Monday, April 26, 2010

240410 Ridin d Surf with Mermaids

Pit Stop Island/Pulau Perhentian

When a friend invited me to tag along to Perhentian Island, I couldn't resist the temptation as an 'Escape' from the modern world. (Even though I had to drive like 4am in the morning). Lemme drive the first leg or u're gonna regret it. I did drive all right but after 2am my eyelids began to feel like Gates of steel. So cumbersome they are, I even had to prop them up with my fingers aka Mr. Bean.

Pulau Perhentian Kecil & Besar

A bottle of some root power tonic did help...for an hour - the most, besides the stiff side effect afterwards albeit the wrong timing. By the 61st minute drowsiness starts to kick in & nothing in this world can make me eyeball. My delusioned brain-mass started counting sheep pigs jumping across the moon & stars with the cows.
Half way down the 543km route thru Kuantan , my co-driver, tried massaging my stressed neck & shoulder muscles to no avail. Veering right nor left, the 4WD began to slow down...almost to a snail pace. We did stop a couple of times to put out some fires but our hoses were either too stubby or too short to reach the interior. The forest were too thick - leave it to the firefighters. Pity the parched flower bed. Not a single drop of rain in these part for almost a month. There were no ladies on board so no one would water the plants.

Finally after what it seems endless hours of monotonous line driving, finally destinantion arrived. Break of dawn prayers at Kuala Besut & off to the jetty for some morning Nasi Dagang & Wood Fish/"Ikan Tongkol/Kayu = Tuna.

Nasi Dagang recipe
Literally meaning "Trading Rice", this signature East Coast dish has become a well-known breakfast food of Peninsular Malaysia,made by steaming rice and glutinous rice together, to which is then added coconut cream once it is cooked. Tuna fish curry is the main gravy with extra condiments such as fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable pickles.

Ingredients (Enuff to serve 3-4 hantu raya)
4 cups of Nasi Dagang or fragrant long grain
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) thick coconut milk
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) thin coconut milk
10 shallots, sliced
2 cm ginger, cut into thin strips
5g fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon salt

How to go about doing it.
Wash rice, drain it well and soak overnight in water. Next day, drain the water and steam the rice for half an hour. Remove from steam and stir in the thin coconut milk and re-steam for 15 minutes until the rice is almost cooked.
Mix the thick coconut milk with the ginger, fenugreek seeds and salt and then mix well into the cooked rice. Re-steam for another 15 minutes until the rice is completely cooked. Serve there & then.

The Wood Fish/Tuna curry
Ingredients (Enuff to serve 3-4 clueless clones)
2 medium sized Tuna (Max length 1 feet)
*too big it's gonna taste like a piece of plank
20 shallots, pounded or blended
3 cm turmeric, pounded once to get the aroma
2 cm galangal, pounded or blended
4 table spoons of grated & toasted coconut
2 bowls of coconut milk from 1 coconut
1 bulb of garlic
2 cm ginger, pounded once to get the aroma
20 pounded dried chilies
A bit of tamarind
Cooking oil
5 green chilies

How to go about doing it.
Clean up the Tuna & cut into desired slices. Sprinkle a little salt, tamarind.
Chuck everythin into a pot & get the fish to boil on a medium fire till the water is all dried up.
Simmer the oil & sauté the garlic, shallots, pounded dried chilies, turmeric, ginger, galangal (Lengkuas) & the thick coconut milk.
When it has come to a boil, submerge the Tuna, green chilies, salt & sugar with the grated & toasted coconut.
Serve when it’s thoroughly cooked.

Ohhhhhh... never tasted better with Kopi O/Black thick hot local coffee "Chap Hang Tuah" to perk you up. This kick-ass coffee will launch you like a pocket rocket. Two packets pliz makckik/aunty. Life wouldnt be perfect if you have only one. Two mounts of rice makes a perfect combination & the right "Balance". I give it a Bo Derek score of 1 - regarded as the most perfect of numbers.

Kuala Besut minaret during the golden hour/twilight

40 minutes that what it takes from Kuala Besut to the main Island with 400hp of power that pulverized the calm salty water. Skimming the waves & wobbling out of sinc, you get delirious - overwhelmed by the vast seas & deep abyss.

You'll start seeing things. You hallucinate... silky waving mane but her hidden shadows seems to disappear into the vast open... Well I believe, mermaids are actually manatees or dugongs. Conjured by the the spirits of the seas, searching for lost souls who long for the mystique.

Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. Bcoz of their friendly nature, men confused them with mermaids.

Pulau Perhentian is located in the South China Sea 19 km/10 nautical miles from the coast of Kuala Besut. It consists of two islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Both islands are surrounded by beautiful palm-fringed sandy beaches andcrystal-clear turquoise-blue sea.

