Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Splash of Blue

Or ‘My Hometown’ told in pictures in lieu of a thousand words.

 I was born when the town was still called Jesselton and Sabah was still known as North Borneo. I’ve watched the town grow from several rows of shophouses, one main road and lots of massive raintrees to the concrete jungle it is today.

Some changes are good. They show progress and evidence that we’re moving towards ‘civilization’. Other changes aren’t something to shout about: the destruction of nature; the movement of multitudes from the villages, from other countries, who have come to seek their ‘fortune’; replacing something old and ‘historical’ with structures that are,,, shall I say generic?  

You cannot take away or put in something without changing the landscape. But while the size and topography of the city change, and while the city expands and displaces huge pockets of the South China Sea, one thing stays constant: the never-changing sky.

The sky may not always be painted in this pure, untainted shade. That’s why I’ve attempted to put a splash of blue in all my pictures. You go look up and marvel at your own slice of sky, okay? 

I love these coconut palms against the blue sky.

The top of an old raintree not far from my house.
This Community Centre was built in 1958. About ten years ago one politician (whose brain must have turned to mud) wanted to pull it down so he could build a multi-storied car park. The people protested and the historical building was saved.

  This is a comparatively new building 
And so are these 

But KK never stops building...

A building on the outskirts...

And another one...

Tanjung Aru, where people come for the sand, sea and sun.

You can tell the locals by their umbrellas

The rich and the poor live side by side.

A lady showed me the views from her water village. “Mari... mari,” she said. She had to say it several times before I understood she meant I should follow her. I said a silent prayer and hoped I hadn’t turned into the fly that walked into the spider’s web.

While the rich pay to hit little balls with expensive sticks in the nearby golf course, the 'others' pray for low tide so they could kick a ball when the water has receded. "That's the playground," the lady told me pointing to the water above.

While the wealthy dine in expensive restaurants, the 'others' catch their food here.

But inside we're all the same. We appreciate beauty...

And we want the same things for our children: peace, freedom, love, happiness, the chance to become the best that they can be... and clear blue skies.

PS: Sometimes people forget that a city is more than buildings, roads, modern amenities. They forget that without the people a city is nothing but a ghost town.


  1. Hi Tina,
    Finally an update! I've been missing your stories, thanks so much for writing this. Beautiful photographs, I love them all. It's true the sky stays constant. Thank god it was so out of human reach, otherwise attemps to alter it for a huge car park construction might be heard today.

    I'm glad the historical building is saved. That politician must have mistaken his knee as his head.

    Great post, Tina. I'm happy I got my 'caffein need' fixed now. Lol.


  2. Tina,
    its freaking me out, the pace of KK development. i try to go back to KK every 3 months, and there's always something new awaits me. i tried hard to ignore all those aliens pestering in the city, but, really, KK is more like a little Manila nowadays.

  3. Tina the picture with the coconut trees, was it taken some where in KK? I can't figure out where there are coconut trees still exist in KK. Very sad....Wow all the photos are well taken and they look beautiful against the background of blue.

  4. @Gunaqz: You missed my stories? Wow, you've just made my day!
    Yes, luckily people can't place something in the sky yet. But I guess it won't be long before they figure out how to anchor something onto the clouds!

    @Angel: Thanks for the compliment!

    @Kukuanga: You can say that again! I wonder how much of the 'development' is necessary.

    @Andrew: The pictures were all taken in and around KK. The coconut trees are at the junction in Luyang just before the road climbs the slope towards Gaya College. I took the photo from the corner coffee shop where Aaron and I like to go for kopi.

    Thanks all for dropping in!