All holidays serve a purpose. Most of the times, it is to get you all relaxed and happy and make you forget that a real life awaits you once you take the flight back home. Some holidays quench your wanderlust, and are more about taking in the sights than lazing out by the pool in some fancy resort. Some holidays on the other hand, serve the purpose of doling out unsolicited advice, and teach you lessons you don’t wanna learn; not when you are in a holiday of course. Our last “holiday” to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia unfortunately turned out to be a holiday that taught us quite a few lessons. What can you expect from a holiday that starts with a flight that almost brought us back to Singapore because the weather was bad and the KL airport was closed?
Lesson 1: Car ride along mountainous roads + toddler + mangoes for lunch = bad, bad idea. We call it “The Mango Incident”. My life, and my favorite cream shirt has forever been tainted by mangoes. The icing on the cake would have to be getting leeches (of all things) sucking on my feet while we stopped the car so I could change said toddler’s and my clothes. Lucky for me though, we happened to chance across a wayside waterfall that diverted my attention away from the fact that my poor baby girl was wearing her dirty pyjamas from the previous night, and I was dressed in all the fineries of a worn out tank top and stinky capris.
Lesson 2: Never trust online reviews of hotels. People forget, and miss out things. Crucial things. Like flies everywhere. I tell you, they were on my toast, on pancakes and oh god all over the strawberry conserve. Let’s not even go to the salad and cut fruit section. One look and I stayed away for good. Or the excruciatingly painfully slow service. Or the pathetic food. Or that the bathwater is yellow. And this, I am telling you, was in one of the better hotels. The mind shudders to think of the condition in the cheaper ones.
Lesson 3: Be better informed about the sights to take in. I mean, seriously, the only places worth visiting were the tea estate and strawberry farms. Coming from Assam, a tea estate is really not that novel a thing for me and definitely not worth traveling all the way from Singapore to Malaysia and then suffer that horrible car ride (yes, I like dramatising things) although I have to admit, shopping for different flavored teas was quite nice (I got a lychee and rose, and a passionfruit tea, and the husband got what he calls the best Earl Grey he has ever tasted)
Okay, I’ll be fair. It was not all *that* bad. The hotel lobby had two pool tables, and I tried my hand (literally!) at playing pool for the first time in my life ever. The hsuband and I took turns while baby girl went about squashing flies on the window (oh poor, poor flies), and clinging on to her Dadda.
As for the sights, the landscape in the tea garden was really, really beautiful, although walking up to reach the cafe with the viewpoint with a toddler strapped to me was, well, tiring. I know I know I am an old woman, but I swear I could hear my knees creak in protest!
The strawberry farm was quite the experience, being my first time touching strawberries that didn’t come in a punnet, and I had a great time choosing the biggest reddest ones.
The hotel spa was quite nice too, and the massage was one of the best ones I had gotten while on a holiday.
But the best part was our last night in the hotel. The four of us (my husband and I were with a couple of friends) sat down on the floor of our dark hotel room (because baby had an early bedtime) and polished off one kilo of fresh strawberries between us. Not to mention that wine and whispered conversation (again, because baby was slepping) flowed freely. It made the entire trip almost worth it, although the journey back down to KL was yet another debacle. Replace mango with rice cracker and it was the same story repeated all over me again.
So anyway, after that “holiday” we met friends around KL; people we hadn’t met for over a year, and I moped and moaned about the holiday and got over it. We are now back in Singapore, and the chapter of my life where I surrender every waking minute of my life to my toddler is now in full swing. I have become a slave to my sixteen month old, and am happily on toddler schedule, and that’s all that matters. I know I made a promise to myself to be more regular with my writing but unfortunately naptime is when I get to clean the house and cook us dinner so the writing will have to wait. Yet again. Oh well.