Monday, July 28, 2014

Mount Kinabalu Trek- Day 4... Home sweet home.

Yes! Finally we were all well rested and ready to go home.

Photo: Ah Chua
The long long sleep the night before was sooooo very good.  Most of us woke up at 8am to 8:30am this morning, except our sweeper Ah Chua.  This very good man just could get enough of exercise and he woke up at 6am and went for a jog around the neighbourhood.

Ah Chua went marketing in Kota Kinabalu. [Photo: Ah Chua]

Originally intending to do a 10km run, he came to the McDonald's a few km down the road, and deciding to buy a sumptuous breakfast for everybody, he ran back to the House, grabbed his wallet and ran back to McDonald's again.

As he was running, he found KFC not far down.  After considering, he still ran the other way and did us all a great favour with a McDonald's breakfast.

Breakfast at House number 9. [Photo: Ah Chua]

So it was to a nice aroma of McDonald's coffee, hash browns, sausage McMuffins that we all woke up.  The walkie talkies crackled announcing the breakfast to both houses, and everybody who could walk, came to Ah Chua's House for a nice warm meal.

A relaxing breakfast before heading home...

Bye Bye Kota Kinabalu!
Those of us on the Silkair flight MI 391 would depart at 12:10pm, whereas the others departing on Air Asia would fly later.
"Wow.. the photos you took are really nice!" said Gerard.
Enjoying their photos together at Starbucks...

Chee Wai: "Wee How, if you cannot stand the Android and need to go back to the iPhone, then you are Vendor-locked liao!"... Haha.  Chee Wai is absolutely right. But bo bian leh...
Really relaxing...

Going home liao lor...

The Dalai Lama of Mount Kinabalu on SilkAir?
Some time later... in another shopping centre...
While waiting for their flight back to Singapore...
Photo: Cheah Wai Kie
So what was the real meaning in climbing Mount Kinabalu?
Well, this was the six-million-dollar question that was at the back of everybody's mind before, during and after the climb.  The only difference between those with the answer and those without, was that those with had drawn that question out from the abyss of their brains and ruminated over it.

Very soon after Ah Chua returned from Mount Kinabalu, he Whatsapped me and told me that he suddenly realised the meaning of life and he treasured his life, after the trek.  Very profound answer.

Ah Li told me over dinner, one week after returning from the climb, that she realised that climbing Mount Kinabalu was like thinking of going back to school the next day with all the projects to be presented - one word: SIONG!  But in between laughs, she admitted that she enjoyed trekking in Mount K.

I promised Zheng Ang at Low's Peak that it was going to be the last time I brought him for a trek.  But when we were back home, he quietly told me that yes, it was the last time I would bring him for a trek, but that would not be the last time HE would bring me for one.  Haha.. that fellow was still game for a trek or two more to go.

For myself, and I believed for all those who brought their children along, it was another time of discovery of the strengths and the weaknesses of not only ourselves, but our offspring.  And I was very sure that we unearthed quite a bit of surprising finds about the characters of our children.  And another important real discovery I had in climbing Mount K was:

If this were the first time any one was bringing his or her children to trek, don't attempt Mount K first.  Do another easy to moderate trek, in pleasant countryside like the Nepali Himalayan.  Give the child a positive experience first.  Once he or she was more ready, then attempt Mount K.

For all my fellow team mates who did the climb together, maybe some were still searching for the real meaning in their very own context.. some thinking while cycling on a Brompton along some Park Connector, some whirling it around in their mind while being the drivers for the children to their dance classes, some pondering while poking their faces downwards through some circular cushion, some mulling over it while trying to curl a reactive ball in between pin 1 and 2, some trying to make some sense of it while pressing the shutter on the cable release on the NDP fireworks, some realising the true meaning of it while changing the diapers for their baby girls, some breathing on the actual aroma of it while 30 metres deep in an open water dive off Tioman, some still struggling to understand it while ironing the never-ending pile of clothes, some hitting the nail of it while practising on the T1 and T2 of an Ironman Triathlon, while some others finally bingo-ing on it when standing one-leg, with both hands above the head in a yoga position....

Whatever the outcome, what was overcome was overcome.  What wasn't was merely unfinished business, as the saying in cycling fraternity went.  We all had our fun... and the pain that was part and parcel of the whole experience.
Would we ever do it again?  Some would.  Others would think thrice.
But Mount Kinabalu would forever be there, waiting with open arms for whomever would love to be embraced.

Till the next trek, then.

A take home message from Mt K. [Photo: David Low]