A Travellerspoint blog

"What? No crunchy aloe bits?!"

-17 °C

( Jenn )

There's nothing like being sick to make you want to go home no matter how much you're on a trip you've been dreaming of for years. I could cheerfully have curled up in a little ball and gone nowhere the last few days and the thought of all the countries still to come, especially India, just made me want to cry. On the plus side, Singapore's health system was wonderful. I have never been in and out of an emergency room in under an hour in my life. Of course, the fact that we all had to put on masks and sit in the isolation / fever ward might have had something to do with it :)

Anyway, feeling a bit better each day. Still not eating much, quite weak and muscles still hurt from how bad the chills were but our lovely hostel (truly an oasis and at only $18 CDN a night a bargain to boot) and Melaka itself have improved my mental state greatly.

The night we arrived we simply went across the road to the huge mall - Mahkota Parade - we could see from our room. It's funny. People always tell you to skip the chains and eat where the locals do but curiously enough, the Pizza Hut was jam-packed - so we ate there! :) We were the only Westerners in the place. Rob and Anica enjoyed a pizza and I had some soup while glancing longingly at the spicy tuna pizza which I would have loved to have tried. We looked around the mall a bit after dinner. As luck would have it, there was a mostly English-language bookstore next door and we spent some time there and in the Guardian drugstore next door checking out what we could and could not buy in Melaka. No insect repellent. Some sunscreen but at the same price as at home. No sign of tampons since I left Canada.

By then it was getting fairly late so we went back to the hostel and got everyone settled in. Had a really good night's sleep which probably helped greatly. Got up and had breakfast at the hostel. $3 CDN for 6 slices toast with butter and jam and large fresh pineapple juices for Anica and me, coffee for Rob. Headed out from the hotel and discovered we were within easy walking distance of everything we wanted to see. Thank goodness, because the humidity leaves your clothes sopping wet and moving around too much is a real drag. Still, we managed to see the People's Museum, with its smaller contained Museum of Kites and Museum of Enduring Beauty. The latter was very interesting as they mean "enduring" in the sense of what people have endured for beauty rather than continuing. Tattoos, lip plates, scarification, corsets, anorexia, dental alterations, etc. Very gruesome but it was fascinating.

We then headed up to the Clock Tower and Christ Church in the central town square. We got to look at both and take a few pictures before the rain started. We ducked into a store and bought Anica a bamboo fan. Headed back out when things seemed clear and got caught up in looking over the bridge railing at the crabs and the lizards playing in the mud below. And that's when the skies opened up and it poured. We stood under a tree with our umbrellas and five minutes later when we realized it wasn't going to stop, and that we were already well on our way to being soaked, we took refuge in the Melaka Art Gallery where Anica showed us her karate chops while we enjoyed the air conditioning and waited out the rain.

Roughly forty-five minutes later it was clear again and we ventured back out and across the bridge where we ate at a small corner food shop. Rob had Mee Goreng (noodles) while Anica and I shared a chicken spring roll (not at all like the ones at home but so good) and a plate of white rice. I also had a 100plus which is the local version of Gatorade (an electrolyte drink). It's certainly not something I would drink by choice *makes face* but it's a good way of balancing your system. Drinks and meal came to $3.57 CDN.

Then we went to the Baba & Nyonya Museum. It was gorgeous. A private museum comprised of three houses owned by Straits-born Chinese (Chinese men came here and married Malay women) - the men called "Baba" and the women referred to as "Nyonya". The only downside of our visit is that you had to be led through by a tour guide and were not allowed to go at your own pace, or to take photos. However, the tour was decent, provided us with information we might not otherwise have had and the buildings were beautiful. In order to get around the window tax that was levied at the time, the houses were built narrow, tall, and with a lot of interior courtyards to maximize light.

After that, we went back to the area near our hostel and visited A Famosa which is one of the oldest surviving remnants of European
(Portuguese) architecture in Asia. It was once part of a mighty fortress with long ramparts and four major towers, but now this one gate (called the Porta de Santiago) is all that is left.

Finally, we went back to the mall right across from our hostel and had dinner at Nando's. Food was the same as in Canada, only cheaper. And my "sparkling apple" juice was filled with the "crunchy aloe bits" I'd been successfully avoiding when buying juice in Singapore. You have to wonder - what made that a selling point? When did anyone think that they'd really like crunchy bits of anything in their juice? Much less another plant entirely unrelated?

That's it for now. Hope to add photos to this later.

Posted by jennrob 02:50 Archived in Malaysia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Hi Jenn, Rob & Anica, So good to hear from Jenn! The food sounds great & what sights! You've really done a lot considering all. Wish we were there too. Love & hugs to Anica H&D

by hdbutters

Hi Jenn, Rob and Anica,

I have been following your travels so far and am green with envy. It sounds wonderful (other than the horrible fever). I am glad to hear that you are having such an amazing time and are doing well, all in all. Looking forward to more entries and pics to come.
Christine (syntax)

by balch02

Being sick is never cool; luckily though yours occured where excellent help was available! Glad to hear you are feeling better. Following the news with anticipation/admiration chin-up On On.

by Jofa

Thanks everyone for commenting! Still rough going. Six days into being ill and I've finally cracked open the pharmacy of antibiotics we brought with us. Going to see one more sight here (KL) - Batu Caves - tomorrow and then we're headed to Pangkor Island (beach!) for several days.

by jennrob

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.