Another Tioman Trip feat. Encouragement
At the end of a week that didn't seem like it would ever end, there was Pulau Tioman. The Paya Beach Resort bit of Tioman Island wasn't spectacularly pretty. Its kampung feel was slightly on the more rundown side of charmingly rustic.
The sand on its beach was dark yellow and rough, but the water clear enough to gaze at corals and fishes while sitting on the railings and chatting at the jetty.
Tioman time is relative, said the Chinese cze char resto owner as he brought out more complimentary Tsingtao beer for the FIFA World Cup 2010 Germany vs Serbia match, 大家都走得很慢.
And it seemed that lazy hot childhoods were spent fishing with a bit of bread, a hook and a line,
or fooling around on a surfboard and waving goodbye to divers going out to sea (sometimes, the goodbye is forever, as we found out from the boatman while idling off Pulau Labas, waiting for people who had gone on their second dive to emerge from underwater tunnels. A few days ago, a girl died after falling from the upper deck of a boat on the way back from a snorkelling trip. Last year, a Japanese woman was killed by a boat's propeller as she was surfacing from a dive - the dive master had come up first and put up the sausage but there were three divers from the group who had yet to surface (this report tells a different story). There was another fatal incident involving falling from a boat that had been rocked by a strong wave at the jetty, a lifejacket and another running propeller...)
or over an old checkers board with plastic bottle caps.
The free breakfast was decent enough. The sausages that were more starch than meat were fed to the many cats moseying around for a free bite.
Lunches of Special King Beefs (Ramli burgers with two beef patties wrapped in egg) at Sunrise Cafe barely lasted us till dinner.
For dinner, there was the choice of edible cze char to the right of the jetty
or good barbecued seafood, and buckets of duty-free beer to wash down satay and otah at the resort.
And we had plenty of time to check out the snacks while waiting for the 11.00am ferry that finally arrived at 2.00pm after being stopped by the marine police for a spot-check.
It was good to be in the midst of people reading good books - the Good Book (someone started reading from Genesis and was at the Book of Esther by the time we got to Tanjong Gemuk), Mark Ashton's Christian Youth Ministry (that got passed round a bit), a book on finishing the Christian race well, and spontaneously gossiping the gospel (no pulpit nagging repeatedly quoting The Great Commission necessary). A bit of rest after two weeks of little sleep, dealing (not successfully) with my own irritation at people not bothering to be organised enough or selfless enough to make the most of gospel opportunities and even sabotaging such times, frustration at energy and time expended on things for the tummy and not eternal things etc etc
Truly God is is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Until the end of the age, there will exist that tension between human responsibility and God's sovereignty; we must do all we can to preach salvation, yet we must never put our confidence in our work or make idols of our schemes. As David Jackman puts it,"...our business is growing...but only God gives the increase..."
To get to Paya Beach Resort:
- coach from DFS Orchard, Singapore to Tanjung Gemuk, Malaysia (via various bus operators)
- purchase ferry tickets from Tanjung Gemuk to Pulau Tioman
And don't forget to pay your Tioman Island Marine Park fee. Keep the receipt at all times in case the ubiquitous marine police pull you over for a spot-check.
At Paya Beach Resort, snorkel gear can be rented from this bald dude, and diving equipment from the Dive Cove and say hi to Funny while you're there.
I be liking this mask.
So much more to see!
*all photos by iPhone 3GS + Tiltshift or Crossprocess or Swankolab + PSMobile. Interestingly, one of my photos will hanging around the Schlechtriem Brothers Gallery in Berlin Mitte as part of the chosen 144 (not thousand) in the EYE'EM Award 2010.