The Sockeyed Blog

Ben Johnson's Blog

Kuching Redux

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For some reason, there’s a pair of Fischer cross-country skis on the wall above my head in this internet cafe. Given that the yearly range of temperatures varies by 1 degree, I find their presence very suprising.

I’ve spent the last few days pounding the pavement around Kuching with and without Jeremy. The weather continues to be most hot and humid, but no rain for two days. The arcades that run along the street are life-savers, providing shade (and sometimes shelter if it rains). The small shopfronts selling medicine, food, or manufacturing things like tin ware and wooden furniture remind me a lot of Hong Kong back in the day. As I mentioned, much of Kuching has that older feel to it. It’s less prosperous and modern than Hong Kong, and still has those smells and wafts of air, and the vibrant street social life that Honkers used to in the 1970s.

The eating continues apace with Jeremy leading me to some amazing places. The restaurants are quite interesting, particularly the ‘coffee shops’, where one proprietor owns the space and ofter serves hot and cold drinks, and spots for small cooking stations are leased to individual proprietors who specialize in noodles, rice dishes or congee. All are open-air, too, on one or two sides. The food is excellent. This morning we started the day with Kuching laksa – noodles, prawns, chicken and chilis in a curry coconut broth. Last night there was a big street market near Jeremy’s house and the hotel. We had a terrific Malay meal of fried noodles (mee), soup, satay and shaved-ice drinks.

For lunch today we ate in Jeremy’s aunt’s noodle place. His aunt and uncle wake up every morning at 4am to make the broth, and apparently the place is wall-to-wall with customers starting first thing.

The woman next to me is eating a dollop of soft ice cream in a white hamburger bun.

So, tomorrow I’ll be heading to Bako National Park on the coast. It’s apparently an amazing preserve full of eroded sandstone geological formations, beautiful beaches, rivers to swim in, monkeys, jungle, and more. I’ve booked a room in a lodge for about $12 a night, and there’s a canteen to provide cheap meals.

After that I’ll probably head to the east coast of Sabah for some snorkeling and beach time. Hopefully Jeremy will be able to make it, but it depends on how things go with his family. His brother will be back in town by then, so that should help. I may just go by myself if need be, but he really wants to come. He’s definitely on board for Cambodia on the 24th, though.

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Written by sockeyed

November 12, 2006 at 06:12

Posted in Food, Photography, Travel

Tagged with , ,

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