Inderasabah

“Stay safe, Sabah.”

That was actually what one of my colleagues said, as the news of the skirmishes reached us at the office in KL. A lot of us travel to Tawau for work, so naturally we were worried for those posted in the East of Malaysia. Troops were deployed, fatalities reported.

I’ve been having such a hard time to write a blog post lately, partly due to work schedule, but I can’t help but to show these pictures now in light of what is happening.

This was taken last year while I was visiting Sabah. Before then, I’ve never been to Borneo.

A Sabahan colleague took me and some others to a village near Tawau called Inderasabah: a small fishing village on silts occupied primarily by the Bugis people.

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They said that the best salted fish are from Inderasabah. Many foreigners and locals come here to get the best dried fish (especially “ikan bilis”).

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Somewhat fragile looking houses, yet the whole community lives up here in a seemingly peaceful seaside.

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With the current situation, all fishing along this region would have been grounded to a stop I would imagine.

Phonecalls from those we know near Lahad Datu and Tawau reported that fishing ports and many shops were closed and advised us those from the Peninsula to not travel here for the time being.

ImageFresh catch would be hand picked and processed.

ImageThese nets were laid out in the “courtyards” between houses. Below in the water, I could see other fishes waiting for the dried bits to fall through the netting and into the water for them to eat.Image

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The sun-dried and salted fish were packed up in plastic bags according to the weight you want. The background here is the said “courtyard” for fish sun-drying. Brought back a kilo for my mum and she said it was one of the best dried fish she ever got.

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Inderasabah village kids just hanging out at the doorstep of their home.

I just can’t stop wondering how a village like this would be right now.

Stay safe, Sabah.

-M.

Crabbing in Victoria

First of all, a happy belated new year! How has 2012 been treating you so far? I’ve started a new job, and thus the lack of updates. Sorry!

Pinkydoodles, Egg-tart and I had a good Christmas and New Year. Just lots of yummy food and drinks. We watched the fireworks from our apartment in KL. Wonderful.

Well, we are almost up to speed as to where I should be blogging soon. This will be the last post about Canada (for now).

Man, I’m longing for a quiet boating experience like how I did on Vancouver Island in Canada.

So, in the East of Canada, we stayed with my uncle and aunt on Victoria Island. This is the view from my uncle’s canoe. It was peaceful and not too cold for an autumn’s day. Super sunny means a great time to go crabbing!

Just plonk a crab cage with some chicken meat as bait into the ocean. Then canoe back to the shore and enjoy a cup of tea (yes, my aunt and uncle’s house is just by the seaside!). An hour later, my uncle and I took the boat out again to collect the cage. Voila! Dungeness crabs for dinner.

By the way, you need a license to fish crabs, and only of a certain size can you take them. Small ones we threw back.

So our first try was good. However, our luck ran out after that. The rest of the afternoon we got something else and it scared the crabs away.

Damn you, starfish! We caught so many of these big echinoderms.

No matter, the canoeing was so fun and the water was so clear I could see the bottom of the sea.

So come dinner time, we cooked up a crab feast. Well when I say we, I mean my uncle.

Man I wished I wrote down what was the recipe. All I know is it’s got a bit of curry powder, and things you’d put in for chilli crab. Hey uncle, if you are reading this, maybe you can tell me the recipe? 🙂

The crabs were served in the wok. It was so yums!

To drink, Papa Salvatore selected:

Inniskillin Okanagan Chardonnay 2009. Yep, Inniskillin is also found in British Columbia. This chardonnay was good. Smooth, bit of oakyness and goes so well with the crab.

Since my aunt likes a more sweet wine, this was selected: Niersteiner Spatlese, late harvest. It was indeed sweet, but not sickeningly so and mildly floral. I really don’t like sweet wine, but this was quite drinkable.

We sat down and ate in silence for a while, savouring the juicy crabs. It was that good. Pair it with some lovely chilled wine, it became fantastic!

Crab fishing was so much fun. I wish I could go back there soon and do it again.

OK. Until next post. Adios!

-M.