We decided months ago to spend New Year’s Eve at Awanmulan and there are urm a lot of pictures i flooded Instagram with when we returned to the city. For the benefit of those who don’t know where Awanmulan is (cos so many asked me on IG), it’s in Jelebu in Seremban and only an hour’s drive away from KL. Hence so convenient for us to get to when we wanna get AWAY.
We didn’t want to go somewhere too far cos Cammy’s almost 7 months pregnant, and we didn’t want to be in the city so Awanmulan was our best option. Days before the trip, Clem kept saying, “I cannot WAIT to go to Awanmulan.” And Cammy told me that Kenny would walk around the house going, “Awanmulannnn awanmulannnn” Hahaha.
This time we just had a small group of us that took up Teratak Bonda for two nights.
Clem and i stayed at Evensong, a new room for couples next to the new pool Uncle Teng and Anne have built. The pool even has a shallow portion for children to swim in, while adults can be in the deeper area.
Cassie met a new friend in Evensong!!! Match made in Flat Pet heaven.
The bed in Evensong faces a large terrace which is spacious enough for me to roll around and play in
Kubz and i were supposed to go for lunch on Wednesday, but he asked whether i wanted to follow him to Dusun on Thursday instead. I checked my schedule, and miraculously – had no meetings/events planned… SO OF COURSE I SAID YES. In fact, i replied ‘YES YES YESSSSSSS’ in our whatsapp chat. I was so happy packing my suntan oil, pareo, present for Haanim’s baby (not a baby anymore..!), my spinner, snacks, book, pastels and sketchbook. At first i had this insane idea of bringing my laptop to work for a couple of hours there. But when push came to shove, i thought, “Really? Do i really want to bring work to Dusun? I go there to ESCAPE, not to bring work!” So i left my work stuff at home. I felt a bit guilty… but stubbornly pushed the emotion aside – cos what’s the point of being a freelancer if i don’t pretend Thursdays are Saturdays?!
It’s been a long time since i’ve been to The Dusun, you can read my previous blogposts about it:
*my first time at The Dusun with Clem*
*spending my 28th birthday at The Dusun*
I discovered that Cee is the household chef, and planned to cook us squid pasta for lunch. Kubz and i tried to be as useful as possible and helped chop the garlic and onion. I chopped two onions in the same span of time Kubz did three cloves of garlic. Just sayin. XD
I got to meet Haanim and Cee’s baby properly for the first time! He’s already a year and a half old, and is called Hansi! He’s SO FREAKING CUTE OKAY. Like, not ‘i’m polite and i’ll say all babies are cute’ but ‘YOUR BABY IS SO PRECIOUS I WANT TO EAT HIM UP NOW’.
Hansi wearing the sun hat i brought him. It’s got vintage cartoon space kids on it.
As we all sat down to sexy steaming pasta with our glasses of red wine, Haanim said, “How lucky we are to do this on a Thursday!” And indeed we are… Eleanor and her sister Isobel joined us too so we were in a nice little group of seven. The squid pasta was great… i had two helpings and greedily felt like a third.
Haanim, Hansi & Cee
GAHHHH Hanging out with Hansi has made me go temporarily baby-crazy. I went home to Clem that night and went, ‘I WANT A BABY!’ and he was like, “Yeah, but we can’t get it in one day!”
Hansi loves playing under the tap!
Okay we did other stuff that day, like have a look at the new house Haanim and Cee are building for themselves, and the new swimming pool and guesthouses that can sleep two more couples. It’s becoming quite a little town! But i just took lots of pictures of Hansi…. >.<
We also went swimming, hung out by the pool and snacked for hours, talking about Fierce Curry House at Urbanscapes. Cee is going to perform on the first day at Urbanscapes too so Hansi might be making his first festival appearance there! Oh my god. I just went back to talking about Hansi didn’t i.
The Dusun accepts guests by appointment only. You can check them out:
I know it looks like i’m addicted to Awanmulan. And i AM. i SO AM. Everytime i tell my dad i’m going to Seremban, he’ll be like, “Ha? Again?”
