17 November 2013

Melaka, Malaysia: Cool October Wind, Jonker Walk and Good Food

This is the second time I am writing about my trip to Malacca or Melaka as the locals would call it. I had initially written a heartless narrative about how delicious the ice cream was or what time the bus took off. I am afraid this version of the story would sound too safe or boring but here it goes anyway.

There was lack of sleep from the previous night so the time in the bus felt much shorter than a three-hour ride since the eyes were shut for most of the time. My sister sat right behind me. It was a bit disappointing to be not sitting in the same row with her. All the seats could be reclined so that was a good thing. I cannot remember if there was media box in front of me. I was too tired and a tap on my shoulder woke me up when reached the town. I saw familiar streets though I had seen them for the first time.

The hotel was exquisite. It was too early for check-in so we decided to have a lot of ice cream in the Häagen Dazs shop just outside the hotel. There was too much chocolate and we needed that to lift the spirits.

The afternoon light was soft. The curtains were delicate and the hotel room felt so serene. My sister and I both lay on the bed though we know that the pool was very tempting. We could see the turquoise blue patch right through our window and I felt like jumping straight into it.

After watching several documentaries on TV, we donned our swimsuits and went into the pool. It felt like freezing since October wind was blowing fiercely. It took us probably just 30 minutes and decided to go back to the room.

The tourists spots were just a few minutes walk away from where we were. Jonker Walk sounded like a good idea so we left the hotel just before sunset. On our way was McDonald's which we had trouble resisting. We spent about 10 minutes inside to get some fries and chicken nuggets before we continued walking.

Most of the buildings were painted in brick red. I wasn't sure why. We were eating, walking and taking photos at the same time. Sunlight was becoming scarce so we hurried until we reached the junction where the famous post card scene was of an old Catholic Church. Honestly, it was not as appealing as other centuries-old churches I have seen before but people were taking photos of it and decided to join the fun too.

Across the church was the river where Hard Rock Cafe was sitting. We didn't get inside since the goal was to get to Jonker Walk so we just took a few photos. Outside the cafe were tons of other tourists just taking photos and almost everyone had the same thought of just going straight to the night market.

Jonker Walk felt like any other Chinatown I have been too. When I say that, it means streets lined with vendors selling all kinds of random stuff and street food. It was tiring since we weren't there to shop. The memorable thing was the grilled Taiwanese sausage we ate on our way back. Melaka and Taiwanese sausage does not seem to go together but it tasted good anyway. It actually tasted like the sausages we have back home.

We walked until we reached the wider side of the river. My sister and I were both tired and started to feel lazy so we went in the first interesting cafe on the riverside. We found ourselves in a comfy restaurant. On the door it said Halia Inc. There was not so many people inside so I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. The prices were interestingly affordable so we ordered to our own satisfaction.

Both my sister and I stopped talking when the orders came. It was either we were hungry or the food was just amazingly good. I'm sure it was the latter. My coffee was also in perfect state. We ordered dessert and brownie a la mode just tasted like mom's. There was just too much stuff that we could no longer tuck our bellies tightly.

The walk back to the hotel felt short and quick. We dismissed the idea of beer since we just wanted to feel the comfortable sheets in the hotel room. We had one TV each, across the bed and in the tiny receiving room. Eyelids were dropping so I dozed off so quickly after the clock struck 10 PM.

Morning felt good. My sister said I snored. I didn't want to believe but I guess it was true. I was so tired and a good night sleep was all I needed. We visited the pool area but didn't go for a swim since the wind still felt cold. Lunch was quick in the mall just across the hotel. Shopping was very quick too and surprisingly we still had a lot of local currency left.

The bus arrived at the Singapore border a few hours before sunset. There was enough time for other stuff since the sun was still up. That weekend felt great and for some reason I missed that.

Location: Melaka, Malaysia

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