How they got their names.

The two main islands are Perhentian Besar /"Big Perhentian" and Perhentian Kecil /"Small Perhentian". The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara/Virgin Milk, Serenggeh and Rawa lie off Kecil. The Perhentians belong to Pulau Redang National Marine Park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited. Like Besut, people here generally speak Kelantanese Malay dialect.
Why? A few generations back, Besut was part of the Kelantan state. The name "Perhentian" means "Stopping point" in Malay, referring to their longstanding role as a pit-stop/way-point for traders during the turn of the century & have been sparsely inhabited by fishermen for centuries. The Perhentian Islands appear on many maps of the nineteenth and twentieth century as 'The Station Islands'.

Aha, do you know that Virgin's milk is used to cure Pink/Red Eye infection / Conjunctivitis? "When you have goopy eyes, followed by redness & mucous; Virgin breast milk expressed directly on the eye area immediately dissolves the mucous painlessly. Rather than using a warm wet cloth (as recommended by many). This is a well-known cure for eye infections, whether its pink eye or the clogged tear ducts so common in humans. "Breast milk is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I followed an old folk remedy and it worked beautifully!" This is truly a natural cure.

1 or a pair of breast
A bowl of warm water (Wash them up thoroughly)
Pat to dry

How you go about doing it.
Have your eyes wide open - with a glee
Ask your partner or you to squeeze/squirt a few drops of her milk directly into his/her eyeballs.
Blink a hundred times.
Do it a frequently within the 24-hour period and the results will be truly amazing.
I bet its pain free and red eye free for over a year.

Oh here comes a stingray, there goes a manta ray. In walked a jelly fish. There goes a dogfish, chased by a catfish.

Plodded along the beach hoping to catch a glimpse of the two ABBA looking dames who hitched the same boat with up but to no avail. Instead I came across lots of narwhals and bikini whales. Tanning on the white sand in the glarin sun, darkened from the usual pale.
One thing I noticed when we were at the beach. Everybody had matching towels. Then somebody went under a dock. And there they saw a rock. It wasn't a rock. Looks like a croc covered by a frock. It was a rock...lobster.

100 meters to the beach, the boat stopped & we're forced to hop on a small sampan that charges us 2 ringgit per bloke to ferry us to the white sands of Long Beach. There you have a newly build jetty splitting the waves & these buggers tell you that the water is too shallow to dock? I'm no cheapskate but fleecing tourist in broad daylight is uncalled for.Another paradise going to the dumps.

To add salt to the wound, this place is hounded with cut-throat entrepreneurs. Bowelless readiness to take advantage of harmless poor souls like us. A plate of fried rice would come to a hefty 16 ringgit with a glass of tea. The so called chief waiter needs a bath & some lesson in manners. This place needs some sprucing up too. Run-down-semi-haunted chalets, creepers clinging to the balconies, unswept leaves & rubbish strewn all over the place. Not to mention the "Everlasting" plastic materials.

Threading on plastic, the bartender had an overblown chest & manly nip**es ready to pierce your eyes. Oh yeah, this fella was happily bouncing his artificial over-blown assets, as if we care. Runnin away from civilization & you encounter with "Unnatural things", leaves a bad lingering taste in your already bitter tongue. Duh...
Bad enuff? I regret wearin the bike tights. Unlucky me, this place acts as a pod for the transgenders aka "Sotong" - Lost souls in limbo. I mean, I don’t really care what their preference are but you'll never get this kind of treatment like I had in The Land of Make Believe.
I dunno about the others but if you ever go Long Beach, Perhentian Island don’t ever go to this so called paradise corner - Moonlight Chalet & Cafe. Looks, first impression & recommendation by the tour agency was seemingly-beaming with incomparable beauty was a BIG MAJOR let down. Clean water is only available every other day. Can’t even get a decent bath, let alone a proper tooth brushing. Shampoo? You must be kidding!!! And yet the proprietor had the cheek to ask me to come back again.
I'd never - EVER! Shame on you, you bloody moron - your place is a mess.

Went wading late in the evening & caught a glimpse of two imported mermaids submerged by the corals. The fishes in the ever-clear water were dodging playfully among the seaweeds, scavenging the remnants of biscuits strewn by eager yuppies.

I then took charge of the stern & skimmed the waves. Manoeuvering a boat is not like driving a car with a slight difference. Even it may look the same; you gotta like turn it half way round the globe before you get the rudder to turn left or right. There’s no red, yellow or green light to guide you as long as you follow your six senses & hope for the best not run aground.

