Damai Laut - Part I
I had the pleasure to stay at this four star resort, in a secluded bay near the port town of Lumut last Friday. I was invited to give a talk there for a pharmaceutical company on a topic was very familiar with. I took both Thursday and Friday off, even though I went to he office on Thursday. As I mentioned in a previous entry, it took 4 hours for me to drive my way up there. I left KL after breakfast, but had to turn back since about 10 minutes out, Puan Anita called me to tell that I had left my laptop bag by the door. I was lucky that it was realised very early on. Imagine if I was already half way out! Not exactly a disaster because I stored one copy in the cloud and another with the organiser. But I will have to suffer the inconvenience of not being able to use my Mac. That would be unprofessional!
I reached Lumut just in time for lunch. Checked in and got myself organised. There was not much to miss outside since it was drizzling all afternoon. I was surprised at the distance to the resort hotel from the main road. It was 8 km of narrow road, driving past palm oil plantations and then the golf course and the resort apartments. The resort hotel sat right at the end of the route.
The first couple of session sailed by and it was time for mine. We planned to start things later than planned due to the traveling, and it was almost 7pm when I was done with my slides. A quick shower and it was time for dinner. The organiser got all of us a sumptuous sunset barbecue dinner on the waterfront. It has since stopped raining. Nice dinner, with nice music, good company. I was surprised by the lack of seafood on serve, as I imagine Lumut and Pangkor being a port, we will get some nice fresh seafood. There were some prawns and crabs, but they were hardly fresh. The chicken wing and ribs were aplenty. The venue may not be suitable if you were bringing kids however. Getting there include negotiating a steep back and the aisle and spaces between the tables were pretty limited. Then there will also be an issue with food, as it was mainly barbecue, there might not be food for the kids.
I think I must have gained 2 kgs by the time I was done. There was also a cultural show, featuring local dances. But then, out of nowhere, came an Iban dancer doing a demonstration on how to use a sumpit - a traditional jungle dart thrower. It was essentially a long hollow bamboo pole, where a long and slender poisonous dart was spat out by blowing one end of the weapon. Sounded basic, but oh my God, the dart just rocket through. The target were a few balloons on the ceiling and it was not hard to hit those! SHame that I did not carry my camera there that evening. It was too dark to use my phone.
Dinner was done. It was time to settle in for football. Brazil was playing Portugal that evening. The game was not shown in the rooms, so we congregated at the main bar enjoying it on the big screen. With drinks flowing of course. Nobody was drunk, so everyone was well behaved. I was pretty tired at that point, but football kept me going. Got there a bit late since I had to make a few phone calls. My colleague, KT Chua was also just arriving from UMMC. It was close to 11 when he finally got things settled. We thought the surprise was over, but then came the half-time. There was a live band playing, and they were damn right tacky! The girls were belting out dangdut numbers in tight, football-theme outfit - half funny, half surreal! The next number - Lady Gaga! I rest my case.
Mercifully the second half started. A bit slower tempo-wise compared to the first. I went straight to bed after the final whistle. After all, the morning wake-up would be at 6! The slideshow for the trip can be found here.