Rebak Island - Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Fri 8 Feb 2013 08:07

Dadang and I are still on the boat at Rebak Island Marina, while Greg is really busy back home with work.

We have been here for nearly 3 weeks (and not 1 day of rain) and the time just flies! Most mornings I either do yoga or go for a hike around the island. The hike takes about 75 minutes through thick vegetation and includes a narrow track to a remote beach – it would be picturesque if it wasn’t for the mounds of rubbish that wash up on the sand at low tide – plastic bottles, thongs, gas bottles you name it. Very sad. We then do jobs on the boat during the morning, make lunch and then put the air con on at about 2pm (when it gets to about 37 degrees) and have it on until we go to bed. We go in the dinghy once a week to Cenang (about 1.5 miles away) for lunch and to get some supplies – there are beautiful white sand beaches and lots of tourists on jet skis, banana boats and also parasailing.

Dadang and I have been making use of the movie box and are now watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Flight of the Conchords (there is no way Greg would ever watch this stuff!) But there are also hundreds of movies to choose from – thanks Torgeir and Henry for downloading these.

On Sunday it is Chinese New Year – Gong Xi Fa Cai! (Happy New Year) and Langkawi businesses come to a standstill as most of them are run by the Chinese. There is a four day holiday here starting tomorrow yet most businesses will close for up to 10 days. Boxes of honey mandarins and oranges seem to be the most popular New Year gifts to buy. You’ve got to admire McDonalds getting in on the act – they are promoting a Double Prosperity burger just for Chinese New Year!

Our taxi driver Halim told us this week that he was given a bonus from the Malaysian Government of $180AUD to vote in their upcoming election (voting is not compulsory) – he couldn’t believe it when I told him we were fined $50 if we didn’t vote!

Major Muslim leaders here have also banned anything to do with Valentine’s Day as it is against their religion – which I think is a great idea – it is just more commercialism. The Malaysian supermarket ads in the newspapers have beer for sale and next to the price it says NON HALAL just in case you thought it was OK to drink beer if you were a Muslim! When we go to a Chinese restaurant (I use the term ‘restaurant’ very loosely) I always need to check if the fried rice or any other dishes are halal because Dadang is a Muslim – however nearly everything in Malaysia is halal and on Rebak Island everything is definitely halal.