It has been years since we visited the islands of the east coast of Malaysia.
The eighties found us driving down to Port Dickson with religious zeal every Sunday for a day of windsurfing. Once you got the hang of it, (one full day of hoisting sail, losing balance and belly-flopping back into the water does it), it literally was a breeze. Feeling the wind in your face and all muscles working to keep balance was a most pleasurable feeling of power and freedom I could imagine at that time.
Environs of Aryani Resort
The six-hour drive from KL, not including stops for meals and leaks, was basically sleep-time for the passengers allowing space for the driver to do his thing. Driving up and down the Merang road in search of Aryani Resort, our destination for the night, was hampered by faded signage and worn memory. Fifteen years of monsoons had taken its toll. No face lift, no maintenance and no pride seems to be the hallmark of our culture. Albeit the natural environs being rustic was fodder for a photographer.
Redang Laguna Resort 2008
Redang in 2008 turned out to be a different experience. The original band of brothers were three in number this time with Dollah's partner Sandra making up the foursome. Two new brothers joined our pack in Redang. Eddie, the batik designer and his hunky son, Nick, a chemist who puts his knowledge of OH chemicals to good use when the lights are low.
Jumping onto the ferry to Redang Laguna Resort was no walk in the park either. I can come up with a new ethnic joke: How do you get 300 mainland Chinese tourists, 10 French, 4 Czechs and 6 Malaysians into 3 fishing boats? . . . with a cacophony of noise and it's not funny. That's why God invented the MP3 player.
You would think that one could find refuge underwater, snorkeling. Wrong, even with a breathing apparatus applied to ones' mouth, some human beings still manage to talk and shout.
This aging hippie with the coral
So if you can ignore the homosapiens, Redang still retains its allure of pristine white sand, crystal clear blue water, coral reefs and tropical fish. I never woke early enough to catch the sunrise but even at 0720 hours it was mystifying.
Sunrise at 0720 Hrs
So my friends, all you need for an island holiday these days is a high tolerance for noisy people, a trusty MP3 player and a strong ability to shut out an annoying outside world.
But that's what its all about these days isn't it? You pick up the newspaper and read about corruption in Proton Perdana maintenance, sodomy and convenient resignations. Thoughts of migration start resurfacing, writing letters to the newspapers or the next best thing in ones control - blogging.
Wall of ikan bilis
But thinking of the colourful fishes in the sea inspires me to start batik painting instead and block out the crazy world we live in.