Monday, December 27, 2010

My Bubble: A Weekend In Crab Isle ...

For me, it was my 3rd visit to an island called Pulau Ketam ... literally translated as "Crab Isle", a small island not far off from Port Klang. For some a 2nd and others a first, although for Uncle Chew ... it's practically home-ground and he was actually our 'Tour Guide De-facto'.

For Uncle Chew, t'was where he had first laid eyes on his beautiful soul-mate, an island beauty. An unassumning meet during a students' outing followed several years later by a chance meet that blossomed into a union of over a quarter century. Here's Elaine's alma mater ...

Before our departure, we all headed to one of the best bak-kut-teh outlet in Klang for lunch ... Restoran Ki Heong in Bukit Tinggi. Slurpilicously yummy ... good old authentic traditional bak-kut-teh ... it expanded Lo Kong's tummy into a big round balloon!

We boarded the 1.45pm ferry for a 45 minutes ride to Pulau Ketam, making 2-stops along the way. Upon reaching the jetty, we had to switch onto a wooden boat that ferried us to our private getaway. While it was supposed to be a recluse-breakout for me, a well-deserved rest for Cheryl and an eye-opener towards life on the island for the young'ems, Lo Kong and Steven were all geared up for fishing with their tools of trade in tow. Lo Kong was kinda lucky on the first day albeit only small 'ku-chi-lek' fishes. Jeremy was quick to catch on to fishing and his all new enthusiasm got the whole family trying their luck again that night and the next afternoon. Guess all the big fishes were well informed of our visit though since mostly were the small fishes that took to the baits.

Upon our arrival at the home of Uncle Chew's in-laws, we had an opportunity to check out a newly constructed 3-storey concrete birdhouse. It is to house the swifts that come to nest and soon leaves bird nests for the picking. We climbed the darkened stairways all the way to the rooftop to catch the sights of the whole island. When we returned to the house, we were greeted with inviting Steamed Flower Crabs, followed by Steamed Prawns and then White Pomfret ... all in their whole naturalness. No flavoring whatsoever ... except our own drooling saliva! That was the first taste of 'Crab Isle'. Upon hearing the arrival of a fishing boat, all of us headed down to a neighbour's pier to catch glimpse of the fresh haul for the day. According to Uncle Chew's brother-in-law, Uncle Chia ... times have changed. Good catch are getting fewer and what we had seen that day was just pure luck!

Dinner was early that day despite our 'seafood tea-time' less than 4 hours earlier (I remembered my biology lessons ... our food needs at least 4 hours to digest duh?). Oh well ... it was a steamboat dinner and ready or not, it was beckoning us to "eat eat eat lar! diet tomorrow when you go home!" Toppings after toppings of fresh fish-fillets, prawns, squids, fish-maws, fishballs and the special "flying saucers" that you can't get anywhere else. It's only made by a neighborhood auntie through special orders of at least 1000 pieces. She uses only one specific fish (a secret) and if no such catch, then very sorry ... no "flying saucers"! We had beer with dinner but the culmination of the evening was a bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label and a Glenfiddich. While Steven complained of a terrible headache after, Lo Kong was completely knocked out for the night with a severe hangover the next morning.

Despite a very comfortable bed in an air-conditioned room, I couldn't really sleep that night. I rosed early the next morning and chatted up with Uncle & Auntie Chia while waiting for everyone to wake up. By 10.30am we were all heading to town for brunch (eat again). Unfortunately the tide was still low and we all had to climb upright down to the boat at the side of the pier. It inadvertently created a slight hoo-ha as it became a big challenge for Cheryl who has a phobia of heights. Ultimately, she made it with help from her hubby, Steven ... amidst the tears and trembles that soon turned into triumphant laughters for her. You did it Cheryl ... each a tiny step to overcoming your fear. You've done it on Apek Hill and now, Pulau Ketam.

Then upon reaching the town jetty, Lo Kong threw up several times, akin to the 'merlion' in Singapore ... all the good stuff from the night before ... gone gone gone. Too bad it just totally slipped my mind to capture all these actions!

Then off we went for our seafood brunch, a little walkabout around town and then a 30-minute walk back to Uncle Chia's house ... no more boat-rides for the time being. Steven and his family were quick to head down to the pier for another quick round of fishing while Lo Kong attempted to fish Uncle Chia's snakehead in a well right in front of the house ... unusual fishing but he caught a 3kg whopper!

Soon it was time to get back home. We thanked Uncle & Auntie Chia profusely for their hospitality and their gifts of fresh fishes. We bade our farewells as we made our way on a wooden boat to the jetty to catch the ferry to Port Klang ... this time there was no tears and trembles as the tide was high enough we need not climb down the pier.

Catch our fun-filled short weekend holiday at

2 Bubbles:

aiyooo... sounded sooo nice, i jelessss

Aiyo Lily, mine is just a short expedition to a humdrum place. Nothing to be jealous about la ... your travels are more exciting and intriguing. How I wished I had your career when younger with ample energy to travel.