It's true that once you have children, your lifestyle changes completely. It's like a hurricane, but you're not in the centre of it; instead, your kids are. You find yourselves at the periphery spinning like crazy.
We're fundamentally lazy people who love to be in the house. But with Kay now at a defining age, we know we have to drag our butts out more often & expose her as much as we can. So Gawai this year has been very active for us. Day One of Gawai brought us all the way down south of Kuching to Serian. Day Two was a journey to the west to Bau.
This is Kay showing you her nails. Nee did a quick paint job on them when she found some free samples at Merdeka Plaza. You can't see them clearly but they're flashy girly pink & they glow in the dark as we later found out.
The Day Two destination was Kampung Seropak, although I didn't know it then. We got on the road to Bau from Kota Sentosa (7th Mile) and drove straight onwards past Bau town & Serikin, and we made a left turn at this signboard.
I don't know if it's true but we felt that the drive into the kampungs felt a bit more lush compared to the ones in Serian. Maybe that's because the roads here were more hilly. I'm sure that had something to do with it, otherwise we were just plain car sick & had started to hallucinate.
We passed by some rock formations in a corn field & these rocks seem to have come up from under the ground. I think Bau is almost like sitting on top of a layer of ancient rocks underneath.
Very the Twillight Zone, sci-fi/horror, Kakashi mix kinda feel.
Here's what a school field can potentially look like with the mountains as a backdrop. Awesomeness. I will never have stress in exams/homework ever again.
Teacher: Where's your homework?! It's due today!
Student: Relax Teach. Just look at the mountains out the window.Teacher: Awesomeness... I am now relaxed. Ok. You can submit them next Monday.
The house that we're going to is located almost at the very end of the kampung, and because of that, it took a long while before the bridge was built by the government.
It's quite understandable how the lives of these villagers here are so self-sustainable that they have practically got everything they would ever need. They've got their land, farm, water, food & livestock which renders money quite useless. Access to medical services may be wanting (nearest one is in Bau town) but they've got their telecom coverage & electricity. For security, there's the kampung RELA & their own neighbourhood patrol. The police has no presence and penetration into the interiors.
So when election time comes, a little bit of cash handout & 1Malaysia water tanks become very useful perks. Other than that, they will never see the immediate impact of corruption & rising petrol prices, and they will never need to pay tax. What illegal logging? There's trees as far as the eyes can see.
We will always be in awe of the generous spirit & hospitality of our hosts. Everything is home cooked, made, planted and reared in the backyard. Everything comes from the surrounding, and the surrounding sustains life. Everything has a purpose & place. Nothing is wasted.
These were home made layered cakes. Clockwise from left: Raisin, Evergreen, Watermelon & Satu Malaysia lapis with the patriotic colours which was Kay's favourite.
The traditional Ayam Pansoh: chicken cooked with Tapioca leaves in bamboo shoots. Interestingly Nee thought this was better than the ones at The Dyak.
This was what I thought to be very good Kacama.
Chinese style Duck Pak Loh.
It's interesting to note how deeply intertwined & assimilated our cultures are in this land, that our culinary practice alone is enough of a showcase of that diverse integration. This is the single most important takeaway for me this year: that we are so deeply integrated in Sarawak. There is this cross-culture penetration through living together, education, language & intermarriage; and this not some touristy superficial 1Malaysia facade; this is something deep, real & practical at the everyday root level. And cherish this we must, and let no idiots like Zahid break this bond. When we protect this bond, we protect this land and the future for our generations to come.
As for both Nee & I, we've got this one to worry about.
Footnote: All photos shot, edited on & uploaded from Samsung Note 1.