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My Sarawakian Sojourn (Otherwise known as What I Did With Whatever Free Time I Had After Finishing Lectures in Kuching) - Part I

Saturday - 7.30 pm.

At last, a long day of assessments finished. I don't think anyone outside the education industry really has a firm idea of what superhuman effort is needed to sit through 6 hours of hearing students give a presentation on a topic of their choice. Some of them do try hard, bless their souls. It's always a pleasure to get students who try their best, even though they don't deliver a superb piece of work. Bravo to them.

However, you do get the other side of the spectrum, where even after being given 3 weeks the best they can come up with is a scrap of paper that was just jotted down a half an hour before their presentations...sigh...

Anyway, I'm rambling. Back to reality. 7.30pm, and my student Rackford agreed to send me back to the hotel for a long-deserved rest. Upon reaching, I straight away did a flying dive for the bed... perhaps on par with the Malaysian diving team, but with the grace and style of a hippo belly-flopping into the water... I longed to close my eyes and forget the world, but I knew Rackford would be along shortly to pick me up, so I dragged myself out of the bed and take a hot, hot shower...Full blast...

Fast forward...

night

Photo taken from here

The Kuching Riverfront... A beautiful place, reminiscent of the promenades they have in Paris. Charming little booths dotted the walkway, some with traditional craftsmen peddling their wares, charming mini longhouses, beads, and Pua cloths; but mostly the booths were of food...glorious food...enticing smells of food wafted into my midst... Familiar smells of food back home, yet strangely exotic, infused with the flavours of Borneo...

"Are we there yet?" I asked Rackford, my stomach already playing Beethoven's Sixth Symphony...With a little bit 'Wild Thing' (The Troggs - 1965) thrown in.

"Not yet sir" Said Rackford with a smile. "First, we have to go on that" He said, pointing to a strange-looking vessel on the water... A sampan... With a top... Painted in bright yellow... With the DIGI logo splashed proudly on top...

[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D200 Focal Length: 135mm Optimize Image: Custom Color Mode: Mode I (sRGB) Long Exposure NR: Off High ISO NR: Off 2006/06/30 10:20:35.4 Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority White Balance: Auto Tone Comp.: Normal JPEG (8-bit) Fine Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern AF Mode: AF-S Hue Adjustment: 0° Image Size: Medium (2896 x 1944) 1/320 sec - F/5.6 Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached Saturation: Enhanced Color Exposure Comp.: 0 EV Sharpening: Medium high Lens: VR 70-200mm F/2.8 G Sensitivity: ISO 100 Image Comment: ChrisOdukwe@2006                     [#End of Shooting Data Section]

Photo credit here

Curiouser and curiouser... In the words of Alice in Wonderland.

After a short ride on the sampan we arrived at our destination - Kampung Barok - A quaint little kampung turned eating haven, bustling with life. My students said that it was one of the most 'happening' places in all of Kuching, and that If you didn't book a table in hours in advance, you would have to wait for hours before you actually get a table...and even a couple of hours before you got your food! OOOhhhh Mama!!!

barok

Kampung Barok. Photo credit here

We had a blast! The food was good, and the company was excellent! It's moments like these that I treasure, where I get to know my students, where they become real people with their own stories to tell...

At the end of the day, through the toil and trouble we go through in and out of the lecture rooms, it's the students who make everything worthwhile...

I love my students.

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Comments

Bargain Books said…
Oh i love the kuching riverfront. At night they sell teh tarik in huge mugs and i love the lepak sessions I had with my best buds there.

Ok i miss kuching already ;p
A t i Q a h said…
Wah! Sangat teruja I membaca. Anyways, anything for us, sir? Mwahahahaha
Maya said…
was there back in 90s for 2 weeks.. stayed in Hilton Kuching and Btg Ai..are they still there?very clean town indeed..
Abdullah said…
CC,
something I noticed about drinks in Kuching - they're always served supersized! Everywhere I go, I get at least a portion & a half of what we would get here in semenanjung...I love it! My favourite drink is the one they call Teh C Special, where you can see 3 layers - tea, evaporated milk, and palm sugar..MMMMmmmm... yummy...

Tiqa,
my statement goes out to all my students ;)

Maya,
Welcome aboard :) It's a pleasure to have you here... Of course the great Hilton is still there...It wouldn't be the Waterfront without the Hilton there...I tried to book a room there for my final visit next weekend, but they were fully booked...sigh...had to settle for the Harbourview hotel, which is not bad, considering the price and location. I didn't get the chance to go to Batang Ai...What were you doing there btw?
Princess Liyana said…
never been to Kuching:p
ehehe..
siraydee said…
princess,
same here :-D
I miss working in the uni. The students always made me feel young...
missyizzati said…
cool! nice place kuching have. orait. next stop: kuching. hehe
azie said…
sir...next time, bring us along okeh:)

p/s: u've been tagged by me!
Abdullah said…
Liyana, Aydee,Ijat & Azie,
U guys wanna tag along next time? (of course u pay ur own air fare..I'll pay for the 1901 hot dog) hehehe...

Nordic,
It's the best feeling, teaching, isn't it? y aren't u in uni anymore?
And yes, they do make me feel younger... as one of my students put it succinctly, tua tak sedar diri.

Cis...
Princess Liyana said…
we have to pay our own air fare?alahai,that's not fair.uhuhu:p
Sir, you've been tagged!hope you enjoy writing about it:) (suka2 je tag lecturer,ampuunnn tuanku)uhuhu
Greg Wee said…
Didn't know you were in town. Glad that you tried the Teh C Peng Special. If you had that, basically you've done Kuching!
Abdullah said…
Greg,
Nice to have u drop by :)
Yeah...I'll be in kuching again this coming weekend..maybe we can have a drink or something.

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