Tag Archives: kuching

Eight Months, Seven Countries

24 Aug Giant tree roots grow down over the ancient monastery of Ta Prohm, near Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

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As Z and I enter our eighth month of continuous travel, here’s one amazing thing we’ve done in each month of the year.

January: Making the Leap!
I’d been a home owner for almost a decade when we left in January. Working constantly for longer than that. Between us, Z and I had accumulated piles upon piles of, well, crap. Sifting through it was like sifting through past lives, wondering what this next phase would bring, what would happen when we stepped off the plane with packs on our backs, an odd mixture of anticipation, excitement and, yes, I guess, grieving, too. Continue reading

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The Vanishing Forest

28 Jul Three platforms laden with forest timber plough their way down the Batang Rejang, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

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Some things, simply, look too big, too plentiful to ever be used up. The herds of bison that clouded the American plains; the trees of Easter Island; the ice sheets of the Arctic; the world’s great rainforests… Continue reading

Women of the Woods

21 Jul Orangutan mother cradling her one year old child: Semanggoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]The Malay name orang utan means “man of the forest”, and, after a visit to the Semanggoh Orang Utan Centre, it’s easy to see why.

30-ish kilometres outside Kuching, Sarawak, Semanggoh is, technically, am Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center. Not some kind of, erm, “rest facility” for the Lindsay Lohans of the primate world. But a place where illegal pets or babies orphaned by loggings are enabled to live in the forest, semi-wild. Continue reading

Orangutans and Betel Juice

21 Jul

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]They say you learn something new every day. And today I learn that gambier, AKA catechu, is a common ingredient used by Asians in chewing betel.

Which nice for me, nice for my mother, and absolutely blinding news for the staff of any museums in our path across Malaysia. Continue reading

The Man who Mistook his Capital for a Cat

20 Jul

Astana, the fortress-like state residence of the Governor of Sarawak, illuminated at night, reflecting in the Sarawak River. Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]This is Astana, the little place which James Brooke, the first “White Rajah” of Sarawak, built for himself in his capital, Kuching (“Cat”).

A Victorian adventurer somewhat in the mould of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman, James Brooke spent his inheritance on a schooner, The Royalist. He stuffed it with cannons; crewed it with sailors who didn’t think he was insane (or weren’t that fussy); and headed to Borneo to remake the fortune he’d spent on the boat.

Continue reading