we reached Gopeng at 8.45 ( appointment with the guide was at 9.30 am). We took our time to have breakfast and catch up. After meeting up with Pei shan's car load of people and the guide, we left for Camp Murni. To our relief, the X-trail was a competent vehicle, it was easily maneuvered over the pot holes and dirt roads leading to the site. It felt truly Malaysian because we passed by a small kampung complete with kedai runcits and free ranging chickens, followed by a rubber estate and a kelapa sawit estate, before arriving in the reserve.
There, we were introduced to a different mode of transport : THE LORRY!!
All of us were excited at the prospect of being transported like 'cargo'. We felt like a lorry load of refugees hahahahahahaha. Holding tight to the sides of the wooden 'container' as the lorry rumbled through the estates and further into the forest, feeling the wind whistle by your ears, and keeping your eyes peeled for branches that may give you a painful whack, ducking as a reflex, all these things added to the sensational 'ulu' experience.
I'll never forget the experience of falling out of the raft. I said a silent prayer of thanks for being unscathed and also for the 'white water swim' training session. If not for that training session, i would have been badly injured. Everything goes in slow motion when you get the adrenaline rush and i know i had my feet locked into the raft. I fell to the side head first into the rushing water and my feet were still stuck in the raft, it was quick thinking on the part of the guide to push me out into the rapids to prevent my head from knocking against the boulders. Gosh, the instant i left the raft, i was face down in the water, which is a precarious position....luckily i assumed the' white water position 'quickly( lying flat on your back with arms to the side, legs together and bottom lifted) and followed the rapids into calmer waters. There, another raft rescued me with the paddle and heaved me onto the raft. I was quite shaken but happy I only have a bruised neck as a souvenir. Otherwise, white water rafting was a blast! We thoroughly enjoyed the clear waters , paddling , and hanging on to the raft as it bounced off rocks in the river.
After a traditional lunch, we proceeded with cave exploration. Caving was good fun but challenging. It was my first time trying out abseiling and climbing up steep rock faces with the aid of a rope. Consequently, i have aching arms today. Dark and dank, the cave, Gua Kandu had plenty of stalactites and stalagmites as well as dark passageways leading into the dark abyss. There weren't too many bats but you could pick out the not so subtle odour of guano. Moving in complete darkness with the torchlight in hand within the belly of the limestone fortress, we crawled, clung onto rocky out crops and grabbed onto ropes and chains for support to scale up the almost vertical walls. My greatest fear was not knowing where the next step lay. All of us emerged from the cave tired but triumphant with minor scratches.
The flying fox was also another highlight of the trip. We had to wear a safety harness and we were clipped onto the cable. The harness was a tad uncomfortable but i think it was probably more uncomfortable for the male members of the group haha...dangling by the cable was scary, I didn't dare look down unlike some of the others.
Alright, I think I have said enough. Have to go for lunch. Till next time