Contrary to popular belief, being a travel writer isn’t as hyped up or as glamorous as other people make it out to be. Like any other writing profession, whether you are writing about the latest celebrity gossip, or whether you’re reviewing food at a high class gourmet restaurant, there are always things you want to do, and things you have to do. So when my editor assigned me to cover the 16th Annual Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival in Johor the other day, I just barely managed to hide that slight raise of the eyebrow quickly enough to replace it with a smile and an enthusiastic “Yes, boss!” whilst secretly thinking, Kite-flying? Really?
But to be honest, the assignment really wasn’t that bad. I was intrigued by the practice; I had always pegged kite flying as a child’s activity, something that you did as a child and outgrew, like having leftover pizza for breakfast, or playing video games. Although now when I come to think of it, I still do these things, so I suppose in comparison, kite-flying was the lesser of many pre-pubescent sins.
This year’s event will be held at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur on the 21st of May, 2011. The event is scheduled to start from 8.00 am onwards.
A lone oil well sits atop Bukit Telaga Minyak in Miri, Sarawak, an icon of the city’s present-day tourist attraction and an important landmark that sparked Malaysia’s entire history in oil and gas. Ironically, it almost never got built if not for the perseverance of a young college dropout from England.
Choosing cadetship over completing his studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, had brought Charles Hose to Borneo in 1886, where he subsequently played an instrumental role in shaping the geographical landscape and history of Miri.
Apparently, it took some 20 years – with many obstacles in between – for Hose to convince various parties of the treasures that lay beneath their feet. Hose, who became Resident of Baram (a district near Miri) in 1890, when he was only 27, had even put up a proposal for oil explorations in Miri; it was, however, rejected by a British consultant geologist on the grounds of rural Miri’s poor logistics at the time.