A mum, dad and their three kids from Tasmania, go on an epic adventure in Borneo for 3 weeks in December
Tomorrow we head to Mulu but there’s so much we would like to do and see in Kuching. We kick off with breakfast at popular local Chong Choon Cafe where we all have a bowl of Sarawak style laksa. The cafe is packed out. It’s a bit of a freak out for me that people here usually have a spicy cooked breakfast like this, but it’s delicious. Normally toast and cereal do us fine at home.
Because Mark and Deb are staying at the Hilton we wander through and go for a sneaky swim with them. Theres no one else there except a swiss girl sporting a couple of Iban tattoos. She got them tap tap by Ernesto she says.
I throw the kids about in the pool until Lachie bangs his head on the bottom and has to spend the rest of the day looking slightly concussed clutching a cold can of Tiger Beer against the contusion. His mother berates him for not being careful enough and he cries. I tell her to ease up and she asks how it happened and I said I threw him in. Luckily I don’t get a spray as well.
I am now at the point of being obsessed with doing laundry. Most of the kids clothes are covered in sand and stink. I find a laundry who want $15 per kg to do it same day. It hurts but i hand it over. The grumpy laundry madam weighs it at almost 5 kg because half of it is wet. I have no choice. It will be done by 3pm.
For tonight we try out Tunes Hotel which is a chain run by Air Asia. You can tell its Air Asia because everything is extra. 12 hours of AC is 12rm. Add more for a towel and soap, more for TV and so on. If you’re anything like me you roll your eyes when people try to board planes with enormous hand luggage that is clearly oversized. It’s obviously an issue because Air Asia are having a “size does matter” campaign – an expression I have always been fond of. We use the 20min Wifi in the foyer to check in online for our MAS Wings flight to Mulu and I can’t help but buy two cans of Kickapoo Joy Juice from the fridge. The marketing guy who invented the name might have been initially laughed out of the boardroom but he had me
eating drinking out of the palm of his hand.
The afternoon is rained out and the need to get some supplies before heading to ulu (outback) Mulu means we don’t get to the museums or Fort Margherita as planned. I sneak into the Hilton Executive Lounge with Mark and down a couple of free beers while continuing my Celecom SIM disaster having borrowed his colleagues Macbook for me to try and sync to iTunes so I can complete the unlock of my iPhone. After persevering for an hour and chewing on canapés, I give up. I’m pissed off that Apple control the devices and that I can’t just get my carrier to do the unlock. I hope all the Android users out there are having lots of open source fun out there. Thumbs up to Danny and Mark for helping me try though.
We’ve left the six kids to tear up the exec suite on the 10th floor while we enjoy happy hour in the lounge and eventually the obligations of parenthood get the better of first Deb and then me. We head down to check the damage. My warning that kids who misbehave won’t be fed has worked out so we head down to the famous Kuching Seafood hawker area on the sixth floor and order up big. All kinds of live seafood in tanks and dead ones on ice are available. I take my sons to the wrinkled phallic sea cucumbers and tell them that they are donkey penises and that I’ve ordered one each and they have to eat the whole thing to grow up with a big one. They are suitably grossed out and I say it’s really sea cucumber and they are keen to try it. We chow down to whole steamed fish, bamboo clams, mud crabs, midin, kang kong, and seafood soup (with sea cucumber) and washed it all down with beer.
And the verdict on the sea cucumber? The boys say it is squooshy, with a bit of bite, a little like soft chicken cartilage and a bit tasteless but nice when eaten with the soup.