Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Driving, Gua Tempurung, Kuala Woh, and Cameron Highlands with Corinna

As of Tuesday the 16th of November, 2010, this post is incomplete. That's what happens when I procrastinate. It's not my fault that this is such a good, free book. Anyway:

My alarm went off at eight-ish on Sunday. I didn't wake up; I wanted to sleep more.

My dad came in at nine and told me that Corinna was waiting for me, so I woke up.

I showered and I think I may have read the Bible, but I definitely skipped my exercises. I do so little that it doesn't matter, anyway.

I packed some extra clothes and a couple of towels. I decided to put my laser in a bag, too, because why not? Also, I packed some sandals because I didn't want to ruin my shoes

I called Corinna. She had thought we would be leaving a lot earlier because I had told her at one point that I would be waking up at six. I had changed my mind the day before and I thought I told her that, but apparently I hadn't.

Before we got in the elevator I asked Corinna why she hadn't packed extra clothes. She said that she didn't mind getting wet in those clothes because they were old then Malaysian sun would dry them out pretty quick anyway.

We got in the car and I drove. We'd agreed beforehand that I would drive there and Corinna would drive back. I got to the toll for the North-South highway in less them then I thought it would take. After that we just drove and talked.

I spent a while the night before putting songs on my phone to listen to on the way there, but Corinna preferred the radio so we listened to that instead. Some good stuff came on, so I didn't mind.

We talked a bit about Mormons and Rastafarians and Jesus and the Catholic church and abortion and teen pregnancy and palm oil and contraceptives and sexual education. There was other stuff, but I forget.

We pulled into the Tapah rest stop for brunch at KFC. Corinna had never eaten KFC before. We each had a snack plate and large wedges and a box of popcorn chicken. Corinna was too full to finish the popcorn chicken, and she couldn't even look at the chicken leftovers so she just covered them with a cloth instead.

We talked about stuff. I asked Corinna when she wanted to have kids and her answer was a very specific 28, but she had no reasons behind it. I thought that was interesting.

We went to the rest of the rest stop so I could get some drinks and candy and so Corinna could try to find a toilet that wasn't a dirty hole in the ground. When we walked to the food court she almost recoiled from the smell. She said it was the worst smell she had ever smelled. It was just dried fish.

I bought a Red Bull and a Coke and some packets of Nano Nano and some Strepsils and a bunch of lollipops. I also got a razor and some glue. Corinna was gone, so I called her and told her to meet me at the car. Apparently the smell had been too much for her and she left.

I gave Corinna a Nano Nano in the car and her reaction was priceless. She reacted exactly the same way that most Malaysians do when I let them try licorice. She said it tasted like vegetables and vanilla. I didn't think it tasted like that at all. She declared it the most disgusting thing she had ever tasted. She still hasn't tried durian. Anyway, when we got back home I gave her a pack to share with her friends in Germany so she could enjoy their reactions like I enjoyed hers.

Gua Tempurung was easy to find. It's fortunate that I had a leadership camp in that area for college earlier this year.

The entrance for wet tours had ended at twelve and it was already twelve-forty, so unfortunately we couldn't go in. Well, Corinna felt pretty fortunate. She has a fear of confined spaces like submarines and space shuttles and tight crawlspaces in caves, so she was glad she wouldn't have to crawl through a subterranean river. I was a bit bummed. I had packed my boardshorts and everything.

We couldn't even go on the longest dry tour because we needed to have five people. I tried to convince three other people to come with us, but they didn't have enough time, so we ended up buying tickets for the 45 minute tour.

My dad called me right before we were supposed to go in at 1pm. I told him where we were and what we were about to do. He told me to drive safe.

The cave was pretty fun. It was quite cave-like, and I was really glad I had brought my laser. The best place for a laser is a cave, really. There were a lot of stairs and it was very humid and there were a lot of people, so we got pretty sweaty.

When we reached the end of the tour, I asked the guide if he could take us further. He said it was fine, but we'd of course have to pay the extra price as if we had gotten the ticket for the "Top of the World" dry tour. I was very pleased with this, because it meant we could stay for another hour and it would only cost three ringgit more each. A small group of other people decided to come with us, too.

The rest of the tour group started going back, but before they did I let a kid play with my laser. I figured I'd've wanted to play with a laser if I was a kid in a cave, so there was no reason to deprive him. Oh yeah, earlier on in the tour some chick asked if Corinna was my wife. I thought that was pretty funny. Corinna's exact reaction when I told her had been "What?".

Anyway, we continued to the tour to the "Top of the World". There was more walking and more stairs, but it got cooler deeper in the cave so it was alright. There was even a breeze at one point.

Eventually we came to this huge cavern that was the end point. It was, indeed, pretty high up. Previously when I had been there they turned off the lights, but the guide told me that they didn't do that any more. He could turn them off at the place with the breeze, though, so that was nice. In the meanwhile I sat with Corinna and tried to find Top of the World on my phone so I could play it and have everything be all appropriate and stuff, but I had deleted the song. I was pretty upset with myself for that.

