Saturday, September 29, 2007


I was away for a training the whole last week to Kuala Terengganu, 50 minutes by air North of KL. At a beach resort, away from routine work. Peaceful. Refreshing.

Almost right.

The place was Gem Beach Resort. About 40 minutes outside Kuala Teregganu. Quite a decent place, actually -- with only gym, telephone line, entertainment and water pressure, among few other things, missing.

No complaint about gym - haven't been to one for some time now, despite I'm now totally out of shape. *sigh*

Telephone line was probably more of a bad luck. The line was struck by lightning some nights before I arrived. But again, landline isn't a necessity anymore these days, is it?

Entertainment, in the evening that is, posed a bigger problem. When the training ends at 5:30 and sun sets at 7, there are at least 4 more hours to kill. Four channels in a 9" TV certainly doesn't help. No LAN in the room and no phone line (now I miss the phone line) provide no option.

There's also nothing in the surrounding area, other than by-the-street shops selling kerupuk lekor - oily, fishy kind of crackers, and a couple of kedai runcit - a bigger size version of warung in Indonesia.

No one even sells playing cards. I suspect cards are banned in Terengganu.

But that's not exactly true, because they actually prepared an entertainment for our group -- traditional Terengganu performance! Well, not exactly what was expected... Even the trainer, whom I suspect the dance was prepared for, had to be picked up from his room... But hey, anything to kill the time, right? Next time I'll be more specific about what I wish for.

Equally interesting, or sad, was the water shower with terribly low pressure. This, combines with the extra-sensitive water temperature knob, presents a dangerous shower activity. You have to stand so close to the wall so that you keep touching the knob and you instantly get hot water. Ouch!

No fun.

On the other hand, there are other "extras" that wiped "peaceful" and "refreshing" away from this stay: bugs.

Yes, bugs, thousands of them. I didn't take any pictures, but they look like ones in the picture, only a bit smaller.

These creatures would crawl into the rooms. A colleague even claimed to have bugs on his bed! Yikes!

The hotel said the bug attack was unusual and unanticipated. Yeah...

Quite an experience was when I got a call at 2:45 AM in the first night. It was a colleague, male, asking if he could sleep in my room because he got bugs in his room. Fortunately, I've got bugs as well...

It would've been dangerous if the colleague was female. But male colleague? It was scary...