A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Redang, Part Two

I just spent a ton of time working on today's post, only to have my computer freeze on me and lose everything. What a fine Welcome-Back-From-Vacation....

This weekend, we ended up spending *hours* going through all of our pictures and picking out our favorites. We ended up getting 149 printed. Now I just have to organize them all and find a photo album big enough to handle them all.

But anyway, back to the island. As I said earlier, there were plenty of things to keep us busy on the island, despite the Jungle Trek fiasco. As it turns out, the jungle ended up coming to us. One afternoon, just after we'd taken our afternoon showers (did I mention that Malaysia is a 2-3 shower/day country?), Paul called me to the slider. Outside, a bunch of monkeys had come to play. We sat on the balcony for a while and watched -- at one point, we counted up to 13 of them. And, of course, we took a ton of pictures.

(Notice to the right of the tree, the ever-present Do Not Feed the Monkeys sign.)

After a while, we left the safety of our balcony and went down for a closer look:

Though the tourist love the monkeys (and, if they're anything like us, they spend their entire time their on Monkey Alert), they're not exactly welcome guests at the resort. Once, we watched from the water as a few monkeys gathered outside the gift shop, and a group of tourists gathered around to take pictures. As soon as the tourists had lost interest, though, one of the guys from the gift shop came out to shoo them away with a broom.

Paul and I also tried our hand at archery while we were at the resort. For a couple of bucks, a recreation staff member will take you to the targets at the outskirts of the resort and set you up with a bow and a few arrows. Paul, as always, was wonderful. Fortunately, I was better than I remembered being the last time I was a camp counselor -- and I was even better than the guy at the next target over. But I don't think I'll be going out and buying myself a bow anytime in the near future.

Mostly, our activities revolved around fish. For about $3, you can rent snorkeling equipment for your entire stay -- and we took full advantage. Paul was very excited. I, on the other hand, was skeptical, since I'd never actually gone snorkeling before. Oh, sure, we'd always had a snorkel at the cottage when I was a kid, but I never figured out what to do with it. And when Paul went snorkeling on our honeymoon, I gracefully bowed out, it being the day after The Great Kayaking Fiasco. But I was willing to give it a shot this time. And, for a couple of minutes, it went well. There were cool little fish swimming around my legs -- which, I kept reminding myself, would not eat me. But then I came up to readjust my mask, and as I went back under, I got stung by something. And it went downhill from there. The next time I tried to go under, my mask decided not to work, and I ended up with burning eyeballs and salt-water-saturated lungs. After a while, I lost Paul, who was off swimming away, seeing octopi and things. So I went back to the beach to sulk.

Believe it or not, I actually tried again -- and then I even agreed to go along on the resort's morning snorkeling adventure to the marine park. This forced me to wake up at the crack of 7-something, which didn't exactly make me happy, but I am a good sport, and I was determined to go snorkeling and not drown or get eaten by any cute little yellow fishies.

Over 200 of us from the resort piled into the boat, and we joined even more guests from other resorts at the park. I estimate that there were about 5 million snorkelers there, all of whom were splashing around and not watching where they were going and shoving their fellow snorkelers. It wasn't exactly ideal. We did, however, get to see a ton of fish -- yellow ones and blue ones and all kinds of fish. We swam around for a long time -- the trip being two hours and all. And, after a while, trying to keep from drowning after being shoved by one of our fellow snorkelers who couldn't swim so well got a little old for me. That, and all that water made me desperately need a bathroom (which, incidentally, led to an awkward experience with a Malaysian toilet, the workings of which I still don't totally get, but that's another story for another blog...). As we were finding our way out of the water, we came across a guy with a big piece of meat in his hand. We put our masks back on and went under, where we saw that the guy was tormenting a little shark, which just happened to be a few feet away from where we were. I high-tailed it out of there. I don't care how little the thing was. If anyone was going to get eaten by a baby shark, it would be me.

After that, I stuck to the safe fishies. I fed the fishies at the resort -- which, fortunately, didn't require me to swim with them.

And, of course, there was some time for knitting:

On Monday morning, we packed up our things and prepared for another long travel day. We caught the 1:00 ferry to the mainland and were taken by bus to downtown Kuala Terengganu, where we spent a few hours wandering around Chinatown and getting some great deals on batiks.

Then we got back on the bus and headed for the tiny airport, where we got to sit around and wait for our flight, which would take us back to KL. It took all day, but we finally got there....


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