Gawai 2007 Scene 3

A Day In Sibu

Continuing from my last blog, we did not arrive too late in Sibu after leaving Lubok Antu in the evening. Made it just in time for Mum's cooking... yummy. With body aching everywhere, resting a full day in Sibu before the next trip to our longhouse in Nanga Beguang. Of course that evening I went to pick up my brother who is arriving from Kuala Lumpur via Miri (to Sibu by bus) at the Sibu Bus station.

Sibu's Bus Terminal along Jalan Pedada - so far its quite clean and proper

A typical night scene at the Sibu Bus Station - you can see people buying tickets in their pyjamas! Sibu is a great place to be - so casual (minus the gangsters)

The Alternative Treatment

Apart from tinkering with my Dad's Streamyx (for my online games) while in Sibu, I also took the opportunity to go for some traditional Chinese treatment. I had suffered a sprained shoulder during my last Futsal match and it was aching like crazy. And so at the request of my parents I tried this 'alternative medicine' out of curiousity as the painkillers I took did not relieve the pain.

The entrance to the Clinic was rather impressive. It looks like a pharmacy from outside. Although I believe they are catering for Chinese speaking customers as the signs were all in Chinese except for the consultation hours.

Once inside I notice that its modus operandi is just like any clinic. There is a receptionist.

The consultation room is quite modern like any normal clinic

I saw some strange equipment - some sunctions and pump. Well, I was suffering from a sprained shoulder so I thought nothing of it. Those stuff amy not be the treatment that I will be subjected to - so I thought.

When the Chinese physician came, my injury was examined and he immediately reached for those vacuum cups......I was told I needed three of those. I did not say much, as he proceeded to jab the spot with tiny pins to extract out the blood before proceeding to place the cups.

The cups were left for about ten to fifteen minutes as blood was drawn from the spots. There was not much pain except for the anxiety - at this point I was thinking "How much blood am I gonna lost? Are those things sterilsed?" Anyway, this is how my back looks like after the treatment has been completed.

Interestingly, the physician also writes his prescription like any Doctor - unreadable. Anyway I was told not to drink cold water for the day, and go without a bath for six hours.

The Trip

Finally we made the trip to our longhouse the next day. I picked Danny aka Blueheeler from the airport. I suppose he was confident that he can survive Gawai in my longhouse this Gawai after living through his last Mangkung Tiang experience last October.

Danny introduces that famous blue shoes to us in Sarawak as we are about to board the bus

Once we reach Semaram we would have to board this Express Boat - our balik kampung is not that straight forward. And the tonnes of things to carry has to be carried over

The steering wheel of the Express Boat reminds me of the Pirates of the Carribeans Black Pearl ship Steering Wheel - only this is a smaller version. But it does look just as old.

The seats do not really look very attractive sit on.... eewww!

Double eeewww!! But what to do? This is the only mode of transport we have. Its like the people do have a choice....

If you feel you don't like the look of the seats, try complaining to the express boat staff.....inform him its Visit Malaysia Year 2007.....look at him straight in the eyes and.....eeewwww!! Never mind.

Well, this is where you will have to ride out the whole trip if you still wanna tell the Captain that you don't want to sit inside. Suddenly the seats do look comfortable...

The glimpse of our longhouse as we approach it makes the trip (and seats) more worthwhile. Finally I can get drunk....

The Landing

But that is not the final part of the trip. The question is how do you get off the boat? It was raining that day we arrived at the makeshift jetty. Unloading the things we brought from Sibu was quite challenging and adventurous for some. Why adventurous? Well picture this.... The Space Shuttle Atlantis safely landed on Earth yesterday with the help of Mission Control. Here at Beguang it gets complicated because we don't have NASA to guide us from the boat to the jetty. Notice the picture below:

Walking down the slippery plank on a rainy day..... we have our own NASA expert adjusting the plank for us to walk on down.

Danny, the Singaporean astronaut lands safely with the guide of Beguang Mission Control. He must have thought that he is landing on safe ground arriving in an Iban Longhouse on Gawai Eve!! Hehehehe..... yeah....with a few hundred litres of tuak drinks and those strange liquor bottles secretly stored in our traditional jars, all waiting to pounce on unsuspecting foreigners.

As many of the longhouse folks return to celebrate Gawai one will see the Express Boat "landing". So its quite an adventure by itself if you have never seen how you can jump on safe ground without falling into the water

But that's the spirit that I admire about my longhouse folks. They will come down to help you get down from the boat, and help you carry your belongings to your bilik. Mission Control - we have landed!


Cool... I would wanna come too next time!
Anonymous said…
Apuu bess mat kampung halaman..rindu saya
GerubiTuai said…
Apoooo quite a scene nya Igat. bebadi bala tak labuh kai..nasit empai bungau neh.
Elsa Gabriel said…
i would love to have a journey like that..except for the boat it's kinda eeee..and the hand made jambatan form the boat to the scary :)
Monica said…
Hahaha...that scenario is so familiar..the "jambatan" fall down crashed also by that EXPRESS !! helo fellow Rejang's fren, am from Nanga Woh, nice Pic though..make me miss my sweet kampung. going back this year see how bad my kampung "jambatan" is look like...hehehe...