Museums, Malls, Mike and Mary reappear.

Trip Start Dec 12, 2012
Trip End Jan 03, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Monday, December 17, 2012

We decided to have a relax today so first thing we stop in at Everise. Yay. I like Everise. It's got nearly everything a wild Borneo adventurer needs. And more.

We go to the textile museum which has some rather special native artefacts of clothing draped on some of the worst mannequins we have ever seen. But the clothes are cool and J-she does like the clothes. I just like the silly mannequins.

On our way to the Sarawak museum we can’t help but check out the brand new Plaza Merdeka. Yet another shopping mall. We suspect Kuching has the most retail floor space per resident than even Kuala Lumpur. It seems every second building is a shopping mall, and they are only separated by…other shops…and food stands.

The mall is like any other mall, with a food court which served up half decent food. We try to cross the road to the Museum and are standing there for ages whilst we think due to the neverending stream of traffic we may never get there. Nearly 5 minutes later and the traffic just keeps on coming. I turn around to scan for another crossing point and there is a pedestrian tunnel under the road right behind us. Doh.

The museum is a bit dull, but enlightening nonetheless. Ancient Iban pottery makers could not fart during casting in fear of creating cracked pots upon firing. Oh, the thirst for knowledge.

We read of the political history and the Sarawakian attempts to overthrow the 'White Rajah’ Brookes. A few more political upheavals, including a brief stint after the war under Australian leadership and many, many, many years later in 1963 an independence tribunal is set up to formulate the plans for a handover from the British rule. I note on the accompanying photo there is one token Malay representative amongst the dozen or so British colonialists. Eventually, independence from the British resolves in Borneo (and wee little Brunei) becoming semi-autonomous states from Peninsular Malaysia. So we did learn something!

During our tour we ran into Mike and Mary again, which was a real pleasure. Lovely kids, if a little disconcertingly relaxed. Mike is certainly the antithesis of the stereotypical American, must be the Canadian influence from Mary.

We cross the road to the old section of the museum and it’s full of stuffed animals and skeletons. Way cool. We see heaps of awesome stuffed stuff and a version of the carved thingamy I have at home which is carved into a lizard big wooden egg cup holder thingamy for a sixteen eggs.. At least we now know the carved thingamy is Malay, but in typical Asian style the narrative is sorely lacking in these museums and we still don’t know exactly what it is.

Despite the lack of useful explanation, heaps of taxidermied animals are super cool to look at. They even have a couple of Pongos.

Up the top we go into the longhouse replica (it’s a bit crap) but as I bump my head carelessly on things hanging from the dark ceiling I realise they are skulls…lots of them. Suddenly the rare and religious single artefact we saw up the Lemanak River doesn’t seem so special. There are more heads in here than an IMF meeting.

We stop at ‘bing!’ coffee on the way back and the place is very upmarket stylish and Western, but damn the iced coffee was good.

We are so knackered we eat peanuts in our room for dinner with a couple of drinks and go to bed. Not to eat out is almost un-Sarawakian it seems. So be it.

No Pongos. And still no Durian.
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