Saturday, August 28, 2010

So Redang Was Nice

I had a good holiday. It was really good timing; took my mind of the summonses and now I don't care that I had such a terrible day that day.

I'll try not to include too many descriptions and opinions in this post because firstly I don't want to spend all day on this and secondly because I want there to be stuff left to tell when people who read this blog (Ebony? Hannah?) ask me how the holiday was. Here goes:

We were supposed to leave at 2am on Tuesday, but we ended up driving off at 2:30am because we were tired and sluggish or something. We were taking two cars to get to Terrenganu: my dad's and my mum's. My dad's car had Hannah, my dad, and me; everyone else was in the other car. My dad drove most of the way. I started off by taking a nap while the Inception soundtrack played on my phone, then I woke up for a while and engaged my dad in conversation to keep him awake, then I took over for him for a while while he took a break, then we took a wrong turn which added an hour an a half to our journey because the signs were confusing, then I pulled over because Hannah's contact lens fell out of her eye because she was sleeping with it in, then I helped her get it safe, I drove while my dad napped (even though I still didn't have my license), then we swapped places again and I read some Greek mythology from a book we had brought along, then I napped again, then I woke up and we were at the docks at 8:45 and the boat was apparently leaving at nine.

I was going to rush to get ready for the boat trip, but my dad told me that he was mistaken and the boat was actually leaving at nine thirty, so I was able to take my time. While I was putting in my contact lenses, a kitten approached me and started bugging me. Just my luck that the only time I don't want to approach a new cat, it approaches me. I told Ian to restrain it, but he failed, and it knocked the lens out of my hand and onto its head. I retrieved the lens, rinsed it off, and carried on. After that I changed out of my shoes and long pants into shorts and sandals. I tried to approach the cat again, but when it noticed that I was interested, it decided to avoid me. Typical cat. I did my daily Bible reading instead. When I was done, I managed to get the kitten to stay put, and I gave it the attention it wanted when I was putting in my contacts. It reminded me of Cali.

Anyway, the boat arrived, so we gave the people our stuff and got on board. It was a fun ride over. I sat next to Hannah and shared the music from my phone with her. I also took some pictures.

When we arrived on Redang, we took our stuff to our rooms, then we went snorkelling around a very very large rock (or a rather small peninsula). We saw some tiny sharks and a turtle.

After that we had lunch. They had fresh, non-boiled vegetables, which I thought was great. The always-full bucket of delicious biscuits was still there, and so I helped myself to those. I also had some fried crab thingies that were tastier than I thought they would be. It was a nice lunch. Also there were these three kittens that hung around the canteen. They were all white and they had a white dad who was raising them. It was pretty cute.

When lunch was over, we had some time to kill before our first dive, so I turned on my music and took a nap in the shade. My parents told me that napping in the shade would still get me a tan. I was doubtful, but I went with it. They were telling the truth. Unfortunately, I hadn't put lotion on my legs, so they got a bit burned. Also I slept on my side for a while, so I ended up with a bit of an uneven tan.

Ian and I went on our first dive after that. It was a shore dive next to the rock where we had gone snorkelling around after we arrived. The preparation was a bit embarrassing, because even though we were certified divers, we hadn't dived in three years so we didn't know what went where or how to put anything on, so Stephen, the guy who was guiding us on the dive, had to help us out while making only the shallowest efforts to mask his annoyance.

The dive was nice. Ian and Stephen saw a very large trigger fish, which is quite a dangerous fish, apparently. I looked where they were pointing, but I didn't see it. We probably saw other interesting things, but I've forgotten. My dive log for that dive was "Had to re-learn how to wear equipment, had a good, trouble free dive. Saw lots of parrotfish, slugs, and anenomes [sic]. Everyone else saw a trigger fish but I didn't. Good, relaxed dive."

After that we swam around and played with the inflatable rafts or something. I can't really remember. I think I hung out with Hannah. We stopped when we got bored of the sea and said we were going to shower and have dinner.

I took a proper shower with soap and stuff (as opposed to just showers with freshwater so I'm not all salty and itchy after being in the sea), but while I was halfway through my dad said that there were some really big waves out that everyone was going to play in. I told him that I had already showered so they could go ahead without me, so they did. When my shower was done I went to watch them from a deck chair, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, they were all gone, so I went looking for them for a bit.

