This evening, we will be flying back to Belgium after three weeks of Sabah, Malaysia. Our trip consists of only one stop over at Bangkok. Wonderful short route.
It has been many years since I was in Malaysia during Eid al-Fitr. Malaysians (Moslem and otherwise) celebrate this day with much enthusiasm and lots of eating.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!
We went to visit grandma’s resting place at the Catholic cemetery this afternoon. We brought flowers and spent a few moments in our own quiet thoughts and memories.
Imagine my surprise when we later found my Uncle Francis’s grave, not too far from grandma’s. I was mentally drained after discovering the graves of Father Chi, Father Tung, and Father Clementi.
My goodness, what an afternoon…
This morning, my parents flew back to Lahad Datu with the tickets I bought online. They have been unusually enthusiastic and talkative since then. D and I had to laugh when the two walked off without even a glance back to us at the airport.
With the parents heading back home, the two of us went to the well known Gaya Street Sunday Market. After that, we went to our favourite mall to cool down. A slow walk back to the apartment made up the rest of today’s walking quota. :-)
Coming from a third world country, I have always accepted taxi services as an important part of the Malaysian society. It is the occasional unethical and unruly drivers which I cannot stand.
Thus, we tried an app known as Grab for the first time today. D and I were torned between our hate for the uber-ishness of this system, but can’t help loving the ease of use, the low cost and the friendly drivers we have met so far.
Today, my parents renewed their Malaysian passports. With nine more months before expiry, they decided that it is best to have these renewed while they are back home. The process went smoothly and both received their new passports within the hour. These are good for the next five and a half years.
In the morning, D spent some time in the pool while I soaked my feet and took photos. Later we went for a walk along the waterfront all the way till the city’s wet market. Our senses were pleasantly bombarded by the many fresh produce that were displayed in old wooden stalls. We bought fruit and vegetables, and decided to come back again.
In the evening, we walked to a Korean restaurant we know from previous visits. The Korean owners recognized my parents and we were greeted with many friendly smiles and warm handshakes. The food was wonderful and we had a lovely meal despite the reduced portion and inflated prices.
Yesterday was lost to long distance travel. By the time we reached our lodging, we were all at a half-comatose stage and were not functioning at optimum level. I personally do not remember much of the exhausting day.
This afternoon, we went to a familiar shopping mall a taxi ride away. We ate something at the food court. Later, mom went to get her hair done while the three of us roamed around the mall, posting for photos, watched a cultural dance at 4pm. We ended the day with a lovely sushi dinner.
The Kadazan cultural dance was certainly the highlight of my first day back in Sabah.
The airport shuttle arrived at our front door at 9.45am this morning. That marks the beginning of our trip to Sabah. Now, there will be two flights, one long transit, and one taxi ride to reach our destination.
Let the journey begins!
A few days ago, I booked and confirmed four airline tickets back to Sabah for a part holiday part administrative trip.
Now, the search for a decent and agreeable lodging begins. I have to keep in mind that mom despises hotels, dad loves his space, and D would probably be happy if there is a pool he can swim in. Thus, I am narrowing my options down to holiday apartments in the city. Fingers crossed!