Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chillin' In Kuching

So, with the fam away on an overseas trip, I decided it'd be a good idea to fly over to Kuching for a writing retreat recently. Yup you read that right; I'm working on a new screenplay and I just thought that a completely different environment would help me crank out the words with a clearer mind.

And seriously, I can't for the life of me recall when was the last time I was in the Cat City. I'm pretty sure I've been back there after my judiciary days in the late 90s, but when? Cracked my head over it on the flight but still I had no answer. Ah well, at least I was on the way now.

Reached Kuching at 6 plus in the evening and on the way to the hotel, I got rather annoyed by all the roadworks. Haha. OK lah, sign of progress, what? But everything else looked like how I remember Kuching... until I got to the city and saw some new structures around the city. I mean, when did Pullman popped up here?

Anyway, I checked-in to the Grand Magherita (formerly known as Holiday Inn) and attended to the first order of business. Dinner! And just across the road was the famous Top Spot Seafood place.

Ah, I am sure I've had some good memories there. Hehe. But really, going alone was a bit of an awkward thing. But the food was too good to resist. So I took a seat and ordered a seafood dinner for one that had midin goreng belacan, buttered prawns and ambal in curry sauce. Salivating already, huh? :)

The bill came up to RM59, and I was wonderfully stuffed. I actually picked out a random stall, but I've been told that stall no 25 would be anyone's best bet.

Then it was back to room and to write the night away. And with a magnificent view of the Sarawak River in the background, it turned out to be a productive night indeed.

The next morning, it was time to head out for my Larian 40 Taman. And the park of choice was the Taman Budaya, a nice, smallish park right smack in the centre of town.

Then it was time to hit the shops and do some shopping and sight-seeing. Restricted sight-seeing that is. Since I didn't have my own transport, all I could do really was just walk along the waterfront and the main bazaar area. Which actually proved to be rather nice.

The Sarawak souvenirs they have now are rather well-designed and reasonably priced. I mean seriously, I never planned on buying kain songket when it wasn't even Raya period!

I also had a pretty delicious bowl of Laksa Sarawak at the Brooke Cafe along the waterfront.

But wait, there's a rant coming up. I got to the old High Court building, and I was not happy.

I mean, this was one of the most important buildings in the state and what do they have here now? Some restaurants and a travel agent/car rental space!  And to make things worse, the construction around the building was shoddy and disrespectful to this wonderful piece of heritage!

What a downer! But that didn't stop me from enjoying the rest of my walk.

And although this wasn't too Sarawakian, I did enjoy stopping by this cafe for a piece of cake and coffee.

The rest of the stay was mainly spent indoors, with fingers firmly on my Mac keyboard. I must say it was a much welcomed respite, and the weather was great too. Only bummer? I couldn't find a place for some great-tasting Mee Kolok. Arghhh...

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