I found them and we had dinner. Every two days, the resort does a barbecue. The lamb was really, really good. The sweet potato was a little less so. I didn't eat enough lamb as I should have. Everyone else said the chicken was good, but I was too busy with the lamb to try any.

After dinner we went back to our rooms. Ian and I took turns using the computer to access the internet. I had the first turn, which I used to take my Conquer Club turns, then I let Ian have the computer while I napped, then I used the computer again to finish watching Sphere. It is a pretty awful film, which is a shame because the book is great. Anyway, after the movie I went to sleep. I slept well, even though the room was quite cold (the air conditioning was very effective and the sheets were tucked in very tight, so I didn't have slack which meant there was always space for the air to get under the covers).

The next day (Wednesday), I woke up, did my daily Bible reading, ate breakfast (Sausages and French toast; so delicious!), and then we went for a dive. This time it wasn't just Stephen, Ian, and I, though. There was also a European guy who had lived in Australia for a while and been on around one hundred fifty dives. That's a lot of dives. This time we took the boat out. The water was very choppy, so it was a fun ride. When we dived down, the first thing we saw was an eel. After that there were turtles. Then I realized I had fifty bars of air, so Stephen had me use his other regulator while we finished the dive and did the safety stop. I felt very incompetent. My entry for that dive was "Saw at least 3 turtles, an eel, some large fish and large slugs. Ran out of air early, had to use Stephen's air. Need to control breathing next time. Also saw a school of small barracudas".

After that we took the boat back, had a break of a little more than an hour, and then we were back on the boat for another dive. I ended it with 75 bars left in my tank, which is twenty-five over the minimum and more than Ian had left. The entry for that dive was "Managed to control breathing. Saw lots of anenomes [sic], two types of clownfish (orange & grey), felt strong current, had a generally calm and peaceful time."

When we got back we had lunch. I don't think there was much great food for lunch, so I just ate a lot of vegetables and biscuits. We filled in our logs and filled in our logs, and then it was time for another dive.

We had been to this particular dive site three years ago, and according to my log I had seen some barracudas before I had to surface early. This time around was a lot more interesting. I thought I saw a weird donut-shaped coral, but it turned out to be a tire. I tried to carry it out, but something pricked my finger. I wanted to see if it was something venomous or just a cut, so I squeezed my finger and green stuff came out. I showed it to Ian, but he didn't care. I later found out that blood is green underwater. That's pretty cool. Anyway, after that we saw a bunch of rays. Here's the log: "Saw 3 rays. 1 tail, one in some sand but very visible, one orange & purple & small. Saw large school of medium sized fish. Very, very, big waves. Also saw someone hold a starfish." The waves were indeed very big. I was checking my gauges during the safety stop, and every time a wave would pass overhead, it would go from registering 5 metres of depth to 6 metres of depth. Stephen joked that we may have to cancel dives the next day.

After getting back and storing my equipment, I went to the pier with Hannah, Ian, Jan, and my mum. The pier was new. It floated on the surface instead of being built on stilts or something, so it was unstable and very fun to walk on. We tried jumping into waves as they passed, with limited success. We also tried testing our balance on the edges. It was a good time.

When that was over, we went to play in the waves. The rest of the family was already there, actually, but Jan and I had stayed for longer on the pier, so we were the last to arrive. Along the way to the part of the beach with the biggest waves, I passed an attractive tourist who looked like she was around my age. She was building a sand castle. I wanted to talk to her, but everyone was waiting for me at the waves, so I joined them for that. When I got bored with the waves, I tried swimming over to where she was. Just as I was leaving the water to go strike up a conversation, she ran off into the sea to play in the waves with her parents, so I went back to join my own family. The waves were big and fun, but they broke my watch strap. Oh well, I fixed it (kinda) a few hours ago.

After the waves, I took a proper shower. It was nice. After the shower I went to check what was for dinner, but there was nothing outstanding, so we went to a restaurant nearby to eat instead. I had a grilled lamb chop, which in hindsight was not such a great choice since there was going to be limitless lamb the next night. Half of the lamb I got was overdone and not that tasty, too. The fries were great, though. I should have had the fish and chips, probably.