This time round was rather last minute. My Lovelies and i have been trying to get together for a holiday this year. The last time ALL five of us traveled together was… Bali 2008. I don’t think i’ve felt it as much as the others cos i’ve managed to go on separate holidays with each of them (save Dhanya) – went to Bangkok with Aps for Vampire Weekend, went to Acheh with Steph, went to Bangkok with Cammy… but it’s been a long time since THE FIVE of us have been away together. Somewhere. Anywhere!
We took WEEKS to pick a 4-day stretch where we could all go away together. We’ve got such different schedules that we couldn’t even find dates to go away. So we thought, worse comes to worst, we’ll go for a WEEKEND. I’m sure we can find a weekend right? Even THAT was so difficult! We ALL finally got away last weekend. Left all our boyfriends/husbands at home and ran away… to Awanmulan (luckily we got the room we wanted even tho it was so last minute!)
Each of us brought food and drinks to share. Dhanya brought a bag of food so big, security guards were staring and i was toppling over with laughter. It’s like she brought the whole market with her and i love her so much for being a foodie like that.
Yolanda and Aps
From the moment we unpacked all our food, we started eating. Well, i started eating first cos i hadn’t had lunch yet and was well starving. I tapau-ed a char koay teow and got an extra so they wouldn’t take mine, heh. Besides that i got RM15 worth of siew yoke from the chicken rice man.
Dhanya brought rojak
Obviously not born to be a model
I thought Steph was crazy to get eight pieces of cake from Souka for us to eat in 24 hours. But they are seriously yummy and it’s going to fulfill my cake cravings from henceforth.
I was pretending to be a kite
Pink fan, pink havaianas, pink pareo, pink water bottle
With Mr Teng aka Uncle Awanmulan
That’s a proper scratch picture
Lazy people resting while Dhanya and i prepared dinner in the kitchen. Okayyyy in the end everyone was helping out.
“That’s a big mole.”
“I’m not a mole!”
“It’s a talking mole in denial!”
All the refrigerated food we brought
Dinner from top to bottom:
1. Aubergine pasta that Cammy’s mom cooked
2. Salad made by Dhanya
3. Potatoes in goose fat by me
4. Pigs trotters courtesy of Auntie Anne aka Aunty Awanmulan
5. Egg yolk crab also from Anne
6. Seafood soup cooked by me
I know it’s a bit scary how much we eat. But we don’t do this pig out session often… probably once a year! It just gets out of hand because each of us gets excited about eating and it ENDS UP being a pig out session.
Everything was amazing. At one point i couldn’t decide what to put into my mouth next, and had to stop and breathe cos i just kept on eating without air passing through my nostrils!
After dinner #1 (cos Dhanya and i had a second session later), we joined two beds together so we had a large soft space we could all hang out on. Slumber parTAY!
I was going to write Cake #3 and #4 or something like that, but i can’t remember anymore! It’s like we were constantly stuffing cake into our mouths. But they were all so gooooooood. My personal faves from Souka are the carrot cake and the strawberry cheese cake.
We were going to play Scrabble… till cake distracted us.
Cammy and Steph stretching out the food. We all danced around a bit, but felt like that was just being dangerous with digesting food so we stopped. Even sitting down seemed uncomfortable for awhile and we caught ourselves in a scenario of 5 girls walking aimlessly in a space because standing up felt better!
There was a discussion whether ‘diss’ should be allowed. In the end Dhanya the referee said it should be, and noone argued.
We were feeling reallyyyy sleepy before midnight and i jolted up saying, “NO! We came all the way here together, i REFUSE to pass out! Come on. It’s time to start drinking!” We started playing games we made up using scrabble letters and finished two bottles of choya. After more made-up games (i’m scared to look at our scribblings in my notebook), we decided that we did okay and were not being too aunty by passing out at 2am…
Aps fried bacon for all of us, and Cammy scrambled eggs.
Gouda + fantastic bread + bacon + eggs = WINNING IN THE MORNING
After breakfast was dessert, of course
After that crazy weekend of eating, i went for dinner at my parents’ house, and ate EVEN MORE. Oh and teatime Sunday i was chewing on leftover pig’s trotters on the sofa. Clem was appalled at how i was still eating and i just replied, “I’m just so used to eating something every 3 hours now!”