After some provisions of burgers, fried rice & nice cool soda in Perhentian Besar tiny island town, I ventured within the fridge of the kampong & chatted with an old lady who was born in Redang Island which is about 20.5 nautical miles away & met his late husband in Perhantian.This quaint town in the middle of the ocean offers cheap, clean food & accommodation. No fancy restaurants, nice humble-simple local folks making a living. Food costs the same here like the 2 ringgit burger. Could even fry on your own - they'll obliged with a smile. I would take my family here.

We were then taken to the middle of the ocean & hours were spent lying on the upper deck, lazing & gazing the darkness of the evening, watching the clouds go by - waiting for the sun to go down on the Milky Way. The disappearance of the sun below the horizon engulfed my conscience. I felt eerie & somber...It was a priceless encounter.

We were rolled by the sea, churned upside down as we fish for "Sotong"/squids - I've had too much to chew of "Sotong" for the day. Bobbling up & down made my nauseous & choose to lie on the upper deck & gaze the empty parallel universe.

Fried squid with brown sugar & soy sauce

Early the next morning we were awakened by crows banter. Where's the droning sound of hum from the diesel motorboat engine? It got stalled as we docked by Perhentin Kecil Island & marooned us for 3 hours. The rough seas wouldn't about to let up & we're caught off-guard without food. Finally the skies shone bright again. Far beyond the horizon, small speedy boats came to our rescue & took us back to civilization.

Trekking across the island from Long Beach to Coral Beach took 20 minutes through some light undergrowth. 2 years from now, I bet this place gonna be swarmed with too many humanoids & wreck this heaven. Makes me wonder who gave these landowners the right to encroach the jungle like nobody's business.
Since the tidal were huge in Long Beach, there's no way that any motor powered dingy would ferry us back to Kuala Besut. With infants shrills & loads of frustrations, we squeezed through sweaty armpits & clamored to our waiting boat.

Saw a croc with a frock under the dock

Rumbling skies made the journey back treacherous & made worse by the "Couldn't care less" attitude of the young looking lad who tried hard to look like a seasoned seaman. I could have smacked his toothless sneer but as a "foreigner", I could be thrown overboard.

Rumbling seas & the seasoned sea-man

Fresh cool "Land water" never felt better. After all the salted attire it was a relief to be on safe land, I mean four wheels. Rolled on towards Kelulut Beach which is the gateway to Kapas & Gemia Island, another paradise.

Oh... so droopy eyed & most demure

These tired eyes were suddenly affixed to this dame on two feet. Waving us with such beauty - We parted our ringgit & sens (senses too). She hypnotized us with her lovely flawless features that melted our souls, which seduced & altered our state of consciousness into buying 4 packets of "Keropok"/local crackers.

Keropok = fish / prawn / dried & fried crackers.
Not to be confused with cream or firecrackers.

Keropok Lekor - Tail-like crackers. Boiled, soft & uncut

By late evening we filled our tummy with some stuffed crabs in Maran. Couldn't stomach anymore as the fried "Keropok lekor"/Tail-like crackers have expended.

In all. It's a time well spent even though we had to work the following day. It was definitely a short pit-stop but it's not gonna stop me from stoppin by again.

I shall savior the moments I had, underneath the waves - with the mermaids...

Ridin d waves with Swedish mermaids

Mermaids calls are hard to resist...

10 - Derives from a rating system used by people to rank members of the opposite sex based upon beauty, with a 10 being the epitome of attractiveness.
Bowelless - Ruthless in competition; "cutthroat competition"
Sotong - Squid or queer, tranny, transgender, transvestite or Pondan, Ponen, Bapok, Daghai (Nothern slang)
Nasi Dagang - Literally meaning "Trading Rice", this signature East Coast dish has become a well-known breakfast food of Peninsular Malaysia, made by steaming rice, fenugreek seeds and glutinous rice together, to which is then added coconut cream once it is cooked. Tuna fish curry is the main gravy with extra condiments such as fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable pickles.
Tongkol - A piece of wood hence Ikan Tongkol/Wood like fish.

Keropok - Crackers. They are made by mixing prawns/fish/squids/seafood or from exotic fruits like Belinjau (Gnetum Gnemon), bananas, jackfruit & tapioca flour and of course water. The mixture is rolled out, steamed, sliced and sun dried. Once dry, they are deep-fried in oil (which must be at high heat before cooking). In only a few seconds they expand from thumb-sized translucent chips to white fluffy crackers.
Lekor - Spiral, like a mosquito coil/Similar to a coiled ropes or a spring

Keropok Lekor
- Uncut crackers/Tail-like crackers. Kept in spiral. Keropok are deep fried crackers made from starch and other ingredients that usually give the taste. Keropok Lekok is also prepared from fish meat grounded with sago and salt; these are then rolled and made into the shape of long tubes similar to sausages/dildos/phallic in appearance
. They are then boiled or fried & dipped in chilly sauce.

No comments: