MOUNTAIN OF FOOD EXPLORACE II – The Finale (July 19-20, 2012)
Taking a real shower after a hard day’s work, or in our case after a crazy jungle trekking and an extreme outdoor sport, sure was really nice. Our duplex condominium at the 28th and 29th floors of Awana Resort was kinda oldie but it was neat, well-maintained, and this time we had superb views of the greeneries around the golf course and way uphill to the Genting Highlands. Our stay at the hotel was a really nice experience and we spent a night there comfortably.
No time for viewing pleasure now since we’re required to gather again on the front entrance at around 6 pm for dinner, closing ceremony, but this time with our +1s! We relived again the course we took this morning to the campsites on the edge of the jungle and therein resides the Pondok Ikan Bakar. It was raining that night but they’re all ready with the big umbrellas and took care of us good. The pondok itself was very decent though you might want to bring your jackets because it’s getting cold and windy.
The closing ceremony and some critical notes
Pondok Ikan Bakar was a decent place for the ceremony. It was closed for the event, intimate and served appetizing seafood grills for our dinner. Well despite the hunger, we had to bear first with some speeches but finally, they announced the winners for the second explorace! I didn’t win by the way but it pleased me to heard that my other two Indonesian bloggers managed to reach both the second place and as the winner! While also owing their Malaysian counterparts for their knowledge of Genting and mostly their perseverance, but it’s good to know that we’re the first Indonesians for the event and yet we managed to get the trophies!
But I had to complain a bit for the good of this event.
If you read my previous posts, you’ll understand the amount of blood and sweat that we sacrificed without previously knowing about the details, whether we were asked first of our readiness; whether we were insured or not; whether we realized the risks or not; and the fact that they didn’t tell any hint about what we’re going to win! Let’s just talk about the ultimate prize and it was, sorry to say, only a Fuji Instax camera that I can buy easily in 7 Eleven stores back in Jakarta for a not so hefty price.
In addition to that, we were also given some cash vouchers to shop at Crocs, Wrangler, and Travel For All only in Malaysia valid until September 2012, but we also had to return back home with the already arranged plane tickets for tomorrow. So how do we suppose to shop? We’re supposed to return back again just to shop there? Well, that’s just absurd.
But to note, I don’t mean to be ungrateful, especially with the huge opportunity to work together with Resorts World Genting, or by not appreciating the hard work that the organizers did, but it was a bit unfair because the event lacks transparency. We can actually Googled a bit about the previous Explorace but it’s actually more about the duty of the organizers to be transparent. Safety and readiness should be the highlights of the event and by that, we all know the risks and by knowing and realizing that, the indemnity agreements will be signed with full knowledge and responsibilities from us.
I believe I had to say this so that the organizers will take a note about this and therefore will be able to improve the quality of similar events for years to come. Truly, I applaud such rare initiatives and realized also the amount of investments they had made for us. To appreciate that, it is my duty as a responsible blogger to deliver also an honest message about everything. Well, I might also not totally right about all these stuffs and contradict other bloggers for example, yet that’s why it’s good to also discuss about everything and work for improvements in the future.
Hey, enough with the grim faces and let’s enjoy the dinner now!
Pondok Ikan Bakar served decent grills from lambs, stingrays, crabs, chickens, dories, and squids. In addition to that, Malaysian proud nasi lemak and its condiments were also available. For the sides, rojak, fresh assorted fruits, dessert corner, and the dynamic duo of kopi tarik and teh tarik were also there. We had our sayonara time in a lively manner. It’s all about good eats, food exchange, talking about food, casual talks, talking about what we had gone through and telling tales about our countries.
After we took our last pictures together, we bid our farewell and returned back to the hotel.
It’s time to say goodbye
After a long night gossiping at the living room of our condo and enjoying our last night at Genting, we then fell asleep like babies. The next morning, we packed our luggage quite early so that we can enjoy breakfast and leave soon for the peak. We were attempting to cash in the vouchers for any available shops we can visit up there.
We were supposed to take the 9.15 bus heading for Genting Skyway, which we originally thought to be the one just nearby the Travel For All shop up there. The bus came late and we hopped in without really checking the destination. Then we realized that we’re heading downhill! The bus driver said that the Genting Skyway that we meant was actually the one downhill. We arrived down there at 9.45 and realized that there’s not much time left even just to make our way to the peak because we’re supposed to check-out at 12.30 and head straight to the airport.
We decided to just head back to Awana again with the same bus and spend our remaining time taking pictures and snacking. It’s actually a shame that the organizers didn’t let us to detour a bit to KL before heading to the airport because we don’t know when we’ll return to Malaysia again.
Then came 12.30 and we bid farewell again to everyone that we found at the front entrance. We extended our thanks to the organizers for taking care of us and I also hope that our cooperations will continue in the future. So finally, it’s time to return back to our motherland!
We arrived around 2.30 pm at LCCT and had a little trouble at the Air Asia baggage drop because Julia lost her boarding pass. The land staff responsible for checking our bags in was rude and didn’t print Julia’s boarding pass which we originally thought was okay. But when we tried to get pass the initial check-in before immigration then it became a problem. So then Inez and Julia had to return all the way back to baggage drop section just to get her boarding pass reprinted.
I’d be sure to slap that staff if we’re late because of that! Not only that she lacks courtesy by not being polite to me and by rudely telling Sara to remove the previous baggage drop registry by herself, but she said that it’s okay not to print the boarding pass and we’re misled about that! It’s just outrageous! Previously we also witnessed that she told a passenger before me to find smaller bank notes because she didn’t have the change, so the passenger had to ask everyone around just for that. It’s actually her responsibility to find the change and it’s her obligation to respect the passenger!
So from all the tales of my latest Malaysian adventure, you might sense a bit of love and hate relationship between me and everything that happened there. Rest assured that I was actually content about my adventure there. Some injustices occurred but that’s life right? It was a great experience for us and it signifies that food bloggers can become something bigger in the future! I’m grateful and thankful for Resorts World Genting for the opportunity but certainly, improvements are required. So, I bid them good luck with Mountain of Food Explorace events to come and to all of you my fellow contestants, I pray that we’ll meet each other again someday soon. Godspeed!
Pictures will be added soon!