Cameron Highlands Trip




Just like any other of our impromptu trips, this trip to Cameron Highlands was no different. George suggested that we take a short trip back to Raub. But my mind has been on a slightly longer road trip mode for the past few weeks. I need a longer road trip. A different route. It was a toss between the beaches or to the mountains. We did the beach thingy often enough that we decided that a trip to the mountains will be good this time.

But where to?

I recalled that the drive passing through the long and winding road heading towards Fraser’s Hills rendered my poor husband sick for the next couple of days. We didn’t make it up to the hill station; instead we just passed through The Gap (the foot of the hill station).

Oh, well…..

We started off from Kuala Lumpur around noon. Just about the same time as in our last drive to get our paint roller a few months back – and ended up in Pulau Pangkor. We decided to take the coastal road to admire the small kampungs and the different sceneries on the way north. I have always liked driving on the coastal road rather than taking the highway. There are so many rustic sceneries to see, with so many smaller towns in between.

The problem with travelling without a proper itinerary and planning is that you really don’t know what to expect when you reach the desired destination, or whether you have any accommodation. We have been pretty lucky in the past. The last trip to Kuantan saw us getting the last room available at the local hotel. We managed to get a room in Johor Bahru – at 10.30 pm. Pricey room but hey! At least

The bed was comfortable.

Anyways, I digress.

There we were, getting stuck at the main road in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands at 8.30 pm. The small town was cramped with coaches as well as local and foreign tourists. It was raining too. Adding on to our “excitement” was the fact that we had stopped at 3 hotels, and there were no rooms available. Ok, let me rephrase that. There were no rooms that we were willing to pay the price for. Holidaying in Cameron Highlands means that you have to fork out quite a sum for comfortable, decent hotel rooms. We decided that paying RM400/night was too much for a few hours of sleep.

Finally, the traffic eased off, somewhat. We took a turn at one of the signages that advertised a chalet. Two seconds after the turn, we found ourselves on this quiet, small dark road that passed through what looked like an industrial area. We decided to drive for a few more minutes…and there it was, the reception to the chalet.

I couldn’t see the chalet as it was hidden at the slope facing the Brinchang town. There was a small “reception area” which was a small brick building at the end of the small road. No one was there even though the sign said “open”. Instead, a white board on a stand was placed outside of this reception, written with a few numbers to contact in case you decided to stay there.

Now, what was lacking in the atmosphere was that shrieking background music in “Psycho”. Because that was how it looked like. Two people looking for a room in a strange place, rainy night, the jungle surrounding the chalet, small dark road, an unmanned reception, and a chalet with rooms that didn’t have a single light on.

Bates Motel came to mind.

Creepy? Hell yes!

George decided that a mental picture of him getting axed was not a very nice one so we decided to turn back to the main road and yes, even if the last available room is RM400/night, we will just have to suck it up and pay.

Finally, with God’s grace, we found a decent room at one of the hotels with an equally decent price. It was nice and clean. The only slack we had was that they ran out of hot water in the morning.

We took a drive at some of the touristy places. Stopped at the strawberry farms, bought some vegetables, had the obligatory tea and scones at the tea plantation and admired the lush tea plantations as well as the think jungles of the mountains. We even stopped at the Orang Asli stalls to buy some jungle produce including the famous tualang honey on the way down home.


Today I Want To Talk About My New Job

The great thing about having a partner and a husband like George is that he is a man whom I can have such intelligent discussions with and full of excellent ideas. And not even once he ever made me want to act dumb, which is a fresh breath of air.

So, that being the backdrop of the blog today, I want to talk about my new job. Yes, as of 1st November 2010, I have a new job with one of the business arms of the company that I am with. A job which I never thought would be offered to me. But, here I am, a few days in this new job and feeling on top of the world.

Excited? Definitely.

Scared shit? Absolutely.

My boss once said, “Hanie, everyone has fear of failure.” I suppose she was right. She was in the industry for more than 15 years. Every day for the past month or so, I have shared with George my fear, successes and thoughts while we trudge through the traffic jam to go back home.

I have a great team in the office to begin with. Work is tough and challenging as it is a new set up but everyone are so “switch on” and that is the way I would like to keep things. We set baby steps milestones and there are high-fives and cheers each time we surpass the milestones each day.

As for me, the real challenge is myself and not anyone else. The bar is high enough that it can make anyone dizzy. I sometimes have to remind myself that I have to practise what I preach – to take things in small steps.