All our meals were as simple as can be. So we ate simply - buffet most times and each meal was very Malaysian. No complaints; we ate what the people cooked which were mainly fried rice, fried mee and meehoon, vegetables, fried fish and chicken or tofu. Oneday I overheard someone ordering a cuppa at a cafe asking, "what coffee do you have?" And the reply was, "Our coffee is nothing more than normal! No latte or mocha." Ha! Ha!
CI Lodge was very basic but clean and decent. At least housekeepers made sure that they changed our sheets and towels everyday. People there are not greedy. We left all our belongings at the lodge almost everyday without fear of things being stolen or missing.
Christmas Island is a worry-free zone where crime rate is almost zero. Imagine this; they never need to lock their cars, they can even leave their car keys inside and not afraid of theft because it never happened! We were told that we can 'borrow' any of the vehicles that has a key in it..drove and have it park at the same parking spot after that. Believe it or not, it is really that safe!
Christmas island actually reminds me of another island in Malaysia which I visited some 20 years ago with a group of colleagues and scuba-divers. Pulau Tenggol in Terengganu was then still a very virgin island with just one hut. We set our own tent and camp there. Everything was so back to basic and the sea was beautiful with crystal clear waters. Now it's being so commercialized with resorts and pubs etc.
Go with the flow..
The whole Island's experience would be perfect if things were a bit more organized. We wasted sometime waiting. Waiting for immigration clearance - waiting for the Chief to arrive before we could start dinner - waiting for race to start etc. But then again...very often, we tend to forget that we are on holiday and more so, in an island where everyone and everything is so complacent and almost worry-free. So while we're there, we just need to go with the flow...
Otherwise, Christmas Island is a perfect choice for anyone contemplating a getaway to a destination where time and nature have stood still for a million years. You get the best of both worlds - prehistoric trees, plants and fantastic robber crabs that can so easily be seen; while unique birds seen nowhere else in the world cruise the skies of one of the last bastions and where people are learning to live with nature.
If only this rare ambience could be maintained for as long as possible.
10 things I brought home from Christmas Island :
- Smiles of warm & friendly faces
- Nature's Best
- Memories to cherish
- Pictures to share
- Additional friends
- Two fridge magnets (1 for my nephew, 1 for me)
- A medal
- An extra piece of running vest
- Prize money (from the Marathon)
I would like to thank Julie Wong for arranging everything and making this trip possible and memorable. I do believe I'm very fortunate to have a husband, my soul-mate who has been running and going places with me all these years...many thanks to you, John!