As expected of small little towns, life in Belaga moves at a snails pace. Once you're here, you cannot help but feel relaxed. Because of its size, the town folks can spot a stranger without having to look twice. But don't worry, they don't bite. Instead they ask lots of questions like:
1. Where do you come from?
2. What you are doing there?
3. Do you know any one from the area?
and the one universal question - ARE YOU MARRIED?
I get asked the final question alot. Have thought up of creative answers and usually my answers leaves them shocked/ befuddled/ amazed??? Really depends on who I'm answering to though. At my age here, I would probably have 4 children already or be a young grandmother! Hahaha! The cheekier apais or akeks even try to introduce their still single sons or relatives to me!
Anyway, went out for an evening walk. Met a bunch of cute kids by the river.
|Kids being kids!|
They were having fun splashing in the puddles left over by the rain. Such simple joy! Asked them why they were not playing ball.
"Bola sudah masuk sungai!"
Don't think anyone wants to salvage a ball in those croc infected waters (read more about it in my earlier post on getting to Belaga!)
Nearby the jetty is the petrol kiosk. Unlike the Shells or Petronas back home, everything is done manually here!
|Credits cards not valid here!|
The gasoline is first pumped out from the steel drums using a hand pump into a metal watering can. Then a metal funnel with old rags as filters is used to pour the gasoline into your vehicle. So quaint, right? Technology from 50 years back, maybe?
|Tools of the trade|
Right outside the petrol kiosk was something not for the squeamish.
|Fresh from the hunt!|
Bought some of the wildboar for the clinic staff to prepare. Had it grilled.
Man, was it yummy! I wouldn't have know how to prepare the meat as it came with all the grizzle! I think you have to singe it off first.
Went on to explore the shops in town when I chanced upon...
|Ye olde curiosity shoppe|
This shop belongs to the Kapitan or Penghulu Cina. Discovering I was a doctor, he invited me in for a cup of Kopi O and told me his life story. He settled in Belaga eons ago from some village in China. Literally carved out his existence in the virgin jungles that Belaga once was. Started first growing veggies, then opened a little sundry shop, before slowly amassing his collection of handicraft & antiques for sale. And he also owns the coffee shop next door.
|Intricate bone handle of a machete|
|Remember this from kindergarten?|
|Thought this was already extinct.|
Correction fluid for cyclostyle stensils.
I know bout it cause my folks were teachers!
Then I discovered these.
|Gorgeous vintage clutches|
The price tag on them were for RM6 each (?1940s price) but uncle gave me a discount and I got these babies for RM10! Yay! Uncle also threw in a couple of jungle fowl feathers, which I later found out was for protection & wards of evil. Don't believe it that sort of stuff. I know who my Protector is, but what a sweet gesture from the old man!
|Nature's work of art|