Kuching for me is unique with it’s cat statues, colonial buildings, natural parks, mountains, forests, rivers and beaches

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Kuching for me is unique with it’s cat statues, colonial buildings, natural parks, mountains, forests, rivers and beaches. Everywhere is easily accessible for that short pampering getaway, for sightseeing or burst of energy for a climb. The waterfront is one of the must go place to relax and watch the sunset and Padang Merdeka has those very old trees. The star attraction there is definitely the centuries old Kapok tree which was still flowering June last year. It flowering was an amazing sight to behold. No one can be bored in Kuching!

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I love to eat and Kuching is exactly a food heaven. Engkalak, midin, dabai, petai, jering, langir, pedalai, salak, terap, tampoi, kundong, mujau, belimbing besi and terung dayak are some examples of the native produce that we get to enjoy. Tomato fried noodles, goreng pisang, ice kacang, kolok mee and laksa are some of my favourite local delicacies. When we go travelling for holidays I always miss our local food. I miss not only the taste but the environment. There is always a crowd at the many coffee shops, restaurants and food courts in Kuching, especially in the populated areas. We can easily find Malay food, Indian food, Chinese food and western food stalls operating right next to each other in most eating areas. There is even an annual month long food festival which just goes to show the immense appeal of food to the Kuching populace.

I live on the outskirts of Kuching. Our housing area is quite well developed and the council maintains the area’s cleanliness with regular grass cutting and drain clearing. There is a good mix of the different races living amicably together here. There are shops nearby which sells food, groceries, clothes and other necessities. My mother would often ask me to help her get those things on her shopping list. I would ride my bicycle to the shops to do her shopping.

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I love my school which is located about 500 metres from my home. I walk to school, as do many of my schoolmates. I enjoy school because the teachers are friendly and helpful. My teachers would even give me a lift to school if they meet me walking. The school organises a lot of activities which I can participate. It is convenient that I live nearby my school. Every Saturday I would go to tang soo do practice at school. I get along well with my classmates even though we come from different background and different religious beliefs. We learn from each other all the time.

Kuching has many shopping malls where I can browse the book stores to read comics and novels or catch the latest movie in the cineplex. From time to time these shopping malls holds interesting exhibitions and also organises events such as colouring contests and games which my younger brother likes to join. We would accompany him whenever he joins any contests to provide support and cheering.

I also like to go to the public libraries. The libraries are air-conditioned so it is comfortable to sit there and read. Sometimes I would go there only for studying. When the weather is too hot I also like to go swimming at the indoor swimming pool to cool down.

Nowadays there are many marathons being organised in Kuching. Some runs are free whereas those for charity will need to pay a registration fee. So far this year I have joined three runs. I love all sports particularly running so it would be great if my housing area has a nature running and cycling path, like Stutong Park. A playground for the younger kids would be great since most kids living here will gather outside to play in the evenings. At the moment there is only a futsal court in my housing area. But long ago someone had left a portable basketball court at the public car park nearby which enable me and my friends to gather there for a game a few times a week.

We celebrate a lot of festivals in Kuching. I like it because we have public holidays and I enjoy visiting the open houses or watching some street parades. Most shopping malls and shopping areas are gaily decorated and we can take photographs of the beautiful decorations. During Chinese New Year, relatives and friends will come visit and I receive many ang pow. Some relatives we see only once a year, mostly during this time because they work outstation. So we have a great reunion. We will also visit family and friends who celebrate. During Gawai, we will go back to the kampung where I get to taste my grandmother’s special ayam pansur and durian kuih. My grandmother makes great rice wine which the adults enjoy drinking and sometimes she will also use it in her cooking. Hari Raya is the best time for the food served during the hari raya open houses are quite lavish. I enjoy visiting the houses of my neighbours, teachers and friends who are muslims. I get to eat a great variety of delicious Malay food like kuih lapis, cookies, cakes, curry chicken, sup sapi, lemang, satay, fried beehoon, rendang etc. This year I also received some duit raya. It is great to live in a multi-racial housing estate. I also enjoy the Christmas season. My mother would give presents to me and my brothers and we would have our Christmas tree set up in the living room. It is always a lot of fun to hang the shimmering ornaments, baubles and light bulbs on our tree. On Christmas day, we sometimes go back to our kampung in Bau where it is more festive. There is never a dull moment when I am at the kampung because I can go run the jungle trail amidst the beautiful unspoilt nature.

Kuching is my big city, my birthplace. I have never lived anywhere else, and do not think I would want to move elsewhere in the far future.