Each of these writings came about for its own reasons, collectively they are musings linked by my fascination with fate, choice, chance, faith, forgiveness, forgetting, freedom of expression, appeasement through prayers, adherence to rituals, trolling for miracles, pursuit of happiness... (Amy Tan - The Other Side of Faith)
Long overdue post of the cruise holiday I took with mom almost 2 months ago.
Note: Could be photo-intensive post. There would have been more if I had had my camera with me.
It was the first time both of us go on a cruise. Mom had mentioned to me a couple of times before that she heard it is a lot of fun going on one. As much as I wasn't convinced, I figured it could be a great holiday choice for her - as she is not able to walk for long distance, she does not really enjoy relaxing by the beach, she detests shopping (except for groceries perhaps, but still she can't walk for long before complaining of leg pain).
I got a pretty good deal, a buy-one-free-one package so it was about MYR2600 for the two of us with our choice of the Ocean View Stateroom. The package also comes with return coach transfer between KL and Penang, which is a plus point. I do not mind driving to Penang, but would prefer to have at least another capable driver. The journey on the road takes about 6 hours one way.
So off we go...
On the coach, heading to Penang
Crossing the Penang Bridge
Here we go
Being on-board the ship, we didn't do much besides eating, sleeping, chilling at the pool deck, watching shows at night... we practically did nothing except to just relax. I even had time to catch up on my reading.
Just enjoying the breeze on the pool deck
The acrobatic show on the 2nd night
We did pretty well on the first day - but when we awoke the next day, we started to feel a little seasick. Thinking it was not serious, we just put medical plaster on our belly buttons. I learned this trick whilst on a trip to Jogjakarta some years ago, shared by our local guide which had helped my friends curb their motion sickness. My mom claimed she had heard of it too. We did just that but few hours later we still felt uneasy. We had no choice but to take the anti-motion sickness tablets. Thankfully I managed to get it at the eleventh hour.
Spotted in Phuket
Krabi town centre - iconic traffic lights
Enjoying our seafood tomyam at one of the local restaurants in Krabi
We got off the ship on the 2nd and 3rd day at Phuket and Krabi. As I have said, mom don't do beaches or related water activities, so I have planned for us to go to town these two days, to just take our own sweet time to check out the places. Managed to sneak in a superb and relaxing (yes! this word again!) Thai massage session in Patong town, Phuket. In Krabi town, we found the local morning/wet market and bought lots of fruits from there. Prices were reasonable and the fruits fresh. We had mangosteens, lychees, rambutans and pomelo! We had a feast.
Disembarked, leaving the jetty on the coach - and it rained for the first time during our trip
Overall it was a good trip, spent quality time with mom. I know I may not have spent much time with her, except for those grocery shopping weekends. I am I have this chance to travel with her, to bring her to see the world outside her own little space. I know how hard her childhood had been (she was born in the midst of World War 2), how she had and I told her before I will give her a better life the best I can.
Oh, with the cruise package, we actually got a free 5D-4Ntrip to Hangzhou too! We just have to buy our flight tickets, wonderful as Hangzhou is a place I had wanted to visit in China. As the Chinese says, "Paradise above, Suzhou-Hangzhou below 上有天堂，下有蘇杭". Am keeping an eye on cheap airfare.