my holiday in bario.
it has been very.. interesting.
the last time i came back was in september of 2006.
many things have changed.. but one thing has definitely not.
people STILL do not recognize me.
i'm still 'kina' (chinaman), or even - believe it or not - 'orang putih' (white man). frustrating, especially since i'm 100% pure-blooded kelabit. huh. but it is pretty funny when they start talking about me in kelabit (kononnya behind my back) and then i suddenly turn around and greet them, speaking in fluent kelabit. the looks on their faces, i'm telling you.. is simply priceless.
we have internet connection via satellite now, as you all probably already know, but we still lack electricity. therefore, the usage of the internet in the e-bario cybercafe is hugely reliant on the solar-powered batteries, as the computers run on them. the connection speed varies though, i think the speed is directly proportioned with the amount of clouds in the sky - the less clouds, the faster and more stable the connection is. but at least, AT LEAST, there is a connection so i do not go completely bonkers.
this time of the year is the planting season, so the only time i spend with my grandparents is at night, albeit with their heavily lidded eyes. it is fascinating how they carry out the work in the fields in the daytime. the amount of work they do, and the efficiency they have about them as they carry out their work is nothing short of amazing. seriously, put me in the middle of the fields and i would be thinking of hiring help! never in a million years can i see myself breaking my back in the sun doing that kind of work. so hats off to the grandparents and everyone else who work in the fields all day so spoiled ones like me get to live like i do. heh!
that said, it was great to be back in bario. i think now, i can truly appreciate the necesseties most of us take for granted - electricity, television, cars etc. every single time i return to miri from a trip to bario, i'm a very, VERY thankful person.