My family and I spent the last weekend in Port Dickson. Actually it was organized by my neighbour Bouncy Cat who wanted to treat us to a bungalow stay since she got a promotion at her workplace. And since she ‘owns’ TNB, we could book into one of their condos at the 16th km. This is the second time that we got to stay at the condo, the first being about 3 years ago. And no! It was not for a promotion then. Just a holiday away from home.
The intention of TNB in setting up this holiday retreat is indeed noble and should be appreciated. It gives an opportunity for employees to enjoy themselves in a resort setting at an affordable cost. I am sure the man who mooted the idea had good intentions at least as far as employee welfare is concerned. However I must mention that the up-keeping of the place do not seem to have the same priorities that were there when it was first set-up. For one, the air-conditioners in the hall were faulty and had not been repaired. Not that the caretakers were not aware. In fact we were alerted to their status when we checked in. So ignorance is not a factor here. I also noticed that the toilet cover in one of the toilets was cracked at one point. Interestingly, the maintenance crew had meticulously jotted down the date beside the crack on the cover indicating that the crack had occurred on 9th January 2009. It’s probably for their internal knowledge and control. Six months on and it’s status quo. So that means the defect is going to be there for some time, probably until another crack appears before they decide to replace it. Or they would probably also jot down the date at the cracked part of the cover for ’internal control’. It defeats the intention of pampering the employees when their comfort in this area is somewhat compromised with. Other than these ‘petty’ issues, it was an excellent place to spend the weekend because primarily, it was cheap….very cheap. In fact, this time it was free as it was paid for by the ‘owner’ of TNB…….and it was comfortable in many ways too. Employee benefit for Bouncy Cat anyway. Not many companies provide such facility. So a big thank you Cat.
It was already 9.00pm on Friday when we arrived at the venue. So no activity. We just sat around while my wife prepared dinner. Cooking is not allowed. No stoves provided. So we had to do the cooking hush! hush! Since we took along our electric steam boat cooker and all the kind of edibles that go with it, we had steam boat for dinner.
Woke up to the sound of waves gushing against the shore and the chirping of birds. The view from our 4th floor unit was magnificent. There were even a couple of squirrels running around on the swaying palms. Noticed that the landscaping of the lawn had been accorded the attention it requires. And the empty pool filled to its brim with still water only added character to the ambience of the surrounding.
Took a short walk along the beach that was ebbing. The feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city was wonderful. It was relaxing….rejuvenating. It was just what we needed to release the stress buildup.
As my wife is undoubtedly an excellent cook, we decided to buy mutton from the wet market in town to cook for lunch. My physique is testimony to the above claim. She cooks well. And I eat well. Dangling on hooks at the mutton seller’s stall in the market was a range of meat, supposedly from the different variety of goats. I’m not much of a connoisseur in meat so I just asked for a kg of local mutton. When I saw him chopping away, it struck me that this guy must have either worked at a wood cutting factory before taking up this business…… or he was a vegetarian with no inkling whatsoever of how meat is to be handled.! Ended up with the bones being sorely fragmented and chipped! Chopping mutton is an art. You are supposed to chop the mutton such that the bones are retained in one piece. Only then do you get to ‘suck’ out the bone marrow from the bones when you eat. That’s the best part of eating mutton. Decided that I will never ever patronize this shop anymore when I visit PD next. Back at the unit, while my wife prepared lunch, the kids were outside probably at the pool or some other place. After lunch we just lazed around in front of the TV till the evening.
When evening came, went to the beach to start a make shift BBQ pit with some bricks and the wire-mesh that we had bought earlier. The kids and my wife went for a ride in the caterpillar…..the one where you sit on the inflated caterpillar and it gets towed out to sea by a speedboat. They found it exciting. I didn’t go as I was busy starting the fire for the BBQ. But more importantly, I stayed back because I wanted to catch the view of the sunset especially the scene where it slowly ‘drowns’ in the distant horizon. In Penang you get a lovely view of this from the fishing villages off Balik Pulau on the opposite side of the island. You can’t get this view from along the Batu Feringgi shoreline as it is impeded by the mountains.
But as luck would have it, the view was blocked as the sun descended from the 5 o’clock position onwards by the voluminous clouds. It was a major disappointment for me as I had been looking forward to it. In retrospect, I faced the same situation when I took a drive down to PD about 2 years back just to catch the view of the sun-set . So I think it’s a regular phenomenon…..you can’t see the sun setting over the horizon from PD. Disappointed, I ‘drowned’ myself instead……with the beers that is. It was a good excuse anyway. Back in the condo after the BBQ, we just chatted for a while before calling it a day.
Woke up early the next morning and went for a workout at the gym before going to the sauna with my wife while the kids were out at the beach collecting sea shells and taking snap-shots of them selves. In no time, as how all good things must end, it was time to check-out. We packed up and left just a little before 12 noon.
Like I said earlier, this trip has rejuvenated me and made life worth living again. So I am now waiting for Bouncy’s next promotion so that she will sponsor us on another trip again….this time maybe to Phuket….Oops! Sorry! TNB doesn’t cover Phuket.