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I become a Pole Dancer

Thanks to Nuffnang, I got to see the semi-finalists of the Clorets Amateur Pole Dancing Competition.

They were mostly girls, but two guys were in there all the same – respect! All the semi-finalists all did a short number on a pole, and one of the guys was OK, but the other was too obviously repeating memorised movements with any natural feel. The girls were also variable, with some obvious no-nos, but generally not bad. Some were very good at climbing up the pole too!

Who am I to judge you ask? Well I have a Pole Dancing Certificate (of Participation), delivered by Lola of Viva Vertical :-D

And see what she can do!
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When free isn't enough

Well, my resusable bag giveaway was a miserable failure! :-O

Nobody at all tried to get it, so I was wondering what lessons are to be drawn from it all... and I think these are the relevant points:

• The prize wasn't valuable enough/attractive enough. People (bloggers) aren't that interested in a resusable bag.
• Asking bloggers to do a post is too much (this is relative to the prize of course). When I think of, I've also sometimes been interested in some Nuffnang thing, but not had the time or inspiration to come up with a relevant blog post.
• If I had only asked for some comment of some kind, I may have attracted some response: not all readers are necessarily bloggers, and obviously leaving a comment is easier than doing a post.
• I needed more publicity - I got 100 hits on the post over 10 days, average 10 a day. If there had been more people who knew about it, obviously more may have tried.

Bottom line though: not attractive prize combined with too much work!

Mount Santubong

A constant backdrop to our visit to Sarawak was Mount Santubong. Actually, to be more precise, we visited a small part of Sarawak – Kuching and Bako: Sarawak is huge! I think it’s bigger than all of ‘Semenanjong’ (as they call Peninsular Malaysia).

From Bako

also from Bako at sunset


One from an amazing sunset in Kuching – Santubong is in the background. I couldn’t get over the fact that I was in the centre of a city, but could still hear the birds serenading an amazing sunset – it was so peaceful :-) (this photo credit to my wife)
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Monkeys at Bako National Park

Bako Park was really nice, a perfect place for a day trip from Kuching or more. We spent two nights there, and did a six-hour easy walk on the second day. For me, I love watching monkeys, and there were three kinds there – two I had not seen before.

Around the accommodation area there were Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis). These are the common type you often see in Malaysia – they’re also known as ‘Crab-eating macaques’, I suppose because they eat crabs; however, these ones spend most of their time hanging around the canteen in order to steal food.

This guy was on a branch overlooking the back of the kitchen

There are rare monkeys there too, the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is an endangered species and one of the highlights of Bako. On the first day we managed to spot a few at dusk, and on the third day we went out early to try to see some. We spotted about five moving around the treetops. They’re easy to hear when they’re near – when they move from tree to tree there is a loud rustling; but as they stay high in the canopy they are difficult to see, and even more difficult to photograph – this is the best I got!

But if I had a super zoom lense, a tripod, lots of time and mosquito repellent, I might have been able to get this :-)
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Kuching Kooking

We ate at a food court place in Carpenter Street (where I the shop signs are). A very nice seafood porridge (just as I like it, with a tasty soup and non-mushy rice), and some kuey chap - which is a local speciality

The kuey chap is mix of various fried bits of pork in a slightly sourish thin brown sauce. To be honest, I didn't really like it a lot, but the spouse did.

And of course, it was accompanied by some cheap Kuching beer - a large bottle of Tsing Tao for RM7! Beer is very cheap everywhere here (e.g. RM3.80 for a can of Tiger in the supermarket) - I think it has something to do with Labuan, and 'closing one eye' ;-)

**Forgot to say - we're off to Bako until Sunday, will update after that**

Kuching shop signs

I finally did my presentation, and I’m now officially on holiday! Aaaaahhhh feels good :-D

After paying for the rooms at the Bako National Park, I wandered back to the hotel through some of the old streets of Kuching – it’s a charming place, with old shophouses still thriving (apparently anyway).

Here are some photos of shop signs – they show the old and new overlapping, and the different languages and scripts reflect the pluralistic foundations of Sarawak.

Malay, Chinese and Jawi

Malay, Chinese and English

The blinds are used to shade from the sun, and as decorative space

...and the ever-present, real thing