It was the April’s Fool Weekend. So much for the nostalgic years of playing tricks on people. The joke appeared to be on us who are in the roaring forties. Amidst the unresolved family drama of who take care of an ailing but cranky mum whom has been in my custody for the past 5 years, I left Mentakab in the morning of 31 Mar 07 for an old favourite hideout, the Swiss Garden Hotel in Beserah with M.
Stopped over at Zaman for the famous nasi lemak. It was just as crowded even at 11.00 a.m and they have even started a new self collect system of everyone lining up for the nasi lemak bungkus. The detour was definitely worth it with steaming fragrant hot rice and delicious hot sambal. Prices has gone up to RM 1.50 per packet but die hards like me will ensure that the place will continue to prosper.
Got to the hotel and checked in at 1.30 p.m. where rates has soared to RM 308 Nett. One who think that we are staying at the Hyatt. But what the heck! It is only for a night. Time for a short siesta.
After the Spanish past-time, M and I then went for a walk along the beach. It was a long and pleasant walk passing by acres of sand and sea and crossing two rivers. Came across kite enthusiatics flying their kites and and reached Beserah Seafood. Was quite surprised with the distance and made a point to note the distance later when we drive. (Found out that we walked about 8 km)
Stopped at a Malay Gerai and had keropok lekor, pisang goreng, teh ais and ais kacang. It was absolutely delicious an cost only RM 5 in all. My, this is what is a holiday is all about.
On the way, back we trekked through some Malay fishing villages before going back through the beach where the tide was coming in. Waded through the river in about 3 feet deep water where it was earlier only ankle deep and M got her mobile wet. There goes the phone. With all the modern technology, Sony Ericson still can’t make the phone water proof. Sigh! Back in the hotel when the sun as setting and our short jaunt actually took 3 hours. No bad.
Showered and we went to Kuantan town for dinner. Went to T & L coffee shop where we had great fishballs the last time we visited. Ordered fishball with noodles and rojak. M did not enjoy the noodles but fishballs was just as good and the Rojak was alright. The noodles spoiled the dinner for M. Only highlight of the night was that T & L Coffeshop girl was quite tall and pretty, about 5′ 6″.
Dropped by Parkson Grand for swim trunks and suit. It was then back to the hotel for the Man U vs Blackburn game. The first half sucks with Man U missing a million chance and Blackburn scoring at their only shot. The second half was pure art with Man U scoring 4 goals through Paul Scholes, Park Ji Sung, Michael Carrick and Ole Gunner Solskjaer. Retired early (midnight) despite a Pinoy band belting it out at the pub downstairs and the calling of the spirits. The walk took its toll. Just before lights out, text T and J happy birthdays. Both were part of an April’s Fool joke. Getting old, but still pulled two bunnies out of the hat.
The next day, we stared at the glooming looking weather long and hard and working ourselves up by thinking to the cold water before deciding to skip the swim. Instead we had breakfast in Kuantan town, was looking for an old roti chanai place which Nassem brougth us but couldn’t find it anymore. Had to settled for Taj Curry House. Managed to get some good ointment from a medicine shop near Taj Curry House.
Checked out and went to Cherating to reminise the old times. Kampung Inn is now in a ramshackle condition. But the other places especially Coconut Groove appeared to have grown with times. Crowd’s a bit thin since it was a Sunday. Warmed by sights of two young Malay girls in jeans and T-shorts, enjoying the sea with their boyfriends and a trendy looking Malay lady waiting for her husband who was overseeing some construction works. One would not expect such fashion sense in the East Coast but it was heart warming.
Proceed to Cukai to Tong Juan, the famous stuff crab shop which faces the river front. Tasted better than the last time we were there and would definitely recommend the place to anyone who likes crabs.
After lunch, it was a drive through the scenic fishing villages, to Kuala Kemaman where poverty still stands out loudly to remind us not to take thing for granted and to a little hidden beach called Pantai Makcik Nik. What a name?! Wonder whether it is named after Nik Aziz’ aunt?
Finally, it is back to Kuantan to admire the Harajuku fashion in the mall and to get a new phone for M. Haggled for an hour with a Ms. Ng before settling for a new Nokia phone. Looks Cun and it is bye-bye April’s Fool Weekend. Left Kuantan at 8.30 p.m. and reached back reality at 10.00 p.m. only to find Ms. Ng has given us a German language manual for the Nokia…………….