Friday, 11 August 2006

>>> Back & Thoroughly Knackered! <<<

Have been away for 4 days and 3 nites at a fishing kelong in Tanjong Pinang, Indonesia. We always go there whenever we are down in Singapore to do a spot of fishing and to eat fresh fish. You can't believe how hard it is to get fresh fish in Birmingham!!! We once bought a 'so-call' fresh fish in Morrisons only to find that when we wanted to cook it the next day, it smelled terribly!!! We were utterly disgusted at how they could sell rotten fish in the supermarket! The boys enjoyed themselves too.

Firstly we had to take the ferry to Tanjong Pinang and it took an hour and a half. Then upon reaching the island, the 3 Brits in my family had to get a visa for US$10 each for 7 days, 6 nites. (If pay more if you wanted to stay longer!) We had transport arranged to send us to the Kelong. That took about an hour.

The Kelong is built out into the sea on stilts. Every living quarters is literally built on stilts with very basic facilities eg. 2 single beds and a toilet/shower. There is hardly any modcons so you can forget about trying to connect to the outside world! In fact, we were completely isolated from what was happening in the world!

For me, days and nite passed slowly as what we did was simply fish fish fish! First day and I caught 2 fish. Dad fixed a line with a hook for Oliver to fish and he must have caught at least a dozen small fish. Boy was he ever so excited! He was literally screaming with joy at each catch.

As for Zac, he busied himself checking up on the fish in the net that we had caught, running about and making friends with the staff there! I was a little worried he would fall into the sea but luckily nothing like that happened. As for meals, it was cooked to what we wanted and of course we had fish for every meal... breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing beats eating a fish that is freshly caught! You can literally taste the freshness of it!

Towards the end of the trip, I was beginning to get bored! Firstly there weren't much fish to catch or the fish were smart and avoided us like plague! Secondly, I had to make a conscious effort not to drink from the tap as it's not safe. We had to brush our teeth using mineral water. Also I kept having this sticky feeling all the time despite bathing in cold (not hot water facility!) water a couple times a day! It was fun initially but after a while, you craved to return to civilised living and all the comforts! It makes me wonder how the locals take it... I guess if you never had it, you don't miss it at all! I think they live simply and make do with what they have.

The island of Tanjong Pinang is like Singapore in the 50s/60s. It's living living back in time. Most common means of transport is the motorcycle and you can find an entire family on it i.e. dad, mom and baby or child! I kid you not and sometimes without helmets too. Just goes to show how cheap life is over there!On our last day, we spent some time in the town centre but frankly even their shopping centre is quite basic. Clothes were very old fashioned and handbags were mainly imitations of branded names. However we did find a batman and superman outfit for our boys! We bought some snake skin fruts back with us as it's quite expensive to buy in Singapore.

I think it was a good experience for my boys as they now know where fish come from, having experienced catching it and eating it too. I don't want them growing up thinking of fish in the form of fish fingers!!! The joy in Ollie's face & excitement in his voice when he caught a fish will never leave me. Apart from fish, they even saw a live lobster, crab and stingray! They even ate the crab and found its meat ever so sweet! That is why I love travelling. It broadens the mind and I want my kids to experience seeing & experiencing life in their natural form! They had no access to TV and they were out and about taking walks and enjoying the sea!

Anyway, we got back to civilisation on Friday evening and my brother alerted me to the bomb plot that was foiled in the UK regarding several airlines. Overnite, hand luggage was banned and that includes hangbag too! In fact only limited items could be brought into the cabin. I just can't understand why people would do such a senseless thing... killing innocent people... for what? What do they want to prove? Do they think they die a martyr??? If they ever think it was for the name of religion, they gotta be kidding.... more the work of SATAN!!! All they do is make life more difficult of other people. I can imagine those business travellers now twiddling their thumbs in business class instead of tapping the keyboards! Laptops are also banned now! Any form of liquid is also banned too. Gosh, someone had better invent a machine that teleports people to their destination instead of airplanes PLEASE!!!!

Looks like I've to hunt for a transparent handbag now. Much rather carry that than clear plastic bags! TTFN!

1 comment:

KimmyS said...

That is so cool that you all got to fish for your...erm fish!
Seriously i would have loved it and I am glad the boys enjoyed it.

Thanks for the run down and the pictures