Argh. So much for being body beautiful for Tioman.
I spoke to Aunty Anne on the phone when we got back to KL.
Anne: I hope you girls enjoyed yourselves!
Me: Oh we did… we ate so much.
Anne: I know! Zee came to tell me, “Ma! Do you know how much rubbish they have?!”
Me: Ohhhhh so embarrassingggggggg
I decided 3 months before New Year’s that spending it BBQ-ing and chilling with some friends would be ideal compared to partying amidst hundreds of people in a crowded club. So i booked the top floor of Awanmulan before anyone thought of what they’d do for NYE and paid the full price even though i didn’t confirm who’s going. Was just so certain enough people would see the AWESOMENESS of it and come. In the end we had almost everyone we hoped would join us – Aps & Fai, JP & Oli, Steph & Nick, Serena & Matt. Olivier asked to come last min and Awanmulan was nice enough to let him.
Nick & Steph on our patio
Are there ANY paparazzi pictures of Clem and i like this?! I need to get a resident photographer in our group besides myself.
Clem, Nick, and Oli & JP being lovey dovey at the back. I have so many pictures of them being smoochy in the background throughout the trip…
Steph, me, Oli
To be fair to all those unattractive pictures of friends i’ve put up, here’s a horrible one of me. Oh and perhaps Nick too. I showed the above pic to Clem: “Look how sexy i am. This is why you love meeeee righttttt”
Steph & Nick were in charge of grilled veggies, mash potatoes, and some pumpkin dish Nick wanted to make. It turned out SO GOOD that i asked him how he made it, later that night. He tipsily told me and i tried remembering it best i could, as did Oli. The next day Oli got Nick to write the recipe down… and thanks to her brill memory, she noticed something missing and said, “Eh, you forgot the sugar?” Clem told me later Nick told him the night before he’d purposely miss out an ingredient so we wouldn’t get it right. Sial wei the fellow! We got it anyway HA! If y’all want this pumpkin recipe i heard his mum (who’s responsible for it) is publishing a cookbook soon.
Pumpkin is such a wonder to cook and eat if only it wasn’t such a BITCH to chop!
Steph forgot to bring her commendable collection of shot glasses and sorrowfully prepped paper cups in replacement of them. Wasn’t a big deal la (that she forgot). Erm just that she made it like a big deal so we didn’t stop her from writing names on everyone’s cups to avoid wastage. She even measured and poured shots into each of them before food was ready heh. Good job Stephy!!
Orange + cinnamon + tequila
Fai’s chicken wings and my lamb.
The chicken was so awesome i’m inspired to try marinating that next…
Fai takes his BBQ very seriously and didn’t let anyone else handle it cos he didn’t trust them. Not like the other guys cared… think they were very happy to let him do all the work. Look at Nick pretending to help but padahal doesn’t want to be near smoke. :D
JP & Oli made some crazy pork burgers. I’m so impressed by how EVERYONE’S food turned out fantastic! Every single leftover pork burger was whacked the next morning by being made into sandwiches.
Steph and her hotdog.
The ones who were cooking ended up eating earlier than the rest – hard to resist food while prepping!
‘Twas hard to see the BBQ on the patio when it got dark… and Matt proudly emerged with a headlamp in hand. Super dot dot dot… who would think of bringing a headlamp? Hahaha
Matt. Always prepared for the elements of nature.
Steph and i were prepared in other ways. We constructed a moat made of tinfoil so the ants couldn’t get to our leftovers that sat waiting for people who wanted seconds.
Clem took to doing the dishes since he didn’t cook.
Me *standing there and staring* : You’re so so sexy baby…
Him: While i’m doing the dishes? Great… just great.
Nick got Maurice my mouse to take his first step! “It’s all in the dynamics,” he said.
