July 10 Tioman Day 2
We had a great breakfast that included pancakes, eggs, toast, noodles, fruit, juice, and coffee. They always have wieners as sausages but I pass on them. We sent our clothes to be laundered. You pay by the kg. We moved rooms and walked to town as it was overcast, not stifling hot and we needed money. I think the town name is Tekkek??. It is where the airport is. We bought some things at the little store called Visions and had lunch there at River cafe. Along the walk back, we commented on how the gorgeous beach and beautiful tiled walk way had no one on it. All the little businesses were abandoned and the buildings were shacks. The people who did live there clearly lived in poverty. The signage for dive shops and burger shacks was still there but everything was just left in ruin. The pathway on the other hand was made of beautiful stone work and upscale lighting as if the government had spent a lot of money on that strip of beach. The marine park area had a beautiful building for discovering information about marine life. There are no cars along this area, only motor bikes. It was especially busy with motorbikes this day as everyone was shuttling their kids off to soccer. Same idea as our soccer moms except these ones were driving a motorbike with 3 kids on it and one of them was even breastfeeding while she was driving. I wonder if breastfeeding comes under the distracted driving law. The kids had the coloured t-shirts according to their team some with traditional head scarves if they were Muslim and some without. The school in town was beautiful as was the playground. The most unusual thing we saw besides a plane landing right there at the airport across from the post office was the bats. I don’t mean baseball bats, I mean big screeching bats by the hundreds hanging upside down on the main (only) street from jackfruit trees. I was quite proud of myself for mastering the squat toilet in town. I must admit, I’d been avoiding them! After town, we hit the beach. The boys played poker for jelly candies that they had bought in town and we swam and read our books. This beach has tables and chairs and a bar that makes pizza. There were about three other families on the beach. We haven’t met very many people because not many speak English and very few will even say hi. Nazri, our owner is 70 years old runs the place with his family and is Japanese. He is really nice. We’ve had some pretty good rainstorms since we’ve been in Malaysia. It doesn’t last long but comes down in torrents. Last night’s rain stirred up the water so the snorkeling isn’t as good. The water is a bit cooler than the Perhentians but that may be because of the rain. The rain we are experiencing is not typical for this time of year. The good thing is that it is still warm and we are not getting monster sun burns from sitting out on the beach. Tonight was a very warm evening so we walked the path to have dinner at the other end of the beach. The menu is the same everywhere: a choice of fish, chicken, squid, or prawns; choice of curry,malay, sweet and sour, or ginger; choice of noodle or rice. Some places serve alcohol but many do not. Instead there is a choice of lime juice, milo(chocolate) hot or cold, coffee-hot or cold, ginger or lemon tea (hot or cold). Soft drinks are always available too. If they serve beer, it is typically Tiger or Carlsberg. After dinner we walked back and sat on our beach and looked at the stars and the heat lightening.