For this blog post I will start off with a few words about my posts for this trip to Malaysia and beyond. You will have noted that I have not assigned any dates to the posts, and as I indicated that I was playing catch-up on our trip the dates the posts are published have no bearing on the post content whatsoever. The posts are all in order, and it is possible (nay, it is likely) that some may span more than one day, so dating them is not necessary.
Today, first order of business was Dim Sum with Cynthia. Quite a selection of choices and very enjoyable. I must admit that I do have favourites, such as chicken feet, tripe and curried squid.
As we were eating and looking out the entrance, I noticed that there was a rather unusual mosque across the street. After breakfast we walked across and had a look. It was different and it is unique, reflecting the Malaysia composition and history.
The Kampong Kling Mosque was completed in 1748. The architecture is Sumatran, with strong Hindu influences, particularly evident in the minaret which resembles a pagoda. Looking closer you will notice an unusual blend of English and Portuguese glazed tiles, Corinthian columns with symmetrical arches in the main prayer hall, a Victorian chandelier, a wooden pulpit with Hindu and Chinese style carvings, and Moorish cast iron lamp-posts. The mosque remains central to Malay community life.
Then we were off to do one of my favourite things. While the ladies did some shopping (this is not it folks), I was able to wander, observing and taking photos of people and places. I would love to put all my photos here, however will select a few to share at this time. The place on the left is quite elaborate. Features like these are not uncommon and do add much to the neighbourhood. The empty street on the right was a rare opportunity, thanks to a tour bus unloading behind me and blocking all the traffic, including the motorbikes (if you can believe that).
With the tour bus gone, traffic gets back to normal (this is code for stay on high alert while walking along, or crossing, the street). I quite like the variety of names used by businesses here. Imagination and uniqueness are both in wide display.
While walking around, it began to rain, which was, as Kim likes to say, “cooling” on quite a warm day. The rain didn’t seem to bother either of these two folks who were passing by me on the street. The chap on the motorbike made me smile. After taking his photo, he saw me, and as he went by I could hear him say “Ah-yaaaa”. The lady on the bicycle made no indication that she saw me, and went on her way, focusing on the tasks at hand (like avoiding the motorbikes and cars). She is so typical of many older folks we have seen in Melaka.
Next, we figured it was time to be a tacky tourist and go on the Melaka River Cruise boat ride. Only it didn’t work out that way, it worked out better. We got to the departure spot (empty parking lot), went up to the wicket and bought our tickets. Cynthia’s was less expensive than Kim and I due to the fact that she was from Melaka and we were not. Then we moved to the departure area for the cruise. We were the only ones there. So we waited. Then along came two Malay boys and their father. So we all waited. While waiting the father approached and asked if I was a visitor (good guess). He indicated that his son, for a school project, was to interview some visitors and ask how they found their visit to Melaka. I obliged and was interviewed (and videoed by Dad), then we had a nice chat about the project and I gave them some interview tips and suggestions. And we waited.
While we were waiting, I observed the monorail that isn’t. Henry had told me about that on a previous occasion. Seems that Melaka had built a monorail system (well, a track that went from one end to the other, then back). It ran for a while and now sits, decommissioned I suppose. Not sure if it will ever run again. And we waited.
Finally, a tour bus pulled up and disgorged its load of humanity, a school group, junior high range I think. Aha, this is why we have been waiting (we thought). But no, we were then loaded onto one of the boats, all six of us, and off we went. The busload were on a different boat. The result of all this was that we basically had a private ride and had a great conversation between the six of us and the cruise boat operator, who was a most pleasant young lady.
The cruise goes quite a good distance along the Melaka River, past where Henry and I had walked, past Auntie Ming’s house, past the old clock tower and the start of Yonker Walk. If you are in Melaka, I do recommend it.
All in all, it was a very good day, wrapped up with another visit to Yonker Walk and a wonderful dinner with friends and family.
Tomorrow brings some travelling and more family. See you then.