Having a shot at midnight
There was so much love there that night! Everyone was hugging and kissing. I even saw Fai giving Clem a big smack on the cheek, super bromance can die. Tried convincing him to do it again so i could take a picture but he didn’t. I guess it was a special moment that i thankfully happened to see
Steph, Nick, half of Matt’s face, Clem
me and CC. Her tea ceremony is coming up and i almost booked tickets to Acheh for that same weekend. Happened to get her message while looking at flights and immediately thought, “THERE’S NO WAY I’M MISSING OUT TORTURING ALL THE FRENCH GUYS HAHAHAAAAA” (by the way, for girls who think you’ve got a BRILLIANT torture please email me firstname.lastname@example.org! the more ideas the eviler mwahahahahah)
I & Fai
Aps & Fai
Ok i didn’t take that many pictures that night! Was too lazy and just wanted to enjoy myself (also couldn’t hold camera still for some reason). Most of the shots are blurry, dark or just not suitable to put up online. Tada!
Erhhh phooo there’s SO many pix i took over last weekend i don’t know where to start! Thought i’d go by day cos it made more sense but i haven’t shifted the hundreds of pix i took from my Pen3, let alone edit them. So daunting. Just gonna start with the instagrams i took then tackle the other photos later slash tomorrow afternoon.
Oli on the huge patio upstairs where we stayed on NYE (the next night Clem and i shifted downstairs)
Fai was super manly and took care of the BBQ all evening
This was on New Year’s Day when the rest headed back to KL, and Clem and i snacked all day on BBQ chicken sandwiches, chips, cheese, salmon, foie gras, sparkling, beers and whatnot. We know how to hit it in the forest.
Some Eckhart Tolle to kick off my reading for 2012. It’s not light reading. And i only got to page 16 throughout the whole weekend.
Zee’s dad/Uncle Awanmulan/Uncle Teng told us how the former owner used to sit in this very bathtub perched on that hill and drink his beer while watching the sun set. I was quite jealous to be honest. I wish i could do that too!
We had beer and foie gras with Uncle Teng, Zee and his gf while watching the sunset on New Year’s Day.
That night Jess + Tania + Aaron + Johnny arrived. Tania built some props to shade my giraffe without me asking her to. This is one reason i like Tania.
I LOVE leaf bugs ever since i saw them on Horton Hears A Who.
This was the biggest leaf bug i EVER saw! About 2 inches long!
Was waiting for Clem to take a shower and too lazy to move from bed (cos i’d already washed my feet) so i took hipstamatics of the mosquito net… before sneaking pictures of him bathing.
Used some comic app to play with the pix i took. I bought the app MONTHS ago and never used it… till now! App-shopping is so danger -_-
Sun was scorching and gorgeous on Monday the 2nd. Clem and i rushed to catch some sun around 11am. Tania came a bit later and caught me crawling on the ground with my head to it and was like, “Joyce, what are you DOING.”
“There’s an awesome praying mantis here. And i bet you’ll be doing what i’m doing too.”
Sure enough, after i was done taking pictures, Tania was kissing the ground doing the same.
This mantis is a fighter! He kept on rushing and jumping at the camera. Vid *here* if you really wanna see it.
It really made me think of those aliens in Falling Skies.
Tania and Jess tryna be wild things but tak jadi
Myra’s Hen’s Night @ Awanmulan
Myra wanted to spend her hen’s night doing something different from the typical tramping about bars,
so a dozen girls gathered to have a BBQ at Awanmulan,
a new forest chalet that’s in the same area as Dusun.
I thought it was a brilliant idea…
the whole point of having a hen’s night is to SPEND TIME with all your girlfriends anyway, before the whole shebang of marriage gets you so excited to stay at home that a girlie holiday is not high on the priority list.
In fact, i think if i were to have a hen’s night, i’m just gonna have a girlie holiday!
The rest planned to leave at 9:30am… as did i.
Till i had such a tiring week that i decided to go later.
It’s my first proper chance to sleep more than 6 hours and i really need to catch up on some kip!
So Didi, Sueann and i left at 2:30pm.
Ok fine, we left at 3:30pm.
