“Glorious” experience in Port Dickson, Malaysia

by | Sep 28, 2017 | Travel Stories

EDITORIAL NOTE

Trying to relive in the present our chilhood memories can often be deceiving. Most probably the places, people, circumstances we will find are far from our long gone memories and we set ourselves for disappointment by expecting to find similarities.

Our trip to Port DIckson, Malaysia, is a good exampe of how heartbreaking it can be to witness how things do change overtime, especially when the environment is concerned.

 

Port Dickson, Malaysia

 It was late afternoon when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport to head directly to Port Dickson, a beach town about one hour south of KL. After three months volunteering in Langkawi and four amazing yet busy and tiring days in Kutching, our plan was to spend our last day in Malaysia relaxing in a resort by the beach before returning home to Portugal. We didn’t have any vacation for over a year thus saw this occasion as a chance to recharge for a day. It would have also been an opportunity for James to retrieve childhood memories of the city escapes with his parents when they lived in Malaysia, around fifty years ago.

After being turned down by four Uber drivers who refused to drive us to Port Dickson due to the low faire and the cost of tolls, James decided to offer twenty additional Ringgit to the fifth driver, in order to get us to our final destination, before the sunset.

After about one hour driving on the national road, we arrived in Port Dickson. It was already dark and difficult to figure out what was going on in the surroundings, besides the usual restaurants and small shops on the side of the roads. We pulled into an apparently sumptuous lobby entrance. We had arrived at the Glory Beach Resort. After going through the usual check-in procedure of showing identification and paying for the tourist tax, James asked the receptionist, with a joking but serious tone to “give us the room where you would take your girlfriend”. In an equally joking, yet ironic tone, he replied “I would take my girlfriend to the hotel next door”. What did he mean by that?

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

Henry David Thoreau

American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian.

To reach our room we had to walk through dodgy corridors toward an adjacent older building and into a filthy elevator that took us to the 9th floor of what looked like a prison corridor. All apartments had a protective metal bar door and for extra security there were three additional safety locks on the inside. Our two-bedroom apartment was old fashioned and run down. We could feel the dust under our feet and smell it in the air, as the invisible particles made their way into our nostrils. Let’s not even mention the bathrooms. The only good thing about the apartment was the ocean view, which at that time of night was just a splash of infinite darkness. We stormed into the check-in desk requesting a decent room. After a second similar attempt, we finally agreed to stay with the third option, located in the slightly better presented central building of the resort, in spite of its identically old fashioned, run down and dusty state.

By the time we were ready to have dinner it was already past 9:00 p.m., way too late for our usual dinnertime. We soon realised we were far from restaurants and only hoped to still be able to find something to eat in the vicinity. We walked for about ten to fifteen minutes until the end of the road and chose to sit down at an Indian Muslim restaurant serving Malay, Indian and Western food. The dishes we selected were very acceptable and my fried rice was surprisingly abundant in vegetables.

Back at the “Glorious” hotel, we took a quick shower and went to bed to switch off and recharge for the following day’s adventure in Port Dickson.

May the bliss be with you.

Happy travels!
 
Luciana and James

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