Batam Trip: Lazy adults become children

It was early in the morning. Everyone was shuffling about the house like zombies, trying to wake up and wash up so we could all make it in time for our complimentary hotel breakfast.

I was messing about absent-mindedly when one of the girls suddenly burst into my room and said, “QY! QY! Come and see the bag carrier!!”

I stared at her with a sleepy narrow eye and yawned at her. “What the hell is a bag carrier?”

“Unker Kell! WAHAHAHAHAHA! Come and see!”

So I lumbered into the other room and this was what I saw.

We spent a good minute laughing at the sight of a sleeping Kell being used by Elyxia as a toiletries bag holder while she prepared herself.

With eight people sharing two bathrooms and all half-dead from lack of sleep, it was a miracle we managed to not miss breakfast. We made it there at 8:30 am, one hour before closing. Breakfast was at the huge kelong restaurant, overlooking the sea.

The food was quite limited and tasteless but we had a great view and great company so that kinda made up for it.

After breakfast, while walking back to our villa, not really knowing what we were going to do next, we sauntered past the playground and turned into children.

The seesaw was the favourite attraction that day. But I never liked the seesaw (nor the swing) even as a kid. I just don’t like my body being forcefully propelled in any direction but natural forward.

But it’s okay if I’m just fooling around and not using them as intended.

Guess who was supporting all of us…

And what happened when he got up.

Then, Elyxia discovered that the seesaw could be used for wakeboarding practice.

For some time, the guys stood around her, giving her pointers and encouragement. And then, suddenly, they realised that I was hiding in a little house taking photos of them. Lolololol.

My hiding spot:

Anyway, everyone was too lazy to go out and just wanted to hang around and do nothing, so we spent the whole day at the resort.

One of the attractions in KTM Resort is the giant kwan yin.

It’s really huge. Can you see me and Minou at the foot of the sculpture?

A little background about it:

By the way, we could see Singapore from our villa. We could even see the Singapore Flyer clearly, but it’s too small to see in this photo.

We spent the rest of the day at the jacuzzi pool. Except me. Because of a multitude of reasons. So while the others were having a raucous time in the pool, I was hiding in a pavillion beside the pool, blogging.

It’s a sea salt water jaccuzi pool which drops off into a lagoon. There are rocks one can sit on at the edge. From my angle, it looked almost like they were sitting on water.

I mentioned before that the pool was dirty, but with the debris fished out and jacuzzi turned on, it looked decently inviting.

According to my friends, the jacuzzi is VERY strong.

When we met for dinner that night back in Singapore, one of them punched Morte, who didn’t go to Batam wih us, forcefully in the arm and said, “That’s how strong the jet is.”

And the entire pool was surrounded by jacuzzi jets.

My delinquent friends even made a game of it. Somehow, they managed to acquire a swimming float and they would assign one “monkey” to sit on it. The rest would hang on to the float around the “monkey” and then they would let the jacuzzi jets drive them around the pool.

The idea was to capsize the monkey while not being pushed off the float by the strong jets. The last survivor would become the “monkey” next.

Or something like that. I’m sure I got it wrong somewhere but I’m confused because the Goonfather and Minou told me different versions of the game. lol.

Anyhow, they spent like two hours playing this game, making a lot of noise and attracting a lot of attention in the process.

That was our second day in Batam, spending the whole day in the playground and the pool, playing kiddy games.

We had ice cream, too! Paddle Pop pirate ice cream!

I’ve been trying to find it in Singapore but I can’t. =(

So you know what that means? I need to go back to Batam again, soon. I might even try out the jacuzzi pool next time.

Batam Trip: Upskirt, massage and milk bath

The first photo I’m going to show you today is an upskirt photo.

In fact, many upskirts!

Honestly, they could have picked a better place to show off their skirts.

This was taken in Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall.

The last time I went there (about a year ago), I was shocked by the offerings. It’s quite a big mall, maybe as big as Ngee Ann City? (Don’t shoot me if I’m far off. I’m bad at gauging size and distance.) But most of the stuff sold there was like 30 years behind fashion.

