Monday, 31 October 2011

Eating in Limbang 2

ok, i think so far i managed to eat at most of the acceptable places here in Limbang (after being nearly month here).

Union restaurant behind Hong Leong Bank area serves dim sum at 6am-1.30pm daily.. surprise surprise, there's dim sum in Limbang! the only place i suppose.

the dim sum is generally rm2 each except for loh mai kai which is rm3.. i doubt there's any ha gau (prawn dumplings) or any dumplings in fact, and the siew mai is Tiny! for rm2, i don't want to complain so much or have too high expectations. they serve noodles and other dishes too, probably they know dim sum alone is not filling.

there's several places u can grocery shop (being in a small place, all i do is grocery shop that i spent maybe rm500 at least this month, i don't realize how but i guess a bit here and there builds up.. especially when u first arrived and settle down) like Choon Cheong (there's 2 branches, the new one is 3 storey, yay!) Soon Seng, MK Mart and Ngui kee in the plaza but there's this warehouse/gedong style by the road on the way to the airport which sells lots of random odd imported stuff and wholesales too (Especially junk food!)

anyway, there is another place to kill time, the Limbang Muzium, its FOC, opens daily from 9am - 430pm and perhaps only becomes operational (lights and aircon on) once u come!

come to learn the history of Limbang, the cultures, the different ethnic groups like Lun Bawang, Bisaya, Penan, Tagal, Kelabit, Kedayan, Tabun etc..

its funny that they say Hokkiens pioneer the place followed by many other Chinese dialect groups with Foochows being the last to arrive here, yet Foochows grew to be the 2nd biggest group here after Hokkiens, statistically.. and Yet seems that the majority here are the Foochows as nearly every Chinese i hear talking are Foochows...

ps: I know i am not suppose to take pictures but i just wanna share abit about Limbang.. *peace!*

people here catch fishes, crabs, other shellfish and the famous ikan tahai (it looks like dry tasteless fish but once cooked like sambal its superb!)

and not to forget, there have apple farm at Ba'kalalan (south of Lawas) and strawberry farm soon.. i want to go there! and so you know, they only have Maxis line reception.. like how Long Rayeh only has Celcom.

one of the 3 lunch places with air con (besides Papa Recipe and Bubble Bing) is Sweet Home, opens 730-5pm.

seems that we all go for noodles here, i had clayport noodles and its kinda different from Kuching's style.

next door is Sarimah Curry House (oh yes, How Greedy!) for malay food.. i only noticed now they have Mee Kerbau, maybe should try that since Limbang is famous for buffaloes/kerbau..

i had the pink Puspa, like a cendol + bandung drink.. its also rm3 like the normal cendol, but i think i prefer cendol. we came for the rare roti canai, only cause it opens mornings, closes for lunch (Yes! Wonder why..) and reopens at 2-430pm.. we actually had to wait till 2pm for this. at the same time i ordered buffalo curry (kari daging kerbau) to try.. its like beef.. but rougher..

not satisfied with that lunch or dessert? time to cool off at Snow flake Cold Drink Centre, opens daily 12-6pm (but unpredictable, i discovered that some eateries are unpredictable as they can be closed suddenly for the day, i guess that's how shops in small towns are like)

Rainbow flake and Fruit flake ABC.. we tried the rojak too, i prefer the prawn and yam one (udang + keladi) as i don't like sotong that much, the prawn n yam fritters rojak is quite good actually, will definitely be back! we had fried Wan Tan too

oh gosh, all these fried stuff is causing endless acne attacks, not to mention weighing scale attacks (don't ask me what does that mean)

dinner at Maggie Cafe which is all along the same row behind Tong Lok (Daily Cafe, Pearl Cafe, Union, Maggie Cafe, Tong Lok, Crystal Palace, Mei Xing, Papa Recipe, Limbang Rojak, Adnan restaurant etc etc.. are all within the same 2 Blocks) that's how small Limbang is..

for typical Chinese dishes.. was not hungry enough for crabs here, apparently they serve good crabs too.

i just noticed there's a 4th Bakery here, Nuraisy, only cause it opens late till 8pm (yes, 8pm is considered late) like Strawberry bakery. the best bakery? will have the verdict soon.

