Monday, April 13, 2009

So Far So Good

As I mentioned in the previous post, coming to Singapore has been an amazing experience.  In that time I have had the opportunity to visit some of the neighbouring countries.  I was able to make quick trips to Malaysia and Indonesia.  As well as longer extended trips to Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) and Cambodia.  I tried to keep this short, but I compiled some of the most memorable parts of my trips:

Malaysia and Indonesia were great, the people there were incredibly friendly.  Malaysia was my first trip outside of Singapore so everything I saw totally amazed me.  Indonesia was my most recent trip and Asia still continues to blow my mind all the time.  Jakarta and Jogyakarta both have bustling busy streets with tuk-tuks, bike-taxis, buses, and cars occupying of all lanes, yet turn down a gang (alleyway) and you enter a quiet, intimate neighbourhood where kids chase chickens and old woman cook meals for their families or anyone who wants to but some food.

Borneo has spectacular untouched forests, enormous (largest in the world) caves, and blue ocean.  It was my first time travelling alone, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was happy when my pal Karlijn came to join me midway through.  The eight day trip mainly consisted of winding boardwalks through the jungle which lead to ominous cave entrances.  The caves themselves were homes to bats, swiftlets, spiders, and a lot of guano (bat droppings).  Borneo has so much beautiful nature to offer, with wildlife you can only see on that island, I was sad when the trip came to an end.  The final day Karlijn and I were able to relax by the ocean and watch the sun set, it was a great ending to a perfect trip (well it felt a bit short).

Cambodia was a field trip for my geography class about natural resources.  We had the opportunity to stay with families in a fishing village on the Tonle Sap lake.  There was an extreme language barrier between me and the family I stayed with.  The only words exchanged between me and my host father were ar kun (thank-you), and tuk (boat).  We got along really well, and he let us borrow the tuk whenever we liked, which was essential to see the village since it was literally floating on the water.  The meals were fishy, literally, for supper we ate fish soup, with fried fish and rice, but it was quite tasty.  At night many families from the village came to our house to watch Khmer soap operas on the small TV which was hooked up to a car battery (or maybe they came to see the white kid).  My trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia was really great to see first hand another lifestyle completely alien to my own. 

2 comments:

  1. haha hi gerrit, which geog module was that?

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  2. Glad to see that you are enjoying Khmer fish!!

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