Hi Guys,

I've been writing 69-word, theme-based stories for the digital lifestyle magazine, The Brown Scooter, every month.

Read off and let me know what you think/feel :)


===========================================================================

My ((Dream)) Trip to Malaysia - Truly Asia


“Hey, stop touching me! I’ll sting you man!”

“Wait a second…you can... you can talk?”

“Of course I can, you dumb tourist and if you don’t stop petting me, I am going to blast you out of the water with one of those ship-mounted rocket launchers a few feet away.”

“Ship-mounted rockets inside the ocean? You think I am crazy? Fine, I’ll stop on one condition. You have to be my guide and show me around Pulau Redang, cool? By the way, what do I call you?”

“Oh Muruga, not another one of these! Getting real sick of you goddamn tourists… Fine, I’ll show you around but I can’t be your guide on land, for you know, obvious reasons. Steve’s the name by the way. And you are?”

“Hah! Name’s Jay. You got yourself a deal Steve.”

“Swim beside me and I’ll show you everything you need to see… and don’t. And remember, DO NOT touch or break anything or I’ll sting you into another paradise called Heaven. Understood?”

*I nod in agreement.*

“Good. First things first Jay, Pulau Redang is approximately 45km off the coast of Terengganu, and is considered by tourists as one of the most enchanting islands, in all of Malaysia. As you can see, the water here is crystal clear and pollution free, making it one of the best places to live in *pause* if you are a coral or a fish, you know! Damn, I am so funny.”


*I smack him on his head.*

“Now, before we dive into the deep, I want you to take a look around the beach for sea turtles. Every year, these peaceful creatures journey all the way to this island just to lay their eggs and then go back to their respective habitats.”

 “Moving on, there are hundreds and thousands of live coral species co-existing peacefully in these waters, along with marine species like manta rays and sting rays and even a couple of sharks.”


“HOLY @*#&, SHARKS?”

“Jay, chill! Nothing is going to happen to you. I’ll take care of you, hospitality Malaysia-style baby. So as I was saying, due to the various types of marine life that dwell around here, this place is also part marine park. This island has 31… yes 31 spectacular diving sites and we are going to visit 3 of them.”

“Why just three?”

“Because these are the most exciting ones among all the sites. The first one is coming up right about now. Can you see that stretch of black coral under us?”

“Yeah!”

“It is known as the Black Coral garden and it is very unique to this island. Nice, isn’t it?”

“Very cool. Is that the hull of a ship that I see?”

“And that brings us to the second site. This one and the one beyond are both historic shipwreck sites from the World War II era. All those machine parts that you see on the ocean floor are pieces from the ships that were destroyed during the war.”



“Fragments of history lying deep below the ocean for almost half a century… this is just too awesome!”

“And here ends our trip, Jay. It was great meeting you and showing you around. Frankly, you are one of the better ones I’ve come in contact with.”

“Thanks Steve for being such a great guide. Hi-five buddy!”

*I put my hand up, he puts up his tail… misses me, stings me right in the heart.*




I wake up and feel my chest. 

All is well. *Phew!* I look around to find my lovely wife napping in the recliner beside me. I look over the Mandarin Oriental infinity pool to the majestic Petronas Towers and see it smiling right back at us. A few gazes away, the mesmerizing Malaysian horizon that is drenched in shades of orange, is about to change character from a serene, urban cityscape into a bustling night city, in a few minutes. I take off my bathrob and swim to the end of the pool to take in the sights and sounds of the city.

We had come back from Terengganu just a few hours ago. Since the list of other things to do in Kuala Lumpur was pretty long, we decided to keep it for later. 

Next day morning, we packed our bags for Langkawi. One of the most popular destinations on the west coast of Malaysia, we had 3 To-Dos on our agenda – a ride on the cable car to Gunung Machinchang and a walk on the Skybridge, a visit to the Underwater World at Pantai Cenang and a romantic sunset dinner on a cruise liner. The Skybridge experience was overwhelming and we were stunned into silence by the 500+ species of animals and sea creatures at Underwater World. Sipping on a cocktail and biting into succulent barbecue fare with Langkawi’s beautiful isles as the backdrop was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.




The following day, we took off to the East Malaysian towns of Sawarak and Sabah. Though we were planning on finishing Sarawak first, the scuba diving hours at Sipadan Island in Sabah really didn’t leave us with a choice. White tip reef sharks and sea turtles followed us around as we dove deep into the ocean to savour the beauty of the coral rich reef. We were lucky enough to be caught in a barracuda ‘tornado’ and managed to catch a few monitor lizards on our way out. We finished off our craving for water-related activities with a safari through the Kinabatangan river. The concentration of wildlife in the region surrounding the river was just remarkable. Macaques, langurs, hornbills, kingfishers, snakes, baby elephants – you name it, we saw it! We concluded our Sabah trip by bidding goodbye to the mischievous orang-utans at the Kabili Sepilok nature reserve.

 

When you are standing inside the world’s largest cave chamber, there isn’t much you can do other than marvel at the size of the humongous limestone structure and feel humbled. Caves inside the Mulu National Park in Sarawak made us feel like we were one with nature. A similar experience awaited us at the Bako National Park where some of the rock formations created by natural occurrences were, for the lack of a better word, surreal!

A day left for our flight back and we were yet to explore Kuala Lumpur. Our morning was spent shouting and screaming at the theme park at Sunway Lagoon. We headed to Jalan Alor for some delicious local cuisine and ended up stuffing ourselves more than we should have. With blessings from Lord Murugan at Batu Caves in Selangor, we moved to the Central Market for some local arts and crafts shopping. The perfect end to the day was our dinner at the revolving restaurant in the KL Tower that captivated us with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and lip-smackingly sumptuous food!



As I opened my eyes the next morning, I realized that I was sitting in front of my laptop, in a t-shirt and worn out shorts with the cursor blinking on a blank document titled ‘Blogadda Malaysia contest blogpost.’ 

The document had a single line typed out on it – 

MALAYSIA, TRULY ASIA.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disclaimer - Pictures have been curated from the Internet. Copyrights rest with respective owners.




No comments: