yati: Flonne squishing Laharl (Disgaea) while waving one arm (Default)
[personal profile] yati
I spent three days and two nights on Redang Island with my sister, a sort of a treat to myself. As far as vacations go, it wasn't much of one -- it rained a bit too much.

We took a flight to Kuala Terengganu and then went to the island by ferry. There was a transit of about two hours at Kuala Terengganu, which we took the opportunity to walk around and see the sights (which weren't much, but oh well. At least we had something to do). We climbed up a hill called Bukit Puteri to look at a fort there. Very . . . fort-like, as far as these things go. A lighthouse, a small throne where the sultan sits (not very throne-like, despite us posing on it) some cannons, a few graves, one very large bell.

Here's a photo of a signboard with details about the lighthouse. The only reason I took this picture was because I wish to protest the word "bikon". Bikon? Seriously? Surely we had a word for beacon before we were colonised?
Bikon Bukit Puteri

Here's the view from the base of the lighthouse:
Kuala Terengganu
That's pretty much the preview for the weather for the next three days.

Then we took the ferry to Redang. It started off smoothly enough, but at the point where the sea changed colour from slightly brownish to that clear blue, the ferry started swaying in a somewhat alarming fashion.

Sister: ... Is this a roller coaster ride or a boat?
People at the back: *yelling in alarm as the ferry gets tossed about*
Me: *squinting at television* Is this really Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? The dialogue sounds about as corny as that old Sinbad show on TV.
Sister: How can you think of Sinbad at a time like this!?
Me: *eventually falls asleep, probably to my sister's exasperation*

I'm mostly ambivalent about boat rides. I don't get seasick (or motion sick generally) and this wasn't even the worst boat ride I had ever been on. The award for that goes to a trip to Langkawi Island with some of university friends a few years back.

We got to Redang safe and sound, and it was surprisingly bright there. We checked in to Berjaya Redang Resort. The staff were very helpful and friendly, and to someone who's not used to people being that friendly and being used to doing everything myself, it was mildly disconcerting. I think I blinked a few times at the porter when he offered to take my bag.

Here's the view from the balcony that afternoon:

You can hear the sea roaring from the balcony, though you can't see it (it was one of the cheaper suites). I left the balcony door wide open most of the time, despite warnings about monkeys (we didn't see any, only squirrels) so that I could hear the sea -- I find it comforting. I have an odd relationship with the sea -- I love it, and most of the time I want to be as close to it as I can, but at the same time it terrifies me, because when I was younger it had almost taken one of my sisters from me. I still think it was my fault (despite having grown up, despite being able to reason that I was a child then and there was nothing I could have done) because, in my mind at least, she had came into the water because she wanted to save me by trying to grab my hand. I read an essay she wrote when she was younger (she didn't show it to me, I found it by accident) where there was a line in it saying I was brave and I had saved her; I had thrown the book away and refused to talk to her the whole day.

Since it was sunny, we spent the afternoon at the resort's private beach:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

Random rocks:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

Weird angle of the beach:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island
Sorry, the sister's the photographer; she has all the nice shots.

Random people on the beach:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

My feet, and my awesome batik pantaloons, and the white sand:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

Unfortunately it started to rain later that evening, so we stayed indoors and I read Patricia A McKillip's Alphabet of Thorn. Lovely book. I finished it the next day. Here's the same coconut palm seen from the balcony, this time in the rain:
coconut palm in the rain

And the tropical rainforest in the morning, still misty from the rain:
rainforest after the rain

We still went to the beach later, even though it was still drizzling. Despite the high and somewhat scary looking waves (or perhaps because of them), there were still people surfing:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

I wanted to go snorkelling, or at least go on a ride on the glass-bottomed boat, but the sea was a bit too rough for it. So we stayed on the beach, and when the rain started again, we went back to our room and I sat on the balcony reading. I finished Alphabet of Thorn, and started Robert Charles Wilson's Axis.

I finished Axis (very fast read, Spin was better but it's a hard act to top and I look forward to the third book) and found myself without reading material. My sister rolled her eyes when I complained about this. She was reading Kenneth Oppel's Airborn but she still wasn't finished, so I couldn't swap my books with hers. I stayed on the balcony.

The next morning it was raining even harder. A text message from a friend told me that there was flooding on the mainland, and I was watching the rain with some trepidation, since our ferry back to the mainland was at 1 pm. (My sister started grumbling at the thought of boats in the rain.) We walked about in the rain a bit, then went back to the room. I started rereading bits of Axis again. Then the phone rang and someone from the front desk, sounding awfully apologetic, said that the bad weather had caused the Marine Department to issue a warning against ferry trips to and from the mainland. They offered a discount rate to stay for another night, but I asked whether it was possible for them to check whether there were flights out from the island later, if the weather calms down. Fortunately there was a flight from Redang to Subang later that afternoon (though it was at the mercy of the weather as well), and we were welcomed to stay past checkout time until the departure time was confirmed.

I looked at my sister. She looked at me. "I don't have another book," I told her, and she gave me that exasperated look that said how come I was more worried about books than being stuck on an island while a storm was blowing in.

So I cancelled the original flight from Kuala Terengganu to Subang, and the resort deducted the ferry ticket price from our bill (I thought they would have deducted only half of it, considering we already took the ferry to the island, but they refunded the whole thing). Sure, the new flight tickets were more expensive than the original tickets, but eh, probably worth skipping another boat ride. If I were ever to come again (very likely; I want to see the coral reefs properly) we'll just fly in straight to island. Less chance of being stranded and getting seasick.

Oddly enough the sky cleared after lunch so we went to the beach again:
the beach at Teluk Dalam, Redang Island

And also spotted the local wildlife enjoying the sun:
local wildlife

And then it was time to go home.

As far as vacations go, it wasn't particularly successful, I suppose. No sun and surf this time. But at least it was away, and it was three days not having to worry about bills and laundry and drippy taps and deadlines. Back to work tomorrow la la la.


Also I am watching the new Doctor Who trailer for series 6 and I am ridiculously excited about it. It's a strange feeling -- I've never been particularly excited about television before; I'm mostly blasé about the whole thing and will only get to watching stuff ages after everyone else.
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yati: Flonne squishing Laharl (Disgaea) while waving one arm (Default)

September 2013


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