Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 28 2010


February 27, 2010

I could understand how the Muslim call to Prayer at 6 a.m. could become annoying when I heard it this morning. For some reason, the plumbing in Tianshun’s apartment answered in an eerily similar fashion whenever the toilet is flushed.

We were up early to go out to Malacca, in the southern part of Malaysia, before the holiday traffic hit. Tianshun drove us there; I’m afraid we’ve been a terrible burden on our hosts, sleeping in their beds, eating their food and taking up all their time as they drive us around.

The shops and stores of Malacca were just getting ready to open when we arrived after a couple hours’ drive. More opened as we walked down the streets on what promised to become a hot day. Thanks to the largely Chinese population in that area, I could speak quite easily to shop owners and people at the temples in either Mandarin or Fukienese. They seemed happy enough to be photographed, too. The colors inside the Indian temple were amazing, as were some of the men walking around the temple clockwise wearing bright purple and yellow fabric wrapped around them. A bowl of rice lay on the floor just inside the entrance; a woman walked up and took out a handful to eat. The mosque looked interesting, but Tianshun advised against going inside.

We browed the history museum by the mouth of the river where the settlement of the area began. It seems that Malacca has a rather tragic history, beginning with the Portuguese, who decided to come in, burn everything down, and take over. Then it was the Dutch, then the English, then the Japanese. We went aboard what appeared to be a reconstruction of an old European sailing ship, to find that it was another museum inside; I would have better appreciated an actual reconstruction of a ship’s interior, but at least it was cool inside.

Back outside, the day was sweltering as an amphibious vessel crawled across the river and up the street, full of smug-looking tourists. The line outside the chicken rice place was daunting, so we took refuge inside an air-conditioned restaurant across the street from a vendor with half a face. I sat with my back to him. We were served by a big, burly, dark-skinned Indian man, but the food wasn’t very good; even the salad dressing was spicy.

The drive back was uneventful; we returned to Ah-lin’s place to pick up some things we left there last time, watching a really exaggerated Malaysian movie while waiting for Ou-yang to show up so we could head out to a place that was reputed to have fireflies, but rumors of rain killed that plan. Instead, we headed out to a fishing village, walking out onto the docks for dinner. While the surroundings were impressive, complete with an approaching lightning storm, the food was anything but. Gimzui had taken us to another scenic spot on the coast when the storm hit, and we somehow ended up in a mall up the freeway looking for a place to eat. Nobody could decide on anything, one of the hazards of traveling with a group, and as the rain had stopped, we went to see a development called iCity, which is basically a new apartment complex strung up with LED lighting. The entire country was there, it seemed, and parking was a nightmare. The lighting was interesting to shoot in, though.

posted by Poagao at 12:02 am  

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