Friday, September 01, 2006

Meleka / Malacca

I like Meleka. Though I am hiding from the heat again until the sun goes down! It poured with rain much of last night, but it has sure warmed up again today - even the locals say it is hot, but maybe they say that when they see the sweat on my brow!
I went to the ethnographic museum this morning. It has great displays about the history of the area, plus lifesize models of people getting married. Very informative about all the various stages of marriage customs. Learning about the history of the area was very visual and interesting. They had a whole series of paintings depicting events in the past. And they had models to show how buildings looked at various stages in history, from initial settlement, through Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial times. The strategic importance of Meleka is clear, situated in the Straits which various shipping routes need to pass through, and with a river running to sea near a hill location.
I have had several walks in the neighbourhood as well. My guesthouse is friendly and the aircon works well, even if the plumbing is basic. It is also situated in a very "local" shopping area not far from the tourist area. There are numerous Chinese traders in this street, and at one end and around the corner, Indian traders. They carry stock for the locals, not tourists. (Though I notice the shop directly over the road is carrying some larger bottles of drinking water today: it is something I bought from another trader the other day and was noticed with!) It is interesting just walking down the streets in various directions and people watching. The traders are usually quite friendly and helpful as well.
I have met quite a few Malay women here in shops and on the street. Almost universally they wear veils, whereas when I was briefly in Malaysia as a much younger traveller, veils were uncommon. These women smile readily, and it is good to exchange normal banter.
Last night I went to the night market in Chinatown. Still 'authentic' and many locals there. I had run out of Malaysian currency though so was not in the least spendthrift. I might go back tonight. Then tomorrow I head back to Singapore and before I know it, I will be on the plane home.


  1. it seems that you are returning far too soon. I had hoped you might have got lost in france or the UK.. to appear in finland or something!!!

    All i can say is.. prepare for the return! perhaps you will arrive in NZ nad wish you had not :o)

    still well done!!

  2. There is such a thing as "running out of money"!!!! Actually I got incredibly homesick in my first month away when I got sick, so it is just as well I didn't know the person staying in my house very well, or I might have given up then and there. In hindsight, doing things like climbing to Vesuvius' crater with a fever never helped me get better faster.... but it was something I had dreamed of doing.
    Vague plans for another outing are in the pipeline, in a few years time. I am wondering about doing the French section of the St Jacque's walkway. But we will see!

  3. ys the money thing is an issue. it is FAR cheaper to travel on your own.. I took my daughter overseas and it tripled the costs.