Kota Kinabalu – Day 3: October 29, 2007

Did I say Sabahans are affable people? During the bloggers meet at Shamrock Irish Bar the previous evening, Wei Chuen asked if Wuan and I had anything planned for the next morning. We did not and he invited us to have breakfast with him. He came to pick us up from the hotel and had to wait for a while as we overslept.

Somewhere in Kota Kinabalu
Somewhere in Kota Kinabalu. Seamless road and walkway.

We went to this modern-day kopitiam that serves the usual fare that such shops offer. I would have loved to try some of the signature dishes but because of my low-protein and low-everything-else diet, I settled for toasts while Wuan had nasi lemak. Eating has become such a boring event for me now, even when travelling. What I liked most was the accessibility of the place. The road and the entrance to the complex was seamless. If only the rest of Kota Kinabalu were like that.

Wuan, Wei Chuen and Peter Tan
Wuan, Wei Chuen and Peter Tan at The Pacific Sutera.

Just after lunch, Rosalynn took us to the Filipino Market. Wuan wanted to get handicrafts. That place smells! I gather that the open space beside the handicraft market is a fish market and a place where fishing boats land their catch. Fortunately when we were there, the place had already been cleaned up.

Inside the Filipino Market
Inside the Filipino Market.

While Wuan and Rosalynn shopped along the narrow aisles of the market, I explored the surrounding areas a little. There was no shade outside. The midday sun was bearing down on me but the salty sea breeze was cooling enough to keep me comfortable. Finally, I got my wish of smelling the salty sea breeze! I know I am weird.

Seafront outside the Filipino Market
Women fishing at the seafront outside the Filipino Market.

Kota Kinabalu is not an accessible city, especially the shopping complexes. Even the one and only accessible toilet in one of the complexes was out of order. Luckily, I went there not to visit these places. I can imagine how difficult it is for the disabled people there to move around. That was one of the reasons why I did not see many disabled people out and about.

Seafront outside the Filipino Market
Fishing boats at the seafront outside the Filipino Market.

Rosalynn invited us to visit her apartment after picking up the Justin and Sabrina from school. As hers is a walk-up apartment, I waited at the poolside while Wuan went up. I was beginning to enjoy the serenity of the place, broken occasionally by low-flying aircrafts, when it began to rain. It rained and rained and rained. If I could, I would have played in the rain. My wheelchair cushion was not up to it unless I fancy forking out RM500 for another piece. The rain only turned into a heavy drizzle 90 minutes later.

The Pacific Sutera
The Pacific Sutera at night.

Rosalynn and the kids had dinner with us. It was a farewell dinner as we were leaving the next day. Boleh Café has a very nice buffet spread. I could not help but cheat on my diet – well, just a little. It was still early after dinner. Wuan and I went on a walkabout around the hotel grounds. The glow of light reflected on coconut trees, the sounds of lapping waves and the surroundings created an extremely romantic atmosphere. We looked at each other and knew that we would be making another trip to this paradise again.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers in The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

1 thought on “Kota Kinabalu – Day 3: October 29, 2007”

  1. u know… reading this just made me realise how difficult is our shopping mall to disabled people… some times we need a new perspective to remind us to be more sensitive…

    Good post Peter. 🙂

    Peter:
    I hope my peers in KK will be more vocal in their advocacy for accessibility. KK is at least 10 to 15 years behind where accessibility is concerned.

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