Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Heroes in a half-shell

I got acquainted with Borneo's furry critters on my first visit to Sabah, but miscommunication and a little incompetence on both sides meant I didn't get to see its marine life up close, as the bus that was supposed to drop me off at The Green Connection aquarium took me to a bird watching centre. I just walked around that instead, it was okay.

Returning to Kota Kinabalu, this was my second chance to right the wrongs of history and contribute pitiful funds towards the struggle against marine pollution and the destruction of habitats that would be a lot easier if every convenience store transaction in Asia didn't involve multiple layers of plastic bags and straws.

Most importantly, I could get some vain photos of me with turtles. Did I ever mention I like turtles? Look back in the archive, it'll be there somewhere.

The Green Connection,
Kota Kinabalu

They really don't know how to market tourist attractions in Kota Kinabalu. In terms of reducing crowds this is a good thing (we seemed to be the only visitors that afternoon, and it took the staff a while to remember what their jobs involved), but it can't be helping places like this run-down aquarium to raise funds for conservation work and for not closing down.

Maybe the Sabah Tourism Board has an exclusive arrangement with a taxi cartel and is trying to make these places as difficult to find as possible for low budget visitors stubbornly relying on city bus routes, but we got there eventually thanks to second hand directions from some blog and despite of a lack of signs. I find that unnecessary stress makes things more satisfying in the end.

This rescued sea turtle was named 'Oliver,' which is an acceptable name for a human but a stupid name for a turtle, which are supposed to be named after Italian Renaissance masters.
They haven't done the most basic research

Not only did the guide potentially traumatise this poor shellback by picking it up and rotating it every which way for our education, but she didn't even let me have a go!

Things that aren't even turtles

Some kind of worm

Some kind of 2D fish

Some kind of wussy shark that doesn't even eat people. What's the point?

Some dotty get

Some famous get

Some dead thing I don't think they noticed

The green did make me feel a bit sick after a while, like an algae Matrix


  1. I used to dream that I was the fifth turtle. If that ever came true then I would've bucked the trend for naming, and been the cool, sassy, outcast one. What does Raphael do again? Of course, I wasn't a teenager at the time so I stood no chance.

    1. No, you were 28.

      Only took me 15 months to come up with that retort.