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“No Snakes One Right?” in Sekeping Serendah

'Do you see any snakes?'


RETREAT!

Papan house, dim lights. Bushy smell and dark night skies.

If you did not know, our team had retreated to Sekeping Serendah, a deeply secluded forest retreat sitting in Rawang, Kuala Lumpur for two days. This was my very first retreat with a company, hence the memorability.

However, let me first share you what I did before I packed my bags. Like any other traveler, research comes first, so naturally I googled all kinds of reviews.

To my surprise, 70% of the reviews were quite bad; some talked about feeding mosquitoes when night falls, some had rather eerie disturbances from the locals and animals. I guess it’s fine to admit now that after reading for an hour or so, I actually searched how to fend off snakes, boars, and other survival techniques on Youtube.

And drone would make a fine patrol.

Discarded objects reused as decorations in Sekeping's architecture.


ARRIVAL

Fast forward, we were only five minutes away from the middle of nowhere in the woods. As we passed by brick and wooden houses where orang asli (original people/ethnic) reside, and saw chickens everywhere on either tight dirt path or stony pass, we knew this was the place. A rare yet beautiful sight to behold indeed.

Since it would be disrespectful to take photos of the locals, I unwillingly held my phone back, and watched as paths unfold before me. 

After an hour plus of driving, we were finally greeted with an avant-garde looking building called ‘The Warehouse’. No doors, open windows, big mosquito nets on every bed upstairs, and peculiar decorations everywhere that make very little sense, if very artistic.

BYE STORM, HI CALM

This was when anxiety vanished into thin air.

Forget about repelling snakes, the death of phone signals did not even bother me thanks to the sounds of running waters and winding leaves.

Comfortable quietness was immediately replaced with laughter and chatter from the team happily preparing steamboat; if that wasn’t heaven, I don’t know what else is.

DISCOVERIES

There were huge discoveries on our first day of trip, at least for me!

Our Chief Alchemist actually makes a good cook, Yap actually lives up to his name in eating large portion of food, Teow's signature 'he-he-he' laughter, William’s good’ol taste in music which surprised me, Josephine actively taking incredible shots.

And memorably, a sharing session that showed how much we are like one another, especially in handling relationships and chasing people. Stories really bring people together don’t they?

Surely, there was no better place to be when night came. It only called for a few rounds of lewd Cards Against Humanities and excessive watermelons to eat, all in the warehouse.

WET & COLD

On the next day after a hearty breakfast, we went to the pool one last time before departure. We swam, made human-water cyclone, and organized an aqua fight club that lasted way too short! Time really gave us the cruelest cut on activity like these.

As we rose from the water, most of us bathed in the warehouse because nobody wanted to walk back to their jungle bases. We are an efficient bunch, after all.

The Team. Together we can do so, so much.

As we make our way back to the city, part of me died in Sekeping Serendah. It’s the day-to-day stress and worrywart me. How great is that, to go back fully recharged in the head and heart, albeit not the body.

If I said I was reluctant to leave, I would be lying, because I know someday in the future I will surely be a part of the ‘retreat', together with the team.

This time, not needing to worry about snakes.
This article is contributed by John Siow, Web Designer at XIMNET Malaysia.
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