We turned around and went to the tunnel with the breeze. I tried to talk to Corinna but she told me to be quiet because the total silence in the cave was really nice. I told her that we couldn't hear the silence even if I wasn't talking because the guys behind us always were. She pointed out that they stopped sometimes, but I didn't. She had a point, because after she said that they did for a few minutes and there was silence and it was nice.

The guide turned off the lights. My laser looked really cool in total darkness. I told Corinna to come check it out, but she didn't come.

Someone walked out of the rails to take a picture. I walked out of the rails because I wanted to walk out of the rails. Also, there was a big rock and I wanted to see if I could lift it. I couldn't. I smelled the dirt, but it smelt like the kind of dirt you get on the side of the walls in condominium basement car parks, so it was a bit disappointing.

We left the cave and we were very sweaty. Corinna still smelled nice, though. I asked her why and she said it was because of her Nivea body lotion or something. I asked her how much it was and if they made one for guys. She said yes to both, so now I know what I'm going to buy with my next pay (aside from polo shirts).

We got in the car. Our drinks were warm. We decided to go to a gas station and buy colder ones because we were still thirsty and also because we needed to refill a Touch 'N Go card so we could pay for the tolls. It cost more than RM20 to get from KL to where we were.

After we bought the stuff and I topped up my card, we got back in the car and drove to Cameron highlands. It was further down the highway than we remembered it being.

Okay, it's almost nine o'clock here at the office. I'll continue this post tomorrow.

Okay, it's tomorrow.

While driving up to Cameron Highlands, I spotted the Sufes campground, which brought back some memories of Writer's Camp many years ago and a BB camp less many years ago. A little ahead of that, I saw a sign for Kuala Woh, and I knew that that was where we had to go.

I missed the turning at first because it was on the wrong side of the road, but I found a place to turn around a little ways down. The road to Kuala Woh was not as well-maintained as the main road up to the Highlands, which made sense.

I sounded the horn as I approached a big turn in the road and explained to Corinna why. It was so that people on the other side would know I was coming so they'd slow down and stick to their side and there wouldn't be an accident.

We parked at Kuala Woh and I'm not sure how I got in my swimming pants. I think I asked Corinna to go wait by the river first.

Anyway, I went down and met her. She thought the water was dirty. I walked around in it for a bit until I found what I was looking for, and I called her over.

Hot springs are cool, especially ones along rivers because then you get the contrast of the cool river water rushing by but the hot spring water bubbling through the sand at your feet. I forgot what Corinna's reaction was but I think she was at least slightly impressed.

I put my shirt with my bag and tried to walk through the river to the other side, but I underestimated the current and was pushed a short way downstream. I hit a lot of rocks, but I didn't get seriously injured. When the water got deeper and calmer I found my footing and walked up to shore and started digging on the hot sand.

The spring water is hotter if you just dig for it because then it doesn't mix with the water from the river and get cooled down. I put a rock in the hole that I dug to heat it up. It got pretty hot pretty fast.

I talked to some Indian guys who asked where I was from and where Corinna was from. They were okay.

I waded across to the other side of the river and started digging again. I called Corinna over and got her to hold a hot rock that I had put in a hole. I think she dropped it and swore. That was funny.

I told her that I didn't want to leave until she had at least gotten her calves wet, because it was silly to come all the way out to the river and not swim in it. It took me a while to realize that she wasn't reluctant to get wet, she was reluctant to get dirty. I have to admit, the water did look kinda nasty.

I noticed a bridge over the river and how wobbly it was and I said we could leave if she went on that with me, but she didn't want to do that, either. Eventually she caved and went in the water. I took another refreshing dip and then told her that we could go, but first I wanted to shake the bridge. I ran up and shook the bridge. It was not as wobbly as it looked. It was hardly exciting.

I went back to Corinna and told her to wait by the bank for a bit while I got changed in the car. I said I'd miscall her when I was done.

She walked to the car before I miscalled her, but I already had my pants on. I asked her why she hadn't waited and she said that nobody takes that long to change. I told her the car was cramped and asked what if she saw me changing. She just did that thing where she blows air through her lips in exasperation. I dropped the subject.

We got back on the road and started driving again. Corinna told me about the dead fish she saw, and also about the dead cat she saw. Kuala Woh had quite a few dead things. Hannah and Jan and my mum went there once and there was a dead snake. Well, it was alive when they got there, but it crawled in the engine and so that's why the car makes a funny noise when it goes too fast.

And that is all I'll write about for today. I like this, pacing my blogging. I'm afraid that, by the time I get around to writing about the long conversation about sex that we had on the way back, I will have forgotten most of the details. The fact is, though, that I already have, and besides I told her that I wouldn't tell anyone until she left the country. If I do tell someone before she goes, she gets to tell everyone something that I'd rather not have everyone hear about that she knows.

