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Photographer's Note

For a B&W change, today I present to you a Minolta Man caught early morning at 7.10am for sunrise.

Venue : Yarra River, Melbourne
Dress : tropical rainforest attire
Shoes : air ventilation type, flat soles
Camera: Konica-Minolta Dynax 5D
Bag : No brand

And for writing the above, I know I will definitely get a severe bashing from the Melbourne boys.

OK, let me change slightly [happy now, skippy007?]

Venue : Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak Borneo.


This chap showed up 6.30am for a sunrise! He walked briskly, having only less than 45minutes. I saw him shooting the local tattoo man in the sampan across the Sarawak River ride, hope that it will not be blur in the moving boat or dim light condition.

I understand he is not a morning person, so imagine seeing him up early! Oh, I remember now. I also bumped into him the night before at a steamboat dinner place in town. The thing is, when you see another photographer carrying a dSLR, it clicks, no matter how you are dressed or where you are from.

Relatively speaking, he is not very much taller than me :) [not very much, but he is taller] so any physical fight outcome - wait and see! But we prefer to compete with the cameras :) and I am pretty sure this Round No.1 at the riverfront he wins them all, judging from the hoping and brisk walk to catch all the shots he can get.

Dedicated to Klaudio & Dewi Dadich who came to visit from Melbourne, Australia at last minute. Somehow I am always very pleased to see TE visitors to Kuching. And he looks younger in person than his profile photo :) I say SO!

The origins of the city's name have never been clear. "Kuching" does translate into "cat" in Malay [6] and "kuching" is an old Malay spelling. However, the new official Malay spelling today would be "kucing," but both of them are pronounced the same. There is a separate explanation whereby it may actually be a variation of the Indian name for "port" - "Cochin". Kuching was first settled by Indian traders who set up base at Santubong. Artifacts of Hindu origin can today be seen at the State Museum.

One highly unlikely explanation is a story based on miscommunication. According to the story, when Rajah James Brooke arrived in Kuching on his yacht, the Royalist, he asked his local guide what the settlement's name was. The guide, thinking that the English adventurer was pointing towards a cat, said "Kuching." However, Sarawakian Malay for cat is "pusak" and this explanation does not hold much credibility.

Another explanation is that the city was named after the "mata kucing" or "cat's eye" fruit. Trees bearing this fruit used to grow in abundance by the river banks - where the city's commercial heart, is located. There is a hill in the heart of the modern city called Bukit Mata Kuching, and was named after the fruit. Also, at the foot of the hill, there was once a stream called the Kuching River. The stream, located in front of the Tua Pek Kong temple, had large amount of silt deposit and during the 1950s, was filled in to make way for roads and the city's expansion eastwards.

Another possibility is that in those days, asking a person which river he/she came from, was quite common. As the river that flows along the Brooke's residence is known as Sg. Kuching (Kuching river), it would have been a possible that Brooke's reply was Kuching. Hence, the area which the Brookes reside which eventually became the administrative centre would be known as Kuching.

There is another more credible explanation and that Kuching actually means "Ku" - Old and "Ching" - Well or "old well" in Chinese. During the Brooke's rule, there was no proper water supply and water-borne diseases were common. In 1888, there was a Great Cholera epidemic. However, water from a well at the present day China Street in Main Bazaar area saved Kuchingites from the disease. Clean supply of water from the well helped water-borne diseases became a thing of the past. Evidence of the well is still found at China Street. As Kuching expanded and the population and demand for clean water supply increased, the well was not adequate to supply the clean water and it was replaced by clean water supply from Matang area later.

Despite those various explanations, the city was named Sarawak under Rajah Sir James Brooke's rule. Under Rajah Charles Brooke's rule, the city was renamed Sarawak Proper in order to avoid confusion with the ever expanding Kingdom of Sarawak. Only in the latter part of his reign was Sarawak Proper renamed Kuching.

The city has never been noted for having a significantly large population of cats. In fact, the many cat statues, the Kuching Cat Museum and other association with cats have been largely a recent phenomenon, part of a modern effort of tourism. Many travel brochures refer to Kuching as "Cat City" or the "City of Cats".

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Additional Photos by Bill Laucp (trekks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2260 W: 172 N: 4300] (14348)
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