Before we even got on the highway,
Didi and i exchanged a semi-sharp sentence with each other,
and i exclaimed, “Oh god, we haven’t even been in the car with each other for 15 minutes and we’re fighting -_-”
[shit i just thought about how we're going to spend FOUR DAYS with each other in Singapore this weekend for F1...]
Anyway it started storming like crazy and all our GPS stopped working,
resulting in a slight flurry of are-we-going-the-right-way.
Didi was navigator… while Sueann… studied the blue ball moving on the map in fascination like a cat.
Finally arrived at destination at 6pm.
The whole block above is for guests.
Top floor has 8 beds for RM800. RM75 per extra mattress.
Bottom has a couple of bedrooms (i may be stating it wrongly here!)
As you can see, the top floor has a huge patio for BBQ and sunbathing.
One of the top floor bedrooms on left,
corridor on right.
Bedrooms are in dorm-style,
so Awanmulan is the sort of place you’d go with a group of friends,
not to get it on.
Hmm unless you took one of the lower bedrooms below.
Love the dry bathroom concept
Rain shower, no less!
Just liked this pic of the corridor so much i had to put it up
Communal pool for guests
I reckon it’s the private quarters on right
Lots of space for wild people
First time i’m seeing these people being so domesticated…
Sueann. Fashion Directors can chop garlic too yo
Ming was posing at lightning speed while i tried taking natural shots.
Oh yeah, i mentioned this was a girlie trip.
Well Ming’s one of the girls anyway.
Many pictures in my cam of Ming being a domestic diva
Btw, these were all authentic pictures of him while he did chores in the kitchen!
Myra was so sweet to give us personalized jars with M&Ms inside
Jia Wei doing the chicken.
We heart the easy electrical BBQ tho i’m sure manly men will protest.
Just half the food
Didi, Bride-to-be Myra, Clouds, Sueann
Me and some red. Sarah and some choc cake.
Btw Sarah and i will be playing with Deer Society at Daikanyama on Oct 1st! *end plug*
Hmm ok there’s this story about the choc cake that i will just ADMIT here cos i’m shameless like that.
Everyone was just GOING for the cake after dinner,
whereas i prefer having it later at night as if it’s supper.
Jiawers and Sarah suggested i wrap it in tissue and HIDE it in the fridge so no cake monster will get it.
The next morning i opened the fridge somehow expecting to see the piece still there…
but it was gone!
“Who took my chocolate cake?! SOMEONE took my chocolate cakeeeee!” i lamented.
Sarah: Your chocolate cake..? Didn’t you eat it last night? Joyce. I SAW you eating it last night!!!
Me: *hazy drunk memory returns in bits* hmm…. you may be right…. :p
We played some games after dinner.
- asking Myra rather embarrassing questions about Fahmi that even *i* didn’t want to know the answers to
- getting everyone to say “WOOHOO” everytime someone said Myra’s name
- Claudia farting way too much
- Sarah having to drink through a scuba mask
Ming saja want to try posing with mask
Poyol la Claudia ni…
The tequila finished
Like Didi says, Claudia is so lucky she’s so pretty cos she’s like a haiwan (read: animal)
Everyone started passing out one by one…
Last 4 standing…
I went looking for Sueann in one of the rooms and thought she was sleeping in bed,
was about to poke her when Sarah JUMPED in front of me and whispered,
“NO! It’s Didi! She’ll PUNCH YOU!”
Fect, damn scared we both ran out quietly haha.
Turned out Sueann was in the bathroom and entertained us with a pole dance after.
No videos were allowed.
Next day i woke up to see a slickly-oiled Ming in the tightest skimpiest swimming trunks i’d ever seen strutting into the bedroom.
I was last to wake up… at 9:30am (these ppl are crazy!)
Wish i could have slept longer zzzzz but felt like i was missing out so i got up.
Water was cold so i took my time… let the toes and fingers in first
Ming. Forever posing.
Clem saw the picture and exclaimed, “SO many girls! -_-”
Check out Didi har har
Sorry Meesh but i just HAD to put this pic up…
Look, i can even see the water splashing happily off your cheek
Claudia trying some Little Mermaid pose or something.
Such an awesome weekend guys!