I'll continue this after work tomorrow. Shit, after tomorrow there'll only be Friday. That's only two days to write about the next... five hours? Dang.

And it's after tomorrow again. Here we go.

So we were back on the road going up Cameron Highlands, and we were talking about stuff. It was a long road. It was very curvy. There were a lot of dogs on it. It was difficult to overtake people. On two occasions there were fallen branches blocking the road and I had to drive on the wrong lane to get past them. On one of the occasions I scratched the car against it pretty badly.

I can't remember what we talked about. I guess it's for the best. I've lost the inspiration to write this post. It was perhaps not the best idea to spread it over so many days. Oh well, might as well finish it for the sake of finishing it.

Um, at one point on the way to Batu Caves we talked about Corinna's friends and why her friend who slept with basically anyone would not sleep with Asians. I don't know why I remembered that or why I'm putting that here and up the story a few dozen paragraphs where it belongs, but there you go. Anyway, back to the part in the story where we're going up the curvy road.

We passed the cloudbank and kept going. It was quite high up. We rolled down the windows and the air was cool. That was nice. Eventually we saw a really big strawberry and we were in Cameron Highlands.

There was a town and we followed the road and we came across a big brownish-orange lake. Next to it was the Lakeview Hotel. It looked like Europe. We parked and got out and took pictures, then we went in to get a map from reception. Corinna went to use the toilet and I sat down in a very comfortable chair in front of a fire place and wished that I lived there. On our way out we saw someone taking scones and tea to a room. That hotel is now one of my favourite places in Malaysia. It even had a typewriter.

We checked the map and drove down the road to a tea house which overlooked a tea plantation. The tea plantation was vast and cool and beautiful. I ate some scones and had some strawberry tea while Corinna ate a slice of carrot cake and drank some plain tea. I thought it was a bit pointless to go all the way there to drink normal tea, but oh well.

I washed my hands and even the water felt like Europe. It was so cold and nice. I really like Cameron Highlands.

We went for a walk in the tea plantation. On our way in, two Dutch tourists passed us, so in addition to the trees, the smell, the temperature, and the air, for a brief moment it sounded like Holland, too. That was nice.

There was a sign that forbade people from plucking the tea leaves, so I plucked a sprig of pine or something instead. It was from I tree that I didn't see much elsewhere but it smelled very nice. I dropped it halfway through our walk and I was sad because it really did smell nice.

We talked about how I had told the girls I liked that I liked them. I think Corinna said that I shouldn't do that any more. I can't remember, though.

We took some pictures in the tea. I tried to climb up a hill but I didn't get very far. I got quite wet from all the dew and such on the leaves. It was quite drizzly.

After we got out of the tea plantation we drove back down to try and find a strawberry place, but they were closed. I pulled over across from the Lakeview Hotel and let Corinna drive.

On the way down we talked about sex. Midway through the conversation, Corinna told me that if I told anyone anything she'd said, she'd kill me. I told her that I wouldn't say anything until she left the country. She said that was alright. I told her something embarrassing about myself so if I betrayed her trust then she could betray mine.

I learned a lot about sex during that drive. I really wish I lived in Germany. Malaysia seems so boring. And the women are pretty sexually repressed here; Corinna was shocked to find that none of my friends had ever masturbated or experienced an orgasm and they all thought oral sex was gross. (I'm going to go ahead and assume that I'm allowed to talk about Corinna's reactions to what I said. That could lead to trouble. I should probably cut this short.)

The rain got worse and the sky got dark and our windows started to fog up. It was difficult to see out of them due to all the condensation, and we struggled with that for the rest of the drive. Corinna got pretty upset with the windshield for being so crap.

On the way down, I took out my laser and shined it out the window of the car and that was fun. I couldn't hit any of the nearby mountains with the beam, but I didn't mind.

We talked about vibrators and pornography and (loss of) virginity and Corinna's "type" and herpes and contraceptives and many many other things that nobody else would talk to me about so that was nice. I'd list more but I'm probably already to close to saying something I shouldn't, so I'll stop. Also I can't really remember much of the conversation.

We got back home and I said goodnight to Corinna and think I went on the computer for a bit and then I went to bed. I'm not sure. I know I felt quite depressed and lonely for some reason that night. That tends to happen after I spend a lot of time with people and then I suddenly stop being around them. The transition usually isn't so quick and it usually isn't after spending only one day with a person.

Oh well.

Hey, I'm done.

Actually, I'm not. We also went to Pizza Hut after we got back to the city but before we got home. Corinna was happy because she had been craving pizza all day. She'd never eaten in Pizza Hut before. We ordered too much food and I had a slice of pizza and it was good. I liked it. We didn't finish everything we ordered and Corinna wanted to pay for me, but I didn't want to let a girl pay for my meal so we split the bill. She ended up paying more but then again I did eat a lot less.

Okay now I think I'm done.

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