5 days, 5 stamps, ka-ching!

, originally uploaded by mxccuba.

We’ve been talking about spending some weekends in Asia for a while. A discussion that spawned the DH boys’ one-night mantra: kebab, passport, Bali. But thanks to an invitation for Damian to speak at the Malaysian Institute of Architects Conference, we’d be spending this first weekend away in Kuching, Sarawawak, northern Borneo.

Our mornings seemed to begin overcast. Either: this is normal in Kuching, they also don’t have day light saving, and/or the remaining preparation of Damian’s presentation loomed. Either way, each day inevitably brightened. It was all quick looking, looking, looking, eating, eating, eating, again and again and again. With Koh, our tireless host, and two tables of Architects, our first dinner was at the infamous Top Spot. Many were from Kula Lumper and it seemed at least fifty percent had studied in Australia. With curious accents they joked, “I’m half Australian. Can’t you tell?”

The next morning Damian was first up and his presentation went very well. So, with that squared, I headed out for a mini-adventure. To encounter the things we’d quickly scanned from Koh’s car the day before, in person. Mainly the old Chinatown shop-houses, Buddhist Temples, the curiously overt blue and white police station, the magnificent old tree with roots as tall as the passing cars and Little India. Painfully, during my first attempt I dropped my camera! I saw it bounce and briefly thought maybe it’ll bounce back, but to no avail. Anyway. The excursion didn’t take too long and I made it back to do some laps in the pool before ducking back into the conference for the Q & A in all its glory: the speakers seated behind a panel table covered with a shimmeringly resplendent cloth, as if they were judging a Thai queer beauty pageant. Awesome.

The conference and the evening almost ended with a dinner at Blah, Blah, Blah, with its huge goldfish, and finally a visit to a locally designed house. Almost: because a ferocious dragon bug would later unleash its wrath.


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