Friday, April 07, 2006

Reading Kahlo on the Rejang

Wow -- I can't believe that I'm blogging from Sibu again. I was home for only about a week before I had to head off again. One more night before I head down to ulu Katibas.

This time, I took the boat express which took about five hours. Not the "three or four hours" that my field labourers claimed! It's a whole lot faster than driving up, and I don't have to worry about falling asleep on the wheel. But five hours is still five hours, especially on freezing air-conditioned boat! Thank goodness for the viewing deck.

So, I finished reading the biography of Frida Kahlo on a boat heading down the Rejang river.

I think she would have liked the romantic aspect of it.

She was such a fascinating, talented, passionate individual. I was swept up by her story, her affairs, her great love for Diego, her stormy temperament, her passion for her Mexican culture and tradition (she was also half Jewish), and goodness, of course, her paintings!

Before I read her biography, I was intrigued by her paintings. Why keep painting yourself over again? And to put yourself in paint in such surreal, painful situations.. She was narcissistic yet so generous, if that makes any sense. Truly an enigmatic human being!

I searched the bookstores in KL for my own personal copy of the biography (it was a library book that I read) but it was all for naught. I think I did find a copy at Borders but it was almost RM100 which made me hesistant. After all, the library copy I had was only about RM50+ from a local bookstore [the defunct Red bookstore -- how I miss it!].

I did end up buying a book on Kahlo [from Page One] but not the one I wanted. It's enough to keep me satisfied for now.

30 hornbills. Before I forget, I spotted 30 hornbills in one sweep over the Katibas river.. it was a magnificient sight! Really sad though.. probably one of the very few places left in Sarawak that harbours that many hornbills. I also witnessed a racquet-tailed drongo chasing off a rhinoceros hornbill, whilst floating down a river so clear. The drongo is about the size of a pigeon so imagine that! Three bearded pigs swimming (not just wading!) across. That was fantastic and made my Iban guides yell with glee. I of course disallow any shotguns whereever I go. So no babi dinner, sorry.

Rocky stream beds large enough for a helicopter to land. In fact, many choppers have landed on a couple. Last month, whilst during my surveys, one brought a politican and his cronies to illegally fish. They treat it like their own private getaway. On the tax payer's expense, of course!


Oh yes, I was told stories by my people of local chinese gangsters who control the illegal trade on engkabang. My Iban guide claims that these gangster are "good" because they "provide jobs for people". Ah yes, so Iban kids growing up in the longhouses could aspire to be goons for chinese gangsters, where they can intimidate their own kind.

And the world goes round.

Passive aggressive people who ignore me in real life but read my blog -- why? Don't you think that this is very sad? Either suck it up or let it be.

That is all.


At 10:47 PM, Blogger Eduardo said...

I've only see a few of her self-portraits. The one she painted after her divorce from Diego Rivera was poignant at a time in my life and disturbing, too. The blood and her exposed hearts were so telling. Maybe brave?

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Cayce said...

Geez, sorry [The User], Daniel and Apai Salleh -- I accidentally deleted your comments!

I just arrived back from the field today, currently in Sibu and feeling really dazed, so sorry!!

p/s Apai Salleh, I was only 7 metres from a really FAT LARGE babi hutan... and we saw a family of five!!! just by the river bank!

p/p/s [The User], hope you're doing well in UK!

p/p/p/s I prefer a more aggressive Daniel anyhow.. hahah

Yes, Eduardo, she certainly was a brave woman!

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Apai Salleh said...

Oh yeah, about that conversation we had this morning, Ms Cayce, AE used to live somewhere in Ridgeway Rd, a neighbour of mine apparently. Has 2 younger brothers, so tell your friend not to despair hehehehe

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Cayce said...

Hee.. Did you look him up??

Well, no hope for the younger ones apparently: one is married and the other is too young! [hee, she's going to kill me when she reads this comment!]


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