Throughout our stay in Sarikei, we switched our accommodation back and forth between the house in town and a recently built 4-bedroom house at the nursery. The latter was quieter and cooler in temperature although the mosquitoes were rather voracious in the evening. Typically, after finishing our dinner in town, we packed some necessity items before driving along the eerily dark long narrow paved road to the nursery after 8 PM. Being the first person to wake up everyday, dad-in-law prepared breakfast by making porridge and steaming corns plucked directly from the garden.
The ever-expanding nursery looks vastly different since the last time I was here 2 years ago. There are many varieties of mature tropical fruit trees… to name a few: banana, soursop, cempedak (Artocarpus Integer), papaya, langsat (Lansium Parasiticum), starfruit, guava, pamelo, pineapple, rambutan, custard apple (Annona Squamosa), coconut and durian. There are also many mature exotic fruit trees that I have yet noticed before, such as tarap (Artocarpus Odoratissimus), durian isu (Durio Graveolens) and mundar (Garcinia Forbesii). An interesting addition to the nursery is a monkey in a made-shift cage. Due to sheer amount of fruits available throughout the season, a troop of monkeys have been stealing the bananas and cempedaks in the recent months. Hence, some of these fruits are now enclosed in wire frames. Perhaps we were no different than the monkeys, because we ate lots of fruits while we were there. Since our visit coincided with the durian season this time, we also ate lots of locally grown durians brought over by family members and relatives. These durians were neither Musang Kings or D24s, but they were still very delicious and outrageously cheap.
The nursery has a few more dogs than in the past with the current total of 6 (or 7) dogs. Although some dogs belong to the distant neighbor, they usually move in a pack between both places in search of food. They have no names, but everyone called them “Lu Lu”. Every time we drove past the entrance gate at night, they sprinted out in delight and gave us a warm welcome by wagging their tails, escorting the car to the house and licking our legs while we unloaded the items from the car trunk, hoping that we brought meals for them. They don’t possess the “security dog” materials but they would randomly bark when they get startled, which is helpful especially in a secluded place like this. Every once in awhile, their ears perked up and they raced off to their silly adventures chasing critters in the woods. When they got bored, they playfully fought one another until we yelled at them to shut the hell up. When the blazing heat from the afternoon sun became unbearable, the dogs spread their bodies and napped on the shaded and cooler concrete floor.
This album pays a special tribute to 1) parents-in-law for their unimaginable amount of blood, sweat and tears to create this magnificent nursery from a piece of jungle land, and 2) all siblings who have contributed in some shape or form to fulfill dad-in-law’s ultimate dream of spending the majority of his time at the nursery. Hopefully, each photo is worth at least a few words, hence, these photos are not captioned.