Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old faithful

Plying through the remote back roads of Sabah travellers are likely to come across Land Rover four wheel drive vehicles like this one.

First introduced to North Borneo by the British colonial administration more than half a century ago when paved roads were too few and far in-between major towns, these vehicles definately proved their worth transporting people and goods into Sabah's moutainous interior.

With Sabah becoming a partner in the Malaysian federation, the Land Rover continued to be used extensively. Rural folk realised how dependable the vehicles were and many bought them in used or second hand condition.

So fond are rural folk of the Land Rover that they have given these vehicles unique monikers, one of which "garabak (wagon) Siam." I absolutely no idea still as to how the Thai component got into that name.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rural rhythms

I came across this lady and her brood of four while on an overnight camping trip at the upper reaches of the Kiulu River along the Crocker Range. 

This Kadazandusun ethnic family were just returning home from harvesting fruits including bambangan (a type of mango, usually to be pickled or used for cooking) and naturally growing vegetables such as wild ferns locally known as pakis.

After carrying the heavy load for more than a kilometre to the family simple wooden house, she would carefully pack the produce and hitch a one hour ride in a van or four-wheel-drive vehicle to sell them at the weekly tamu or traditional farmers' market at Donggongon town in Penampang district. Just like what her parents had done.

For some of Sabah's rural folk, their rhythm of life remains unchanged.