Cherating Beach, Malaysia

(From March-April 2011)

In my previous post, I was still in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  In order for me to get to the rig I would be working on, I had to travel from the west coast to the east coast via taxi.  I was to stay at the Club Med Beach Resort in Cherating for about 9 days, waiting for my scheduled crew swap.

From KL, I left in the evening and was therefore unable to get very many photos of the trip.  The roads are bumpy and even in the little day light left it was quite difficult to get a sharp image.

This photo was shot about 45 minutes east of KL.

Five hours later I arrived at the Club Med.  Lovely, hot and humid.  A couple of guys from the company I work for were already there.  They showed me around the resort a little and we spent the remainder of the evening relaxing out by the pool areas.  People stay up pretty late there.  All the food and drinks one could want, at no charge beyond what you paid for the room and access to the resort.  Since all our travel expenses are paid for by our company, this was a pretty smart way for them to save money.  All inclusive resorts!  Break my heart, right?

Hard at work…  wishing my Wife was with me.

Not surprising, there was quite a lot of wildlife at the resort.  And by that I mean animals, not the 80 drunk insurance salesman that showed up for a little team building.  I saw all sorts of birds, insects, some dragons, and THE MONKEYS.  They don’t mention the monkeys in the brochure.  Oh no, they wait until you’re checked in and unloading stuff into room before they mention, “By the way, you’ll want to keep your doors and windows closed and locked because the monkeys will break in and ransack your room.  OH, and if you’re eating, keep an eye on your food because they will take it from you… by force.”  So what they’re trying to say then is they have a little bit of a problem with the locals… monkeys that is.

King Johnny was the former Alpha Male of the local troop at Club Med.  He had recently kicked the bucket from old age and this… uh… blessed young male was now gunning for the leadership position.  Monkey politics is not unlike human politics.  It’s loud, violent, and often ends in someone getting screwed.  This boy was armed and ready for all of it!   Between bouts of shouting and throwing other monkeys at us from the rooftops, he did his best to spread his genetic wealth amongst all the females of the troop.  To be polite about it, you could say he was very generous about that last part.

In the video <see it here>, the above mentioned individual takes issue with one of my buddies because we had just chased them out of a room that someone had left the balcony door unlocked.  A whole stream of monkeys went in and were looting the place.  So we did the good samaritan thing and encouraged them to leave.  Mistake.  (Notice: a bystander shouts a four letter word (sh_t) and it’s very audible in the video.  Please don’t play this with the volume up if kids are around)

And here are some other views from around the resort.

This Water Monitor was doing the lawnboys a favor by eating all the insects and larvae that damage the roots of the grass.  Each morning, the crew would have to go out and turn over the tufts of grass that these lizards would turn up when they pawed at the ground looking for the bugs.  The damage done by the lizards was purely cosmetic and probably even helped keep the grounds healthy for the grass.  They were all over the place and did well keeping to themselves.  I found a comfy spot in the grass to sit still and wait for one to wander nearer to me so I could get a decent shot.  They had such slow fluid movement that I found it was relaxing for me to watch them as they went about their business of bug hunting.

This is one of the guys I work with who was with me at Club Med.

While there, I met a really great couple who asked me if I would shoot a few portraits for them.  Here’s one from the set.

A few shots from while I was on the rig.

He’s inspecting a sealing element that the drill string runs through.  Not exactly office work, eh?

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