It was raining when we arrived at Tanah Rata. And by the time we had checked in and refreshed ourselves, the rain had thankfully subsided.
Good timing that, for the drumbeaters in our individual and collective stomachs had begun to increase their tempo, every beat louder than the one before.
So, anticipating a very cool weather (due to the rain and it being how-many-thousand-metres (?) above sea level), we proceeded to venture out and explore Tanah Rata whilst searching for suitable places to pacify those drumbeaters.
Casually but smartly dressed in our best autumn clothing (wink wink nudge nudge!), we walked around Tanah Rata, making a mental note of what’s there and where.
The first thing that we noted was that Tanah Rata may be a very small town, but the drivers and the bikers were all up there on par with their cousins from the big cities, when it comes to speed.
So a word of advice. Do look right and look left and look right again. Or is it the other way around?
And were they really going that fast? I mean, everything is relative, right. According to good ole Einstein, that is.
And if you can start thinking about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in good ole Tanah Rata where the pace of life is slow, I guess your batteries do need re-charging.
Venturing away from Einstein, halfway through our walkabout, the pleasantly cool (and damp) weather took a turn for the worse when the heavens decided that once is not enough.
Raining cats and dogs, this time, we took no chances. Rain coats or the flu, no prizes for guessing which option prevailed.
I guess this kind of abrupt weather changes must be a common thing up here in the highlands for raincoats can be had very cheap. And readily available, I might add.
Umbrellas too. Though that was not our choice of protection from the weather.
The far side of town, from where we were putting up for the duration of our stay in Tanah Rata, is mainly taken up by budget hotels and with it, a serious need for more parking space that side of town.
Especially for travel coaches, who do tend to hog most of the available spaces.
As it began to get dark, Tanah Rata began to take on this mysteriously eerie look about it, what with the mist coming in and all, enveloping the whole of Tanah Rata.
Walking about town, you don’t really actually realise it. But being first timers in Tanah Rata, cameras were always on the ready, even though it’s just a camera attached to a mobile phone.
And as you snapped away, the backdrop of mist slowly enveloping Tanah Rata does play a bit on an imaginative mind.
Strolling around, we came across a post office (the only one by the looks of it) with a very memorable piece of history of its own, and with a plaque to back it up.
The little unassuming post office was officiated on the 25th of June, 1956 by the then Chief Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The Tunku (as he was affectionately known) later became the first Prime Minister of the Federated States of Malaya upon Independence on 31st August 1957 and later, of Malaysia as well, upon its formation together with Sabah and Sarawak.
A little piece of history that, for a small town the likes of Tanah Rata.
Throughout our stay at Tanah Rata, the little town does grow on you as each day passed by, and in saying that, we began to notice new things that had escaped our attention the first time round.
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city life, it has its little attractions (or should I say, distractions) to make a short-term stay for city folks like us, a welcomed break and an opportunity to recharge our batteries. Cool air and all that.
Longer stay? Short term, yes. Definitely.
Long term? Well, being used to a fast paced life in the city and despite what we say and despite the whining about the fumes and the traffic and the people losing their empathy for their fellow man, we think we like being city folks a little bit more.
That said, I guess Tanah Rata will be seeing us again in the future.
Even if it’s just for a short break and to recharge them batteries.