I came to Malaysia to work in 2004. At first, I was working in a small, peaceful district hospital, then an astrologer from Burma told my mom ” Your daughter is going to move to a new place which is near the beach. And she is going to be happy”. ( It’s our culture that parents tend to ask astrologer about children’s future in Asia ).
I was skeptical , but hopeful at the same time. I never lived near the beach in Burma. Amazingly, I was transferred to a bigger city called Kuantan near South China sea. Kuantan has plenty of beaches, one is even in black color, some are even suitable for windsurfing and some are quite isolated and not well developed yet.
My favorite beach is 3 km from my house called Teluk Chempedak. It is quite commercialized now, but I prefer the small beach which is continuation of Teluk Chempedak because the beach is deserted and there is a forest .
The forest is preserved by private property owner and it is the homes for variety of species especially wild pigs, monkeys, wild cats and variety of birds. Here is the pictures of trees , some might be migrated from swamps, and some trees have flowers. When you enter the beach during the time of blossom, you can smell that particular smell which is quite fragrant.
There are a few facts about this beach
- It can be quite deserted and sometimes you can be alone as most people in Kuantan do not know about that beach.
- The length of the beach depends on the season and the tide. When there is no tide, the beach can be long as you can walk further , if the tide is high, you can’t walk much because of large boulders .
- Some people believe there can be spirits as the beach is deserted and there are plenty of trees.
Whatever people say, this beach is the best place for me to hide away from the crowd and to be with nature. I can get lost there , simply sitting on the stone under the shade with a book. Sometimes it’s very breezy and sometimes it can be sunny depending on the weather. I like to lie on the beach and even fall asleep sometimes .
I have seen some Europeans bring their dogs who like swimming in the sea. Sometimes, children sit and make sand castles. Some kids like to pick up sand and throw at each other, giggling. Sometimes I can see a few loners like me who like to come with a book . I never try to talk to anybody there because I know only people who don’t want to interact go there.
A lot of stones are perfect to sit and even to lie down. When I lie down , I can see the clear blue sky. It’s a very nice feelings.Sometimes people do swings and bamboo chairs which last temporarily. Afterall, everybody goes back to lie on the stone because they are more long lasting than man made materials.
Sometimes, I like to see fishermen catching fishes, crabs and clams. Some people just do it for fun.
Regarding crabs, they are wonderful creatures. They can really sense the vibration of the footsteps and before you catch them, they run away swiftly. I tried to catch a medium sized blue color crab in the sea and I could manage to grab it ,, but it tried to struggle and tickle my palm. I threw it away in alarm and he quickly escaped. The bigger crabs are cleverer and more elusive than younger ones. when I see the crabs, they remind me of my niece who is a toddler. She tends to walk side to side like crabs. They make me smile, thinking of my niece.
One time, I was strolling at the beach looking at the gorgeous kingfisher sitting on the stone with the background of the rainbow.
I picked him up and talked to him not to be scared. It was no use and just made him angrier, I guess. A lot of noise came out from his mouth. I never know somebody can piss off a turtle that much.
He looks quite old. I kind of scrutinized all his body parts and clear off small stones inside his shell. He has beautiful brown eyes, wide and tender. He did not cry but looked very unhappy. I touched his claws . They are tiny.Amazingly he did not attempt to bite me when I touched his lips.
For a few minutes, I played with the idea of keeping him as a pet. He would be perfect, not dirty like rabbits, not playful like dogs and has no fur which is good for asthmatic patient like me. But he would be stupidly standing there if I ask him to come or to talk. No interaction. More than that he would become bored with me sooner or later. For the first time, I realize the stress of the pet owner, which is total lack of bonding.
So I carried him towards the sea and put it back in water. .Alas! he turned back. I asked ” where are you going Mr Directionless?” and there is no answer as I expected. Not even an angry sound. Its like he did not give a damn. So I picked him up and put him back under the tree where he can eat small plants and also cannot be seen by kids.
Other creatures which are quite annoying are ants and sand flies. Ants can smell the food as soon as we put down our picnic basket and we always need to move the place here and there. Sand flies are nasty, blood thirsty insects. They can suck your blood with ardor until your skin swells into a big bump and the itch will last for a few days. I avoid sitting on the wet log as logs are favorite dwelling place for sand flies.