When dinner was over we got some ice cream, and then Ian went to the room to use the internet while Jan and I dug some holes under Hannah's supervision. Hannah eventually left, but we kept digging. Jan's hole ended up going halfway up his thighs. Mine was a lot wider, but it only went up to my knees. We built a wall around Jan's hole so it would look deeper, and then I added a ramp, and then I noticed that it kind of looked like the front end of a sperm, so we added a wriggly tail and soon it was done and it looked really great. My dad came by with a torchlight which meant that we could take some pictures. We were quite sweaty from all the digging, so we needed another shower afterwards. It was worth it, though, the sand-sperm looked great. Jan lost his spade, though.

After showering, I used the computer to read a bunch of Cracked articles and take my Conquer Club turns, and then I went to bed.

When I woke up it was Thursday and we had another diving trip to go on. Jan and Hannah had done enough of their course that they were ready to go on a boat dive, and my mum and dad were done with their shore dives and wanted to do a boat dive, so we all went together after breakfast and stuff.

We didn't see anything really interesting on the dive. We had rented an underwater camera, though, so Ian and my dad took some pictures. Ian kept swimming off without me, which was not cool since he was my buddy and buddies are supposed to stick together. Also, he was supposed to stick with Jan and Hannah's diving instructor, Chris, since she was the one who would know what to do if something went wrong. Anyway, our dive finished when Jan and Hannah dipped under the 50 bar limit. My entry for the dive was "First dive with family. My buddy kept straying. Didn't see anything interesting aside from angel fish and big rocks."

After that we had a break, and then another dive. This second dive was much better. Hannah was my buddy this time, so I didn't have to worry when Ian went swimming off on his own. I saw loads of gross worm-like things on corals and pointed them out at Jan so he could share my disgust. At one point I swam above Hannah and watched as she looked around for me for a few panicky moments before I finally descended with my face right in front of hers. That was funny. We also saw a huge stingray. I was behind it, so I got real close to its tail so some nice pictures could be taken. Apparently it was the same type of sting ray that killed Steve Irwin. Huh. Anyway, here's what my log said: "Saw lots of nice coral, lots of worm-type things on a volcano shaped coral, saw and got close to big-ish stingray, saw small blue-spotted ray, (orange & purple), Had wee bit of buoyancy trouble throughout dive. Second dive with family."

After that I took a shower, then I had lunch, then I went into the sun to get a tan. My plan was to listen to the soundtrack of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog while I tanned my back, and then when that was over I'd flip over and listen to random songs while I tanned my front. When I was ten minutes from completion, my dad told me that I would burn and that I should join him on the pier to feed some fish. I told him that I had put plenty of lotion on so I'd be fine, and even if I did join him on the dock it's just as sunny there so I'd get just as burned. He finally left me, but then I realized that he was the one paying for the vacation so I might as well do what he says, so I went to join him on the pier. I aired my grievances and he let me finish my tan, so I did. When the last song on the soundtrack was forty-five seconds from finishing, Ian came by and tried to tell me something, but I told him to just wait for another half-minute or so. When I was done I looked around, but he was gone.

I found Ian and asked him what he wanted to tell me and he said that everyone was going snorkelling around the big rock/small peninsula. I told him that I'd just climb along the side and watch them, since I was getting bored of the sea. Right around then my dad came by and said that we were going to build a bonfire that night so we had to go with him to get some sticks. He said it would only take twenty minutes.

Ian, Jan, and I went with my dad to go get some firewood. We saw a pretty big monitor lizard along the way. I took a few pictures of it. It looked quite prehistoric; it was pretty awesome. Anyway, we brought back the sticks and our twenty minutes were up, so we wanted to go to the rock, but my dad said we had to dig a pit and break up the sticks and stuff. Once that was done someone from the resort came by and told us that we weren't allowed to burn stuff on the beach, so we had just wasted three quarters of an hour.

We finally got to go around the rock. I climbed around the side while the rest of the family (except my dad) snorkelled. Eventually I reached a point where I couldn't keep going, so I just jumped in the water and swam. A little while after I got in the sea, I saw a huge school of fish jumping through the water towards me. They stopped jumping before I could get close, though.

