Monday, July 11, 2011

出差砂州天鹅城 Working trip to Sibu

This blog entry was about my work trip to Sibu, Sarawak dated 30/4 - 2/5. Although it is 2 months late, this is one of those memory I wish to keep for long term. Writing it down could somehow make a memory lasts and stays vivid. April was a crazy month for me, I was sent flying to Sarawak 3 times within that month, under the name of health checks and health talks. I could still remember grumbling and resenting innerly of how inconsiderate my company was, monopolising 3 my consecutive weekends, disregarding my health condition ( I was coughing nonstop for 2 months) and personal time . Now that when I look back, the 3 trips to Sarawak marked the happiest memory of my 1 year career with Melilea International. My colleagues couldn't understand my affection for Sarawak, I couldn't really explain it myself, perhaps it was the nature and people that made Sarawak dear to me. Little did I know that it was my last time going to Sarawak as Melilea Nutritionist.

I always went outstation with the nutritionist team, which consists of girls. Yet the trip to Sibu was different, as I was the only nutritionist invited to give a product talk at YMCA Sibu. For the 1st time in my life, I went outstation with 2 male colleagues, both over the age of 30. It was pretty awkward for me. The biggest concern was room arrangement! Never in my life, had I stay in a hotel room ALONE!!! And this trip to Sibu had made me sleeping alone for 2 nights. What reduced my anxiety was, it was Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding, so the TV was broadcasting the event non-stop. Such a fairy tale was enough distraction for me, it stopped me from remembering that I was alone in hotel. As my colleagues were nextdoor, I guess I could just scream my heart out should the need arise. 

There were actually 2 events going on. One named Green Camp taking place at a Church compound. The other was a Distributor Training Camp taking place at YMCA. I was to give product talk at Distributor Training Camp, but when I wasn't giving the talk, I was at Green Camp learning about Organic lifestyle and earth saving. Both events took place at the outskirts area, close in touch with nature. 

I couldn't believe the Green Camp was carried out at such a beautiful and peaceful landscape with a lake and vast greenery. One of the reason I find Sarawak endearing! I think longevity could easily achieved if one was to live in such a picture square place. 

As it was a Green Camp educating on Organic lifestyle, guess what was for Dinner? Organic vegetables! Though I am a nutritionist and I know of the importance of eating vegetables and cons of too much meats, I honestly am I that fond of pure vegetable diet. Yet surprisingly, that dinner was really yummy ! The vegetables were 100% organic fresh from the farm, cooked without onions, using little flavourings. But it was delicious! Everyone was eating in the canteen :).

At this camp, I met up with some Sarawak colleagues. Though it was the 1st meeting, their warmth and courtesy were so touching to the extent I felt embarrassed. They so lovingly borrowed me short pants for games purpose (I wasn't aware there were games), offering to share with me their biscuits, coffee and maggie noodles for breakfast (cause the rest of camp participants were fasting). Such kindness was sealed in my memory.

At the YMCA ground, I gave a 45 minutes Health and Product Talk concerning 5 supplement products. I didn't know it was the last time for me to talk in front of such a large crowd, 120 men and women in formal  black coat attire. It was my regret that I wasn't in the pink of health, my talk was interrupted by coughs from time to time. What I felt was a slightly imperfect talk, the distributors didn't share my thought. I was treated like a star who had just completed her singing concert, the distributors were gathered around me, wanting to take photographs! I ended up posing for 10 or so distributors. I know I must remain humble, but that moment was such a significant moment in my nutritionist career, I felt everything, all hardships  were worthwhile!

It wasn't everyday that I could fly to Sibu, hence it would be a waste not to walk around the town and enjoy the local food. Both my male colleagues were actually less keen on going out, they seemed more contented to stay in hotel and waited til flight hours. I pulled out the Sibu map I had collected from airport, showing it to them, hinting for an adventure. 

Near to YMCA camp, there was a really large and impressive temple. It covered such a huge ground! It would be unlikely to find such temple in KL or West Malaysia. 

Near to the river bank, there was a tua pek gong temple, apparently it was the God's birthday I think, the temple was crowded with people and there was such stage performance. 

I like Sibu, it retains originality, peacefulness and greenery. The Foo Chow culture is pretty strong here, everyone was speaking that language, I felt like a foreigner there :).  There were plenty of enormous houses around. Beautiful symbolic landscapes and landmarks were placed along the street. Breakfast was at a local stall. Instead of the old coffee cups usually used, the coffee set used was like Secret Recipe standard! We ordered Kolo Mee and Penyek, the local foods.

After breakfast, we went to the river banks area. There were people fishing with rods. 

The Swan is the symbolic icon of the town Sibu. You could see the swan statues at various places. Apparently there were stories of how Sibu and Swans are linked, as stated on the stone wall. 

We visited the harbour or beach area, I wasn't sure. It was so shallow, we could see muds. 

This is why I love Sibu. Beautiful trees towering over the roads. 

These are some of the attractions located along the streets. The street names at Sibu came with Chinese Wordings, it was cute!

If asked of my favourite food in Sibu, it would be these Foo Chow Guang Bing, the local biscuits! It was so cheap, RM1 and you could get 5 ! I almost couldn't believe my ears. It was baked similar to Naan.

While walking back to car, I couldn't help noticing how THICK their chopping board was! It was like the whole tree trunk being chopped down and used!

This was my last Sarawak trip with Melilea. I thanked the company for the chance given. I will miss Sarawak.

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