I just ended up buying some shoelaces and bling stickers and potato chips. =P

So, this time, when I saw the upskirt display, I was quite excited. From that distance, one of the skirts looked like something I would wear, although not to stand by a second-storey glass window.

We went upstairs to find it. It’s a big store, about four times the width of what you see in the first photo. And the damn skirt was nowhere in sight! Argh.

So I didn’t buy anything but snacks this time.

WOOH SNACKS~~!

Our lovely shopping cart after we were done:

I love shopping for snacks more than I love shopping for clothes and shoes!!!

(Partly because snacks are cheaper, lol.)

Everything in the shopping cart was the work of the girls. The guys only contributed one item in there: A 24-can carton of Heineken. (It’s hidden below the pile of snacks cos it was the first thing that was grabbed when we stepped into the supermarket.)

The whole lot cost us only S$92!!!! Including the beer! OMG. Split seven ways, we only paid like $13 each!!

What an unhealthy holiday. We had pizza and steak for lunch at a western-style restaurant.

I didn’t really enjoy it because I was a little too sleep-deprived to enjoy food and also because my tenderloin steak was crumbly.

That was seriously the worst tenderloin steak I’d eaten in my life. It wasn’t cheap, too, at $10.

The pricing was a little dubious. For $10, you could also buy a meal that includes two personal pizzas (size of a stretched palm), one chicken steak and two cokes. I think those tasted miles better than my atas $10 tenderloin, if my friends were to be believed.

After lunching and shopping, it was about 5 pm. We decided to head for a massage at the Sports Massage Centre. I think they’re quite big and have several branches in Batam.

The centres all look really dingy from the outside (no photo because I don’t as a rule like to take photos of ugly things) but the inside is nicely decorated and there are at least three storeys of massage rooms.

I took the milk bath package which includes a one-hour full body massage, half-hour body scrub, 15-min jacuzzi milk bath and 15-min sauna. All for about $38 after conversion.

They gave us private rooms with attached bath tub and steam/shower stall, although the “rooms” had no doors. The whole damn floor only had curtains.

And funny signs.

I am still in the process of appreciating massages. It’s really hard for me cos I’m super ticklish in many parts of my body.

People are supposed to be relaxed when being massaged but I have to tense up my whole body in order to control the ticklishness to manageable level. Even then, I can’t stop bursting into giggles and shaking violently at specially ticklish parts.

(The first time I went for the same massage a year ago, it was painful and ticklish at the same time, so I was either screaming or giggling through the hour.)

By the time the massage was done, I was exhausted and managed to drift off to sleep for a while during the body scrub. Except it was hard to sleep cos the masseur kept waking me to turn over or tie my hair or something.

The scrub was nice, though. Very shiok and not ticklish. (I can’t think of a comparable English word for shiok for this occasion!!)

The sauna was nice except that I couldn’t stay in there too long. It’s so hard to breathe steam! I had to keep opening the little door to let out the steam when it got heavy, which kinda diluted the effect of everything.

But I liked how my cheeks glowed after that! Unfortunately, the effect didn’t last. Next time I’ll take a photo!

My jaccuzi milk bath… went down the drain even before I had the chance to sit down properly because I fiddled with the wrong knobs and couldn’t figure out how to get the drainer to close again.

I totally do not get spas.

By the way, the milk bath was a little disappointing, even before the fact that I drained it prematurely. It wasn’t milky white like I expected, but a murky barley colour.

But I will try it again next time. I think the jacuzzi would be quite shiok also.

We went for dinner after this and then back to our resort to chat and eat snacks. The guys tried to finish their 24 cans cos we can’t bring it back to Singapore. Haha. I think they all got a little beer overdose after that.

By 4 am, I tried to sleep. Exhausted as I was, I couldn’t sleep because of the snoring symphony.

And then it was 7 am and alarm clocks started ringing. OMG.

End of Day 1!

Batam Trip: Strange caterpillar, treacherous stairs, dirty pool

I don’t like resorts. I don’t like the sea. I don’t like massages. I don’t like getting wet. But I had such a grand time in Batam over the weekend, I think I could be persuaded to change my mind.

It was a last-minute thing. We only decided on the trip two weeks before and managed to find a date to accommodate most of us. Only Morte couldn’t make it because he’s in a new job and didn’t want to take leave.