I met up with the others and helped push Susanna back to shore on her inflatable mattress. While I was doing that I saw a stunt plane doing stunts. It was pretty dang awesome. I kept imagining it crashing even though I didn't want it to. Fortunately, it didn't.

When we got to shore, Hannah told me about all the small reef sharks she had seen earlier (six at once!) so I told her that I'd go get my snorkel and join her to just look at the sharks. I did and we did until the sun set. In addition to seeing loads of little sharks (The most I saw at once was three), we also saw a tiny eel, and a bigger shark that was just a bit smaller than Susanna.

While the sun was setting, I took another shower. I had dinner in the resort's canteen since it was barbecue night. I had a lot of lamb. It was all delicious. I also tried some chicken. It was also delicious. After dinner we went to the restaurant for some fries to snack on. They were also delicious.

When we got back to our rooms I did a bit of packing, read a bit of Cracked, took some Conquer Club turns, and then I went to sleep. I had a nice sleep. While the rest of us were sleeping, my dad went out and lit the bonfire. Fortunately he didn't end up burning the resort down, so everything was fine.

I woke up at around seven on Friday. My dad had gone with Hannah to snorkel with the sharks. I had breakfast and did my daily Bible reading, finished up with my packing, and then went to try and finish tanning my front. Unfortunately, the sun was behind a cloud for the whole half hour that I was trying to get tanned. It was practically the only cloud in the sky, too. Oh well.

We went back with a different boat than the one we had arrived in. It was a lot more comfortable, but it wasn't as open as the other one so I couldn't take as cool pictures. Anyway, I listened to my music and before I knew it we were back on the mainland.

The contact lens kitten, Sammy Jenkins (Hannah and I first named him Lenny because of the contact lens that fell on his head, then we called him Lenny Jenkins because Jenkins is a good last name for someone named Lenny, then we called him Sammy Jenkins because Sammy is a better first name for someone name Jenkins), was still there. I gave him some more attention, and then we had to leave.

On the drive back, I took some naps and finished the book of Greek myths. We made a few stops and bought some snacks. Hannah's contact lens fell out again, but this time she just let it dry out because she didn't care. We pulled up at the McDonald's near Genting for lunch. We placed our order just a few minutes before the lunch discount expired. I almost finished the Adrian Mole book I was reading, but I had to stop with just a few pages left. When we were almost home, we dropped by Lucky Gardens to pick up my new license. It's a full license and it'll last for the next five years. Nice.

I didn't have time to unpack when I got home because my dad had a meeting to go to and I had to drive him there. I gathered up that day's newspaper, the Adrian Mole book that I was almost done with, and all the Star Two newspapers from Tuesday to Friday so I could read them while waiting for my dad.

I finished reading the Adrian Mole book. He's less of a twat in 1992 than when he began. I also learned from the newspaper that Malaysia had done something to rile up some Indonesians and now they were throwing faeces at the embassy in Jakarta. That was amusing. My dad's meeting finished and he took the papers as I drove him back.

When I got back home, I unpacked and then went on the computer. I spent a long time on it since there was a lot to catch up on.

My dad wanted to go for dinner because he was suffering from pork withdrawal. Jan, he, and I went to Sin Kee's for dinner. It was a bit of a hassle to find parking because of how busy the road was, but we managed. The chicken chop was yummy, as expected.

Back home I went on the computer for a long while, then I watched the TV and did my exercises for a while, then I took a nap, then I took a shower, then I went to bed at around 2:30am. I couldn't sleep because of how hot it was because the fan was still broken, so eventually I went outside and slept on the couch under the ceiling fan. I woke up at seven and went back into my room to sleep since the air-conditioning had cooled it down a bit.

Aunty Rosie came in and turned everything off and so I woke up an hour later because it was too hot. Then I tried to see if Hannah loves Audrey more than Stefanie and Saundra, but she proved that she cares for them an equal amount, and that amount is more than the amount she cares for abused children in Thailand and stuff.

Anyway, I spent the rest of today catching up on my friends' blog posts and writing this blog post. It only took me three hours to write this. I am pleased. Hannah, tell me my typos and stuff once you're done reading this.

Oh yeah, it was my mum's birthday yesterday, so to celebrate we're having breakfast for dinner today. All that bacon ought to satisfy my dad's pork cravings.

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