Recovery in Malacca

Time for a Malacca walkabout! I snap a pic of this map of the area to navigate by. It makes a great mural on one of Layang Layang’s walls. Alright Malacca, Diesel and Agent Getz are on the case.

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We leave the hostel and it’s only a short walk to the river. This whole area is a UNESCO world heritage site and it’s easy to see why with the beautiful river and Colonial buildings dripping history into a cultural cocktail. We pass by some colorful murals and then the river opens up in front of us with a classic old church in the background.

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Agent Getz and I make our way down the boardwalk along the river and pass by a couple of cool cafes and such. One reggae themed place has a good little scene going on and drunk peeps are all smiles and cheers as we walk by. Scene’s a little too good for our presently defeated selves though and we find a slightly more chill spot to relax and have a coffee.

Tour boats slowly pass by along the river, people waving from their seats. The scene is pristine and beautiful, sun beginning to set and no great urgency in our moods.

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Ahhhhhh… finish up the java and we decide to try and catch the sunset by the real waterfront just west of here. The sun scoffs at our hangovers, ‘You won’t do it’. Oh yes we will! And now we’re fast tracking down the boardwalk back into town and westwards.

We pass through some historic area that we’ll have to put on tomorrow’s agenda. A red plaza with a clock tower and a whole street that seems lined with various museums. There are a ton of these hilarious rickshaws all decked out with characters from disney or pokemon or whatever. They all blast dance tunes at insane volumes to try and entice you to ride in one. It would make our trek to the waterfront way faster but the embarrassment factor was a little too high for us to commit.

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The Sun sends us another text, ‘You guys are stupid, I’m outta here’ and everything turns into a race. We’re hightailing it now at a speed walkers dream pace. Getting mighty sweaty in the great Malaysian humidity. Come around the corner to another boardwalk straightaway and I snap a preemptive sunset pic in case it’s the last one we’re able to get before we hit the ocean.

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Phewf, ok we’re almost there. Just have to cross a huge field of weird sponge grass and there’s a road ahead right before the water. Suddenly we hear the revving of engines and squealing tires. It’s the din only a large collection of vehicles can make. Malaysian Mad Max? There is a whole motorcade of tricked-out scooters and motorbikes cruising the strip in front of the water. There are literally hundreds of them zoom-zipping by, most of which are popping wheelies or doing balance tricks, stalls and holds. What the hell is this? Our pace quickens.

We reach the waterfront in time for sunset, the only problem is that it isn’t nearly as kickass as we’d hoped it would be. Well, it’s ok. The waterfront is more a break-tide of rocks and out in the ocean is an assortment of cranes and old boats. And we’re sweating up a storm. The MMM Scooterfest has died down and we cross the street to the beach to snap a pic.

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Kind of a cool little waterfront though actually. There are food trucks here with tables and seats to chill at that overlook the water. There’s an interesting mix of Muslim girls hanging with their gangster badboy BFs and their tricked out hatchbacks here too.

We take a different route back to the hostel through an area just outside of the heritage site. It is a developing spot with lots of unique restaurants and boutique shops. Seems to be an up-and-coming, more modern area here in Malacca, they’re definitely putting some money in.

The sun is set now and it takes us a while to get back to Layang Layang through some convoluted snakeway of streets. We hit Jonker Walk and there is a full on night market lining the street now. When we get back to the hostel Poppy and McBurger are both still asleep.

We get MacKay up and give him a briefing on our Malacca discoveries. Time to get a bite. Outside the hostel there is a kitty that MacKay just finds irresistible. Despite my everyday guidance to not pet the stray cats in these countries he beelines over and gives it the rub down. “Aww kitty”, “Ok Bubbles, try not to get any diseases.”

“I’m so glad to see the cats are doing ok here”

– James MacKay, International Kitty Psychologist

We get back out into the streets and take a tour of the night market. Reminds me of the Taiwanese ones we went to. But this is packed down a narrow street and so everyone is moving at a snails pace. I can smell McBurger’s rage temp rising again.. oh no that’s the stinky tofu. Aside from a stand of butterfly knives, nunchucks and brass knuckles it’s pretty much just a bunch of cell phone covers and other junk. Drisdelle does find a stand with spices and picks up a Melaka mixed bag. That’s pretty cool.

We tour the area looking for the right place for grub and a drink. The Cartographer seems the logical choice but we pass it by and keep searching. Eventually we find ourselves back by the water and the square with the clock tower again.

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And all those rickshaws are even more obnoxious at night all lit up and strobing to their cranked up pop or EDM tunes.

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We settle on a place called Sid’s Pub down by the river. Looks to be a newer English pub style place, medium swanky. So we get some English fare and a round of beers. Don’t think we’ll be getting too crazy this evening, everyone is in full on hangover and sickness recovery mode. Pretty relaxing day overall and this pub has just the right atmosphere to simply sit, have some good eats and a beer, listen to the river outside the window and occasionally watch the soccer match on the big screen.

Sid’s has all of these framed quotes around the walls. Handful of interesting ones, mostly lame ones you’ve heard/read a thousand times. Although this one seemed quite suiting to the Malaysian heat and humidity we were dealing with.

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My ploughman arrives and it is stupendous. Mainly because I have an unusual fondness for cocktail onions and really wasn’t expecting them. Make a little sandwich, pick at some pickled goodies between beer swigs, perfecto.

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Two beers and dinner, what are we married? It’s all good, sometimes that’s the best way to go. Definitely fit for today. We pay up, thank the wait staff and head out to Jonker Walk and into Chinatown back to Layang Layang. A slight drizzle picks up on the way and in the distance we can see some lightning over top the houses.

Everyone is gone to bed when we get back and the front seating area is completely empty. MacKay goes straight to bed, looks like it’s his turn to feel like shit. Drisdelle and I aren’t really ready to hit the hay though so we walk down to a corner store to get some blog beers.

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Unfortunately, the internet isn’t being too cooperative so the blog will have to wait (again). Instead we sit back and watch the oncoming thunderstorm. Occasionally one of those pimped out rickshaws rolls by and rumbles the hostel with bass heavy dance tunes. Hard to believe that’s allowed here.

Finish up the beers and roll to bed. Nice comfy room. The thunderstorm is right overhead now and the sound of heavy rain pouring through the atrium into the central pond is relaxing. Open the window and it’s really coming down out there, lightning and thunder. I go through my usual routine of a late night coughing fit and sleep sitting up in bed again.

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