“Habis akal baru tawakal.”
(Once wit ends, then shall hope proceeds.) – Malayan Proverb
My trip to Perhentian Islands was my last holiday trip to Malaysia when I was still living in Singapore. It was in 2011 when we went just before I relocated here in Dubai. My closest friends in Singapore whom I’ve been friends for a long time already, have requested me to organised one last weekend holiday with me before I leave. I thought of going back to Rawa as this particular circle of friends of mine haven’t been there yet.
However, at that same time, on my other circle of friends (mostly multi-nationals) were also planning a farewell holiday trip for 2 couples in our circle that are also leaving Singapore and we all thought that this will be our joint-farewell trip for everyone. They chose to go to Perhentian because this is the same circle that I went to when we went to Rawa. As I do not have many weekends left in Singapore, I chose to combine the 2 circles in one trip even if it will take us 8-hours just to get there!
I have booked and paid the downpayment for 5 rooms for my closest friends who requested me to organise for them. I booked it at the same “resort” as the resort that my 2nd circle told me they “booked” their rooms. However, later on we found out that the “organiser” of my 2nd circle did not pay the downpayment for the rooms they have booked resulting to cancellation of their reservations.
For the record, there were around 15 rooms in that resort, so even if I booked 5 rooms already, their reservations won’t get cancelled if they have only paid. And because this “organiser” could not admit his own negligence, he told our friends that I stole their reservations. Many believed him but some did not as they know me well enough that I couldn’t do such a thing and also this “organiser” have the reputation already to twist his stories.
And btw, that resort sucks anyway, haha! Apart from it smells like sewerage, when we arrived there, the resort told us that the 5 rooms I booked and paid were at the wrong dates, they said I booked the rooms for the night before! So where did that “me stealing rooms” come from then? We didn’t even have rooms too, pffft! Lol!
ANYWAY, I have moved on. Everybody have moved on too, I have forgiven them also a long time ago, so I couldn’t care less about it anymore. I don’t even remember the names of some of this people now anyway, haha! What was important was I have finally known who are my real friends among those in the 2nd circle, and I am still friends with them until now ;)
Perhentian Islands are located at the east coast of Malaysia. It has 2 main islands, the Pulau Kecil (Little Island) which cater more of the backpackers for its cheaper accommodation and night party scene, while the other island, Pulau Besar (Big Island) is a little more expensive but good for family and people who are after a more picturesque shore line and a more relaxing atmosphere.
We were supposed to stay at Pulau Kecil but since the rooms we booked to this awful resort was in a wrong date according to them, we decided to move to Pulau Besar to enjoy more of our time in the island, it just didn’t feel right too since some of the people on the 2nd circle are sort of “bullying” me and my closest friends already (yeah, like kids lol!) we decided to leave and move to the bigger island.
We stayed at Coral View Resort just beside the best resort in Perhentian (Perhentian Island Resort) and I couldn’t complain more about it, from the food, service, room, surroundings and the crowd, it was just right we were all glad we moved there!
Perhentian in Malay language means “a place to stop”. This island served as a “pitstop” of merchants travelling by sea as a shelter to rest, recover and recharge.
I am happy that I chose to spend my last beach holiday before I leave Singapore with friends I’ve known for years now and some are even over a decade already! I can honestly claim that our friendship has been tested over the years and have been proven again during this trip.
I was suffering from a deep pain caused by spiteful passing judgments against me by my 2nd circle of friends and it sort of starting to ruin our much-awaited holiday but these closest friends I was with were very supportive of me and they never let me down. I truly am grateful to have them beside me and never did I hear any complain and blame from them even if we have to spend more in moving to another island.
After all, friendship is that sheltering tree which covers you with warmth when you are cold with sorrow, balms your soul when you are hurt in heart and bandages with love when you bleed inside.
Indeed, Perhentian became a place to STOP for me to rest, recover and recharge my heart with the help of good friends who will be there for you no matter what. And it also served as a place to recollect and STOP something if it is not really worth keeping anymore. Once wit ends, then shall hope proceeds. One should hope after one has given one’s all.