On Saturday morning we went along with one of the managers and another family with small kids to a small town called Mukut, which is the last village where people live traditionally on Tioman. I have to say, if that is traditional living, I have some questions, like, how do they make money? Or do they not? If not, where are their crops or what do they eat? It was interesting. I learned from a local how to say Hello/Good morning and promptly forgot it. I felt like an exhibitionist in my white spaghetti strap tank top and short board shorts while the women in the village were wearing full dresses with long sleeves and head scarves. But we had a nice encounter with a chubby little baby boy, whose mom and grandma really wanted to meet Kiddo.
Someone had a monkey chained to a tree. That was sad. But I guess I have a dog, right?
Next we went to a small waterfall where the local authorities had tried to build up a tourist stop. They had built a pier for boats, a concession stand and bathrooms, a concrete path leading up all the way to the waterfall, and several stops along the 10 minute walk up there. It was an utterly failed attempt, and everything was in ruins.
We got to the waterfall and were super hot because of the humidity, and peeled off our clothes and went into the water. We stayed about an hour and had a blast.
The boat was nowhere to be seen when we got back down so we waited for about 20 minutes, chatting with the other family. Hubby and I had joked that the mother in the other family was a carbon copy of another personality we knew, so we nicknamed her, let´s say, Carla.
We thought Kiddo was going to sleep so we rushed to lunch. We needn´t have worried, though, as she would be awake for another almost 4 hours!
Lunch was all right. All the meals are included, and lunch is a la carte off a menu. There are two Malaysian dishes and a handful of western dishes. I tried the fried noodles. Hubby had a salad, which was a plate of iceberg lettuce with 5 pieces of chicken on it. But hey, we knew it wasn´t going to be gourmet when we came here. Kiddo ate nothing, since the fried rice we ordered for her had too much “taste”. I hate it when she doesn´t eat anything.
In the afternoon, we had a great time building sandcastles, swimming, throwing rocks in the water, finding shells and coral, and having a nice time. There were some kid dynamics, as the restaurant manager´s daughter is not used to playing with other kids, you might say, so is rather determined to have things her own way. This caused trouble not so much with Kiddo, but with the two other children around her age. There was lots of brokering, some crying, and possibly a Carla intervention followed by more tears. I guess this stuff is what we are in for as Kiddo grows up! Carla also made a snide comment to me when Kiddo and hubby went off for a minute, leaving me to work on the sand castle: “So. Who is more interested in building sand castles? You or your daughter?” Um, is it a problem that I enjoy doing stuff together with my kid? That is my passive aggressive judgey side coming out, even though I am hoping it is in permanent hibernation 🙂
Kiddo napped late and we had two glorious hours on the balcony, drinking McLaren Vale white wine, while I practiced Japanese and Hubby went snorkeling, and then we just chatted like adults for five minutes, with no distractions. Lovely stuff.
In the evening, because it was Saturday, they had a beach party with a bonfire. That meant that they had moved all the tables down onto the sand and had a barbeque. It was fun even though it meant Kiddo wanted to go run in the ocean instead of sit in her seat. We also had an incident where we felt like massively loser parents, because we brought out the iPad for her to watch and the other kids came over to see it and we got some death glares from one set of parents. Maybe they could use it, too! I listen to them nag their daughter to sit down and finish her food for the entirety of meals, so hey, that is you way, and our way is, let her watch a video so we can finish our meal 😉
After the big party, we were knackered and fell asleep like clockwork.