Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tried to kill myself on Vesak Day and day after

Being over-bolstered by my trip to Pulau Ubin last month where I acquitted myself fairly well on the cycling tracks (only killed by up-slopes), I was overconfident enough to plan a trip to Desaru from Pengerang.

I didn't bring Mr B because it was just an overnighter, and I wanted less bulk in the bag. Ended up, much through the trip, I was alternating singing offkey "The road is long" (but I was so exhausted, I only sang that line) and wishing fervently that I had brought him along so I could sit on him, reducing the chafing of my butt cheeks).

The guys sped ahead, while B1 was stuck cycling at my granny speed and being my porter. I was so tired on the return journey that I angrily kicked the bike at one point and declared I wanted to go home. I was infuriated, imagining that the other guys were already enjoying young coconuts at Sungei Renjit (our next rest stop), while I was stuck in the middle of nowhere. The fact that I was on the middle joint of the journey where there was no more punishing slopes but plenty of dust and no wind brought me and B1 zero comfort (he was stuck motivating me like a drill sergeant, and fell at one point cos a pebble went into his spokes). I drank so much water but I was still thirsty. B1 was trying to stop me from taking any more liquid.

First Day: We could still sing "The Road is Long".

I saw a lot of younger girls cycling very fast on their mountain bikes on my return journey, keeping up with their group and it made me feel worse. I survived the 50.3km ride from Pengerang to Desaru and then the return trip the next day, totally 100.6km over two days. It was definitely B1's effort, not mine. I hardly stopped to take any photos, and had fewer stops because I was so far behind the others. I had to resort to taking photos by tying my camera to the bike handle and prayed for the best and snapped quickly while paddling. I managed to capture a bemused monkey gazing at me struggling past while he consumed a mango.

As B1 said, we were too tired to even sing "the road is long" on the way back. He marveled that the others could cycle with no seeming damage to their balls (not funny at the time, funny now). At the Punggai rest stop, Teletubby declared that he had balls of steel, and B1 suggested that we should bring a hammer and verify that claim.

As for the resort stay, thanks to the unkindness of Mother Nature, I could not even go swimming like the others. B1 sacrificed and let me soak in the bath which alleviated some of my pain. The resort looked like HDB flats on the outside with little cute turrets on top. The rooms were fantastically big, the apartment one giant maisonette with three toilets. I noticed that they catered to the Bumiputra very much, when I was talking to one of the service staff, he suddenly broke the conversation and ran off to serve a local man who came to the counter. He just pointed his younger colleague at me and basically ignored me from then on. The food was atrocious, with flies all over the place at dinner and the breakfast buffets. The dinner buffet was RM40 a person, and we were so hungry and did not realise that you could order ala carte instead. So stupid. Never order dinner buffet at the Lotus Desaru. Food is BAD, with lots of flies. My installation art piece of a cinnamon roll which had already been contaminated and egg shells helped to centralize all the fly activity.

Here are the flies at breakfast.

Activities there are expensive, the only seemingly free activity is the free movies (where you can get a corn cup at RM3), the swimming pool and the beach. The banana boat is RM150 for 15 minutes. To tell you the truth, I was infuriated when I missed the activity I had been looking forward to the most, the firefly cruise, which Mr Cigarette refused to book beforehand because he was worried that we would be too tired to go and that they may charge us beforehand. Actually the guys went swimming and the activity was at 1930hrs, there were only five seats left (we were 8 persons. And there were 30 seats originally, so given that we booked the room one month ago, we could have gotten seats on the firefly cruise beforehand) and they were still not back. I was quite annoyed at that point, thinking what was the point of all that "buddy buddy one for all" mentality when we didn't even cycle together and the others, who got to the resort much earlier, didn't even bother to book the cruise while we were still struggling at Route 90 (which was obvious that they didn't want to go). I did not enjoy the resort stay at all, despite the full moon.

Probably the whole trip was jinxed from the start, because we had to wait 2.5 hours for a boat to Pengerang. If you want to go Pengerang (esp on a holiday) you better book the fucking boat beforehand. The couple who took the boat with us, started waiting at 0730hrs, so they waited 4 hours. Due to the delay, we had to pedal at a punishing speed, esp on Route 90 where there were no street lights. I didn't want to end up like the many roadkill I encountered on the road. Total death tally: 1 yellow snake, 2 squashed unidentifiable snakes, 1 bat, 2 mice, 1 iguana, 1 montior lizard.

Mickey Mouse joked that he thought I would make up the morbid death tally, saying he would see a wizened version of me petrified on my bicycle when he next cycles this trail five years later. I actually wanted to slap him at that point, especially since he almost didn't want to give me the namecard of the uncle at the resort, who had very kindly given us his contact details in case of emergency on the road. I was so tired and in pain, and just wanted to call the uncle and Mr Cigarette almost succeeded goaded Mickey Mouse into not giving it to me. I never wanted to kill two people as much as I did then.

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