That was a shame because Morte is our club president (some say mascot) and we really missed having someone to club.

Club Morte

We met at Harbourfront at 9 am on Friday to have breakfast and wait for the ferry, which was crazy because we were all terribly sleep-deprived after a week of gaming and partying.

The first photo I took that day was when we arrived at Batam.

The moment we cleared immigration, the smokers zipped off to buy cheap cigarettes while others wandered off goodness knows where. Minou and I were the first to greet our hotel transfer.

The next photos I took were of the “scenery” while our mini van drove us up a hill to our resort.

For a while, I kept seeing people squatting at the side of the road at random spots. Some were in small groups while others were alone within long stretches of maybe a couple hundred metres. They didn’t look like workers. They just looked like normal people squatting in the middle of a deserted hill trail for kicks.

We checked into KTM Resort, a humble beachfront resort which looks more like a kelong because part of the resort hangs over the sea. And there wasn’t really much of a beach.

The restaurant is huge, like a kelong seafood restaurant. In this picture below, it occupies the entire platform in the background:

While Kerr and Minou were checking in, the rest of us wandered around and camwhored.

We decided to share a two-bedroom villa. All seven of us. Haha.

We thought it would be more fun. And it was, although it’s a little hard to sleep when there’s free surround sound snoring.

The sitting room:

The master bedroom:

The other bedroom:

The perimeter:

The balcony:

The views from the balcony:

Very modest living arrangements, but nice enough. I love how there are many connected log paths and stairways in each villa compound. Gives a kind of adventure feel to the area.

We found a very unusual caterpillar.

Its coat looked like suede, almost velvet. Some of us wanted to touch it but no one dared. It looked poisonous. And it just sat there, unmoving.

We left it alone and tried not to step on it.

Here’s the stairway that leads down to the main lobby compound from our villa:

It’s very steep!

The second half of the stairway:

Looks like it was carved off a giant tree. Very treacherous!

There’s a sea salt water jacuzzi pool at the base of our villa but it looked sad and dirty on Friday. We only found out the next day that they only clean it out and turn on the jacuzzi during weekends (or by request).

After everyone had had a chance to settle down and do some cursory exploration, we crowded onto the balcony to split our amassed fortune.

Damn smokers. Always littering my photographs with their damn cigarette packs.

Lounging at the balcony was nice. It was windy and I’d only had two hours’ sleep the night before. I felt like just sitting there for the rest of the day.

But we had stuff to do! We had to eat lunch, shop for snacks, go for a massage, then have dinner!

Kerr arranged for a mini van and driver to take us around for the day.

Our land transportation for the two days, including hotel transfer, only cost S$90, which came up to S$12.80 each.

Okay, this post is getting too long and I still have tons of photos, so I’m going to continue tomorrow.

I should stop taking so many photographs. I had actually planned to have minimal photographs, just enough to record a few highlights of the trip because I wanted to rest and relax!

But I ended up taking more than 300 photos. After deleting no-goods, I still have 245 photos.

This is one of the NGs I decided to keep after all:

I decided it’s quite funny. I was posing for a wide-shot photo between three villas (ref. 10th photo from top) when the Goonfather sneaked up behind me and gave me a scare by suddenly grabbing me by the waist.

Hrmm, okay. That’s all for today. I need to go complete my Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two. Bye!

Blogging from Batam

I feel like I haven’t been sleeping forever since my friends all went crazy and decided that sleep is passe.

I am now at a beach resort in Batam, laptop on my lap (duh), watching my friends frolick in a sea-water jaccuzi pool, watching a waiter chop up a coconut.

Around me, waves crash petulantly on a breakwater and on the shores while Metallica and Muse on iPod thrash in my ears.

It’s a freaking surreal awesome feeling.

I slept maybe two hours the night before. And about two hours the night before that. Have basically been partying with my friends since Christmas.

It’s a glorious way to end a hectic year and a sweet way to start a new year.

Except now I’m drunk on this feeling and don’t want to go home.

We’ve been here since yesterday morning and will be going home this evening. =( But I look forward to blogging about it once I get home.

See you soon! =)