"The world is a book, & those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

Sunday, April 10, 2011


(Wednesday) I woke up to more rain. I thought Langkawi would be a couple of relaxing days on the beach by myself, but the weather had other plans for me. No worries, everything happens for a reason. I just made myself a couple cups of coffee and cuddled under my down comforter a little longer. When my hunger took over, I decided to walk to the fruit shop. I hadn't realized it didn't open until 11:30 so I grabbed some yogurt and hit the internet cafe until the rain passed.
In the afternoon the rain cleared a bit. I was really happy about this because I really wanted to go to the cable car. I walked back to my villa and had the front desk call to make sure it was open. They said it was. I grabbed a cab that drove me through the curvy jungle while monkeys rested on the side of the roads. About a half an hour later I was at the Geopark which was nearly empty. The air was still damp as the clouds lingered above the mountain tops. I walked up to the cable car only to find out that it was delayed with no promise of opening. I was a bit disappointed but decided to stick around just in case it opened. I walked around the park despite the fact most of it was closed. There was a tiger that was rescued so I went and watched her eat.
I decided to stop in every shop that was open. They were all selling the same dresses, souvenirs, etc. I settled down at a cafe for lunch and had some spring rolls. As soon as my order came, I saw the cable cars starting to move. I rushed through my lunch and headed towards the gate. The lift was still closed, but I felt hopeful. A small crowd had gathered in anticipation.
After another 20 minutes or so the ride opened. We all shuffled in line and walked up to the platform. I was in a car with four other people and a little girl. It moved faster than I had anticipated and at a steep incline. I dazed outside the window trying to take in as much as I could. I felt a sense of serenity. In the near distance was a waterfall and then another on the opposite side. I could see the sea spotted with boats. The mountains looked marvelous covered in a blanket of green. Then everything disappeared. We were lost in a cloud. All visibility left us; it was crazy. After a minute the mountains presented themselves again, and we exited on the first viewing deck.
The air was brisk. There were still clouds lingering so it was hard to see much of the landscape. A few quick glances were all we got. I could see the suspension bridge, but they told us it was closed when we were at the base. I hopped back into the cable car and headed further onto the mountaintops. When I got out, the curtain of clouds had opened up revealing a brilliant blue sky against the ocean. I asked if the suspension bridge was open, and they told me it was. Hearing them say that gave me instant gratification. I rushed down the tattered stairs and made my way to the bridge. I was the first one to walk across it all day. It curved between two mountains and hung from one pole. I walked across it holding on to my dress due to the blowing winds. After a few steps I started clinging to the railing because some of the wood planks were shaky and not stable. I got to the middle and started clicking away. I couldn't help it. I stood there alone in silence taking in as many deep breaths as I could before the crowd followed onto the bridge. It was a little piece of Heaven.
I continued walking to the other decks and lookouts. At one point I saw an eagle gliding through the sky before it disappeared into the trees. The view was breathtaking. I watched the waves crash against the harbor. I could see the lighthouse and parts of small towns that were along the coast. I watched the clouds move like steam up the mountains. It was perfection. I walked back to the cable car to begin my descent with a sense of equanimity.
I was so relaxed after this taste of mother nature that I decided to shower and take a nap. When I woke up, I got ready and decided to go the fruit store and buy some bananas for dinner. I had also seen an advertisement for Eagle Rock; tonight happened to be ladies night. I thought I should go out and be social. With my bag of bananas, I started walking towards Eagle Rock (which was a lot further than I had anticipated). I came across Sunba which was a retro bar with live music every night. If there's one thing I love it's live music so I made my way inside only to realize there were only four people in there and no band. I asked about the music, but it wouldn't start for another hour. I grabbed a corner seat at the bar and ordered a cocktail. I thought sitting at a bar alone with a band playing was less embarrassing then just drinking alone.
Soon after I got there, a guy came in by himself and sat between me and the other girls at the bar. We didn't talk for quite some time. Eventually, the bartender made some joke which we both laughed at and finally sparked a conversation. I was wondering when he was going to say something. I mean, two people by themselves at a bar must ignite some type of conversation. Of course I wasn't going to be the one to start it. Be it my pride or perhaps that bit of shyness that I have, but I would have waited all night for Rod to start the conversation.
We ended up talking for quite sometime before a couple others came into the bar and joined our conversation. I laughed when they asked how long we had been together, and we replied, "About 45 minutes?" Sally was from Australia and J was from Amsterdam. They were both traveling solo and met on a flight. They decided to continue traveling with one another for the time being. I loved them! Sally and I talked for hours about our lives, travels and futures. We had so much in common. It was so easy to continue the conversation. We drank and enjoyed the band that was playing for the nearly full bar now. The music was good, but we were in the mood to dance so we decided to check out Eagle Rock.
The bar had a spunky band playing that dancing was irresistible. We drank and danced all night. There was a group of Asians at a table near us who we befriended within no time. They loved us, and we loved them. Every time I ordered a drink this one guy would take it and give me a different drink. I still don't understand it, but then again who understands half the crap that happens in a club. There were shots passed and bottles of whiskey poured. These strangers quickly became friends.

