Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 28 2010

Fishing village

February 27, 2010

We drove back to the coast, to an Indian neighborhood for a breakfast of rice combined with various parts of a pig this morning. The restaurant was a space by the side of a building, where a bridge passed over the railroad tracks. It was cloudy; rain was forecast.

After breakfast we took a train filled mostly with Malays to the port at the end of the line, where we waited for a ferry out to the island of Pulau Ketam. The ferry turned out to be a long, skinny vessel, much like an old airplane with the wings cut off. The resemblance continued on the inside, with one long aisle between the smallish seats and a claustrophobic feel. I prefer boats with open decks. The trip out was smooth, and I dozed as the docks and cargo ships slipped by the plastic windows, splattered with rust and paint splatter.

It was low tide when we arrived at Pulau Ketam; the fishing village was perched on stilts above a vast, crab-inhabited stretch of grey mud…not the most appealing sight or smell. We deferred a tour of the town and instead took a smaller boat out to the floating fisheries in the river, inhabited by dogs, men, a cat and thousands of fish. Everything was painted green and blue. The cat had it the best, I think; it’s fur was as sleek as any cat I’ve known, and it strutted around as if it owned the place. The workers’ quarters were small huts built above the walkway. The manager showed us the various types of fish, getting them to fly out of the water by tossing food into the pools. The second fishery boasted a floating hotel for those who truly need to get away from it all. The hammocks looked especially inviting.

Back at Pulau Ketam, we had a good lunch at one of the restaurants by the dock. The water was edging up the mud flats by now, and boats began to make their way into the village via waterways and canals that were slowly appearing as the tide rose. It was as if the place was just now coming to life. We walked through the colorful alleys and neighborhoods, crossing bridges and up the main street, which doesn’t look at all as if the whole thing is propped up on stilts. The place has a decrepit Venetian feel to it, and, as I’ve said many times before, I could spend a lot more time there just walking around, exploring and taking pictures. Alas, we only had a short time before we had to catch the ferry back to the mainland, a series of Chinese New Year videos playing on the TV the whole time. This ferry was older and seemingly built for kids, with tiny seats and low ceilings. But Chenble was eager to take the firefly tour he had enjoyed so much the last time he was here seven years ago.

The sun had just set when we reached the area where the firefly tours were, and we had dinner first at a busy warehouse filled with foreign tourists. The rice noodles, fish and yam leaves were all delicious. Stuffed, we drove out to the firefly place, which has changed significantly in the past seven years. It’s now a large complex, and the tour, possibly due to the strong current thanks to last night’s rain, includes only a short stretch of coastline. The fireflies were numerous, but not as impressive in the light of the moon. I’d wanted to get a massage in KL before returning to Taiwan, but we didn’t have time. We ended up back at Tianshun’s place, where everyone said their good-byes and we thanked them all for their assistance and company during our trip. We fly back to Taiwan in the morning, at least if Asia Air doesn’t screw up again.

posted by Poagao at 6:42 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Malaysia is a great place. I really need to try and get a posting there. Or Singapore.

    Comment by Prince Roy — February 28, 2010 @ 11:48 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment