Today is special. After about a full week of research work I felt stressed and decided to take a break. So we are on the road and this time it's Asajaya, a one hour drive from Kuching. Asajaya is known for its ruralness. There are paddy fields, acres of pineapple plantations, , coconut plantations and slowly creeping in are the oil palm plantations too. I guess after having sat infront of the computer for an average of 12 hours a day during the past week, the pain in my eyes are now cured by the greeness and expanse of the countryside. ( Note: The brightly coloured building on the left is a public toilet. To enter one is charged 20 cents. The cleanliness and gushing clean tap water inside was worth the charge.)
To reach Asajaya one has to take a ferry ride and the charge is a token RM1.00 only. We saw two ferries operating concurrently and the service apparently depended on the tide. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long upon our arrival at the ferry point. Today the tide was in around 11.30 am and we were told to be back at the ferry point before 5.00 pm by which time the tide will ebb. On the way back to the ferry we had to queue up for an hour before we could board the ferry. Such a waste of time I thought. But then again today is supposed to be a chill out. I did not mind for once.
On all roads that link the various villages in rural Asajaya, a common sight would be the ubiquitous paddy fields. Yet despite its vast arable land resources and a tiny population of about 3 million people , Sarawak fails desperately to produce enough for its own population. For umpteen years now Sarawak has to import 70% rice from Thailand, China, Vietnam and even India for its own rice consumption. I am always perturbed on all my travels these three years on the total absence of any mechanical devices used by the paddy farmers on their farms throughout the length and breath of the Sarawak's Borneo Highway from Kuching to Miri. I think the moment I see any mechanical device on the Borneo Highway the next time, I'm gonna take a rest by the roadside and pray. Pray and thanks the Almighty for showing the light to our State leaders.