The four of us left in the early hours of the morning and decided to go swimming in the ocean. I think that's my new hobby. I really enjoy night swimming. We all jumped in and had a blast. The rain may have fallen in Langkawi today, but it was an incredible day.

(Thursday) I was overly excited this morning when I woke up to the sun shining. The only place I wanted to be was on the beach. Rod and I headed to the beach closer to where  I was staying. It was nice and not too crowded. The water was the perfect temperature. We grabbed a couple of beers and enjoyed the rest of the morning before grabbing some lunch and a small restaurant. Then we decided to go to the beach by his hotel which was extremely beautiful. It was so nice to enjoy the afternoon with someone. Experiences like this should be enjoyed in good company.  There we were, in crystal clear water on a tropical island. Life is good. I floated in the water staring at the blue sky and counting my blessings. After a couple of hours, I went back to shower and get ready for our little date night.
We shared a few more hours together over dinner and wine. I think I had a smile on my face the entire time. The restaurant was decorated in a Balinese style; it was spectacular. The dinner and wine were delicious, and the company was even better. I was flattered. I let myself become completely consumed by it.
After dinner, we went back to Sunba where it all began. The bar played Shania Twain and Bob Marley in the same set list. Nothing like a little variety. There was a woman dancing with young Asian man, and she reminded me so much of my mother. It made me a bit homesick and excited. The woman was grooving to the reggae band without a care in the world. That's the liberating thing about dancing; there's no time to worry about things because our minds and bodies are consumed by the rhythms. This scene reminded me of Nashville when we were dancing our hearts out at The Stage while listening to Jason Link and his band. It was lovely, and I cannot wait for CMA Fest 2011!!!

(Friday) I contemplated staying in Langkawi another night. I was scheduled to leave in the late evening. I would spend the evening in KL again before catching a flight to Bali tomorrow afternoon. There were flights in the morning that I could take. Rod asked me to stay, and a part of me really wanted to. I sat on the internet for a good hour with AirAsia.com in one window and Agoda.com in the other. Why am I so indecisive? It's times like these I wish I wasn't so bad at choosing. In the end, I logged off and went to check out of my villa. I left my bag with the front desk and went to the beach. I needed time to think. I asked a few friends whom all told me to live a little. I am living a little. I have been traveling for a few months so I think that qualifies. I know what they meant though. You only live once, and why not enjoy good company when it's there? I really wanted to see Sally and J again.
I tried not to think about it as I laid on the beach. In the distance I saw dark clouds. They were moving fast so I thought they would blow over. Before I knew it, raindrops were falling. I tried to wait it out, but they fell more frequently until I was caught in a downpour. Oops! I grabbed my things and rushed to the nearest restaurant seeking shelter and lunch. I ordered lobster in a Malay sauce. It was terrible. They breaded the lobster pieces and deep fried them. Why?! Why would you take perfectly good shellfish and deep fry it? I ate it in resentment. My most expensive meal thus far was the worst meal. I was not happy. I was tired and longing for a shower. I wish I had a hotel to go back to and take a nap or shower; I found refuge in the internet cafe instead. In my anxious state I booked a hotel room and decided to stick to my original plan. I would regret that decision later.
I met up with Rod later in the afternoon and we made our way to the center Kuah. We went to the mall which was hardly a mall. The shops were sparse with little to offer. We decided to walk hoping we'd find something else to entertain us. We ended up along the shore and took a seat on the rocks. The waves broke against the rocks as we sat and watched the sun settling into the evening. There were so many boats out on the water. I sat taking it all in. I wanted to absorb as much of Langkawi as I could in these last moments.
We went back to our side of the island. Before heading to the airport, we found a nice cafe on the beach and had a cup of coffee as the sun finished setting. It was beautiful, and I could have stayed there all night.  A live band had begun to play and the beach was dotted with people of all ages. It was lively yet not overcrowded. After our coffee, we went our separate ways. I went to the airport and boarded my flight. It was only an hour before we touched down in KL. I shared a taxi with a young couple to our hotel and checked in to my room. I was alone in a big cold hotel room. I suddenly wished I hadn't been so stubborn. I knew I wanted to stay, but my head told me to go. It was against my better judgement to stay or so I thought. I showered and cuddled under the flimsy blanket and fell asleep to the sound of BBC News. 

1 comment:

  1. I had the time of my life with you Cristianna. Cheers Rod