Yap, i think that's Most of acceptable Limbang food. Birth week is coming to an end, no more excuses to splurge and binge! time to save up for that 2k Handphone...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Wake up Call

as much as people try to avoid making mistakes, its still one of the way (and for me, the Only way) to learn.. paying a price for being gullible making mistakes that cost time and money being careless that affects other people around you

i have known for months that my Blackberry mobile phone is sick, often hang or stuck or jammed; late or unreceived sms, msgs and calls; needs to be restarted (this process can take HOURS) and lately its condition is deteriorating that it just becomes a blank white screen (like below) even when restarting/rebooting..


..and like Last night, while i was Oncall, the BB decided to hang again and unknowingly, within that small window of half an hour when the BB hang, the hospital A&E (accident and emergency) had been trying to call me..

..and i only got the sms saying i got 3 miss calls last night from A&E, This Morning.. at least if i got it immediately last night i could still call back and rush in..

and staying out, u don't have a land line, other family or friends to call to pass the message, so if your mobile is gone, u r Absolutely not contactable, unless they knock at ur door.

yes, i was in denial thinking i can survive with a half-dead mobile phone that jams for hours suddenly.. its a Wake up Call that i have to get a new handphone ASAP so that i can Wake Up when A&E call.. (what irony...)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My Unexpected 26th Birthday on 26th October

hmm someone said i might be going through Pre-birthday syndrome, maybe being far away and alone makes u miss loved ones instead, like during Christmas and CNY.

However, i must say, D Day (or Birthday .. or Birthweek) turned out a lot better than i expected.

23 Oct: Went over to relative's for my weekend-ly visit on Sunday night and little did i know they have a sweet surprise with me, complete with a bowl of chicken mee sua and egg! (our typical Birthday + 1st day of CNY meal)

and a birthday cake with a present as well! thank u dear relatives :) , so touched, and i thought it would be a Cakeless one this year as i did not tell anyone D Day.

25 Oct: i wanted to ask my colleagues/housemate for dinner on D Day's night but they were busy, so we went for dinner the night before at Musbee's.

the malay-thai food that we had.. the first time i had the rm10 nasi lelapan, only to learn its our version of nasi penyet. definitely the same thing! had sizzling chicken noodle which is sizzling, seafood fried rice, nasi pattaya and seafood tom yam.. the tom yam is spicy indeed!

my new group of friends here. they didn't know its my D Day, but i consider it a 'celebration' anyways :) :)

26 Oct: D Day itself. i kinda know there's 2 options to spend this day, either just keep a low profile and life goes on as normal (and ur pocket remains full)..
or have a Birthday Party!

alas, knowing me (the party-organizer queen since UK days), i decided to order catering and bought snacks for my 20 staff in the clinic and 10 at the office = 30 people.

that's everyone's favourite way to have a celebration = Free Food.

my clinic staff found out D Day and surprised me with a birthday cake, even off the lights and sang for me! :) :) :)

my staff at clinic

and Lo and Behold, the office staff came over and surprise me with another cake, a chocolate one! i have 2 Birthday Cakes today! totally a surprise :) :) :) :) makes me 26 x 2=52 years old...

my office staff.. thanks to everyone

D Day night was supposed to be a quiet one as i don't have any plans but i ended up following my colleagues for Deepavali visiting right after work (here in Limbang? in Sarawak?) surprise surprise, and its my first ever!

and yes, D Day falls on Deepavali day which IS NOT a public holiday here.. happy diwali anyways ;P

so i can't say i spend D Day night home-alone as i was out although for a short while, met more colleagues, visited a friendly Indian home who served a delicious array of Indian food! :) :) :) :) :)

27 Oct: i recently joined the Young Adults thursday night meeting at the Methodist Church here (which does Everything in Chinese) and this week they had a steamboat... obviously its not in conjunction with D Day but they know its D Day so they all wished me a Happy Birthday :) :) :) :) :) :) (in chinese) its always nice to be welcomed into a family/church again, however new/whatever the language barrier is, although i have yet to attend an English service church yet.

my 2 presents, one in the mail and one from my relatives
:) :) :) :) :) :)

Sounds pretty happening for a newcomer in a small town right? you bet! i realized its how u see or deal with things, its your option to be cooped up in your room and be depressed, or go out and have a good time making new friends with some money, time (and weight!) at your expense.

its better to give than to receive after all, and surprisingly the unexpected returns are more rewarding at the end of the day.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

While I am Still 25...

...i am gonna complain. perhaps reality is starting to sink in.

i thought its alright to have slower internet, But i ended up waking up in the wee hours or at the break of dawn to online, and make blur sleepy decisions which resulted in carelessness, time loss and financial losses, and a not-so-well-rested self.
i thought its alright to be friendly or trust people, But i end up getting scammed, which resulted in further financial losses and frustration.
i thought its fun to be located far north, with many other cities nearby worth visiting, But being the only other dentist only means i am oncall 24/7, up to Christmas. that's probably nearly 10 weeks i have to stay put here. and the few hundred bucks for making me stay for weeks/months isn't worth it.
i thought its more relaxing working in a small town, But that only means u have to take charge, bear responsibilities and that's Far from relaxing.

am i complaining too much? maybe. what's wrong with a handphone that's unreliable and half dead, internet that's not working half the time, workload increasing, weekends taken away and a social life just about surviving...

look on the bright side right? i am gonna be a year older and i should celebrate, but no one else here knows anyway and i am not thick-skinned enough to tell. i think i need to treat myself to something, regardless of financial losses or busier work schedule... but then whatever i want isn't available in this small town, and i can't leave cause i am oncall.. and i don't have friends to get stuff for me.. and the cycle begins again..

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Futsal Tournament

on Saturday my dental society organized a Futsal tournament for Hospital staff and invited outside players as well.. there were 16 guys teams and 6 girls teams

the prizes and lucky draws

the male dental and female dental team! support!

i thought the event would finish by 5 pm but there were 44 games in total, and although each game is 5 minutes, due to warming up, time to change etc.. it takes 4-5 games Per Hour.. so that means 10-11 Hours, not including starting after 8am, time for lunch And dinner.. we actually finished at 930pm!! that's 13+hours!

prize giving ceremony

in just 3 weeks here, i already had Family Day, Futsal Competition, went to school to screen students, went for 4D3N outstation travelling, attended meetings etc... seems that smaller towns are definitely More Active!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Long Napir & Long Rayeh Mobile Clinic Trip 1

last week i joined the hospital for a 4D3N Outstation trip to Long Napir & Long Rayeh. Both kampungs are about 3+ hours drive away on bumpy logging roads (headache headache!)... luckily i did not suffer serious motion sickness as i forgot my meds.

i didn't expect to go for outstation travelling just within my 3rd week here (just like back in Kuching when i work just 3 weeks in service then had to go to a village alone!) but luckily i had previous experiences with Community Service so i know what to expect, at some point i expected even worse!

bumpy dusty dangerous roads

the guesthouse, the Pejabat URA at Long Napir.. at least got sheltered accommodation although no phone line, electricity only supplied 6-10pm and on 2nd day there's No Water! u can imagine we get pretty bored (and Hot!) at night with no phone line or TV etc..

a river beside the resthouse. too bad the water is muddy due to the rainy season. usually its clear. one of our staff went fishing and caught 5 fishes each on 2 days, mostly ikan baung, ikan sema..

the catch on the 1st night

that evening we tracked about 45 minutes up and down the hill to the nearby penan village .. it was raining heavily after that so we had to track back on slippery wet slopes! imaging just Day1 of our 4 days trip and we have wet dirty laundry already..

the best part is one of the nurse was a good cook so we are over-well fed.. this is dinner and breakfast.. (i was definitely better fed than back in Limbang when i stay alone)

then its time to open the clinic at the Kelabit longhouse

work work work

medical team worked hard as well

approaching noon.. one of my nurses caught me dozing off (a usual sight of me) after the morning's work..zzZZZzz

lunch, dinner and breakfast

then its another 3-4hours to the 2nd kampung.. both the pictures at the bottom of a wooden hut was suppose to be our accommodation..

but thankfully a nearby Petronas resthouse offered us their 5-star accommodation.. and i mean it when i say 5-star as i expected nothing (no line no water no electricity, sleep on floor with mosquitoes) but we had a properly room with Air con, own bathroom with water heater , electricity and even Celcom line! and a canteen nearby with food!

thanks Petronas!

our lunch

then its time to get to work again for the patients of the Penan village

part of the team

dinner and breakfast

the full team with Petronas workers

4 tiring days due to travelling and part of the time feeding mosquitoes, having no phone line, electricity or water.. perhaps its a small sacrifice to help the rural villagers who takes hours and even days (yes nearby villagers can walk ALL DAY, its their only mode of transportation..) to seek treatment from our mobile clinic.

and its weird to say this but i was glad to be back in Limbang coz however small the town is, its still civilization! electricity! water! internet! a room of my own.. what bliss...