Hello from the Cameron Highlands! This is one of the highlights of our stay here… the tea plantations are picture perfect. No more beautiful ladis out in the fields picking leaves, these days it’s done by machine with labour imported from Sri Lanka – the pay is too low for Malaysians to commit to the job.
I was quite impressed with the workers’ quarters – very clean and tidy, with a school, Hindu temple and clinic. Still, it is surely a hard hard life.
This plantation, like most, is owned by a European family that has held it for nearly 100 years. Colonial power lingers.
I have to say that given the recent events, it’s a strange time to be in a Muslim country. Though I am not a paranoid person generally, I’ve been more ‘aware’ than usual. This awareness is not a good thing – it is putting a bit of a damper on my enjoyment of my holiday. The reality is, the people here – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian (we ate in a Christian restaurant for lunch today) are so very gentle and just plain nice. We have been through the jungle, chased butterflies, photographed amazing flowers, been on the receiving end of the most amazing massages and eaten ourselves silly. I am moving Malaysia to the Top 5 countries where you get amazing food no matter where you go or how much you spend. I think it’s moving into my top 10 travel destination list as well. (Oddly, it did not occur to me before arriving here that this was my 3rd trip to Malaysia – how odd is that?)
I still have not seen a single monkey… the situation may be getting dire!