Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beer Island

Back from Beer Island! Also known as Labuan. For those not in the know, Labuan is a Federal Territory just off the coast of KK and more importantly...DUTY FREE! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this was indeed my maiden trip to Labuan. Finally popped my Labuan cherry, heh heh. Went crazy buying chocolates and liquor (too bad for the 2-litre limit though...Actually, more like too bad i'm such a law-abiding citizen). My colleagues and I stayed at Mariner Hotel (where they get very protective of their hairdryers - apparently they only have one so get in line when requesting for it). Beers+good company+dozens of cheesy songs+a microphone can only spell one thing: KARAOKE bay-bee! Lagu wajib included Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and "Copaaaaaa Copa Cabanaaaaa". But after several bottles of beer, I could even belt out an Eminem tune and Iziau Iziau Iziau (I knew i had some Kadazan left in me).

Our main purpose of the trip was to attend Remembrance Day on Nov 12. The ceremony is held at the Labuan War Memorial where British, Australian, Sikh, Malay and local servicemen who served and died in the Second World War in North Borneo are laid to rest. It's a beautiful memorial and the service was very poignant. They had three prayer services going on at once at different parts of the memorial - Hindu, Muslim and Christian - followed by a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute.

Apart from the service, we took the opportunity to spend the weekend visiting places of interest. Let's see...There was Surrender Point, where the Japanese basically said, "We give up, you win. Make love, not war. Arigato gozaimas. Let's have sushi." In a nutshell, this is where it all ended.

Pic of Mel and a huge rock (whaddaya mean which one's the huge rock?) It says, 'Peace is the best'. Hear hear. (actually chocolate cupcakes at Benito's are the best too....) We went to Kuraman Island . Slightly bumpy ride, but half an hour of sore butts and salty hair later, we got there. And it was very purdy. (I dunno why the sky is orange and the tree trunk looks grey...I think i got overzealous with Photoshop on this one)

Believe it or not, I did not bring any swimming/island gear for this trip - long story why. Anyway, once I got to Labuan I couldn't find a half-decent swimsuit on sale(it was between an overpriced two piece at Parkson or a Made in China wetsuit thingy that promised to ride up my ass every three minutes). So i settled for a bright pink touristy sun hat - thanks to the coaxing of my friends. I'm such a schmuck, I know. Striking, no?

Mushi mushi! The best Jap-tourist look i could muster. Almost there...

Back on land! Salty, sticky and really need to get the sand out of my pants.

We also visited the Labuan Bird Park. Ka-kaw, ka-kaw! Saw some really exotic birdies...

And an unidentified creature or two...

On our way out, look what i found! Really...I just could not resist.

And there you have it. The Adventures of Mel and Beer Island. I'm definitely gonna head back there for a weekend of swimming in Chivas and singing more Spice Girls numbers. Anyone game?

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