Eventhough I have been in Asia quite recently (just five weeks ago) and would be back there soon (in about six weeks), this morning I woke up with a sudden nostalgia for Malaysia.
I am sitting in a village in a rather desolate place in the USA, the first snow had fallen, and as is the custom, one says prayers for the first snow. Then I thought of myself walking along the streets of Malaysia, greeting newly made friends and savouring the flavours wafting through.
never mind, will make it a point to be in Malaysia in the latter part of January 2007.. once again for a good nyonya food, some nice conversations and the ambience.
Perhaps the nostalgia was brought on by a sympathetic article on the november 5, 2006 issue of New York Times Travel Section. The enclosed photos are from the article.
Water : Generally safe to drink water straight from tap. Bottled mineral water, however, easily available in shops & supermarkets
Electricity : 220--240 volts are available. Plug fittings must be three pin square
Mobile Phone Network : GSM, PCN and Analog
Taxes : Some shops will add a 5% tax. At some food and beverage outlets they will also charge an additional 5% to 10% tax.
Currency : The ringgit is the currency of Malaysia and is also known as the Malaysian dollar. 1 dollar equals 100 cents. You can change money and travellers cheques at banks and moneychangers. Credit cards are usually accepted in hotels and department stores. Cash however, is needed in the rural areas.
Banking hours :Banks are usually open from 10 a.m. up to 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 9.30 a.m. up to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
Observed a very unique thing in Melaka but not very sure if my observation is correct. I found that a lot of indian in melaka are catholic. As I found some of them praying on st. Paul hill..and I took the picture on the right.. a picture that suprised me.. a tamil catholic church
The earliest Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlements, namely Melaka, Penang and Singapore, were primarily men who then married local Malay women. Thus, they created a unique mixed Chinese-Malay culture that came to be known as Peranakan, where the men are known as Babas and the women as Nyonyas. This community can trace its presence in Melaka to at least the 17th century.
Throughout the centuries, Peranakan culture has managed to maintain many ancient Chinese traditions while adopting many customs of the land they settled in and of their colonial rulers. You can find in Peranakan culture traces of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences. The Peranakans have also managed to maintain customs and traditions of their Hokkien Chinese ancestors, some of which no longer survive in China or in local Hokkien communities.
The Peranakan community in Melaka became quite wealthy through trade, and as such they spared no expense in acquiring fine furniture, porcelain, embroidery, and tilework for their lavish homes. Many fine examples of restored Peranakan homes can be seen in old city Melaka today.
As with their culture, Peranakan cuisine is an exotic mixture of Chinese and Malay influences. It is truly one of the most popular contributions of the community, and no trip to Melaka would be complete without sampling some traditional dishes.
The locals have an incredibly sweet tooth. A few things I tried were undrinkable as they were so sweet. If you're feeling brave you can try freshly squeezed sugar cane juice from a vendor on the street.
Como la voz eterna de ciudad porteno, sr p. ramlee he dejado su voz en aire de la peninsula.. cantante y actor.. querido de monton de malasianos...
Queria comprar disco compacto y dvd de el, pero no estaba facil encuentrar.
Walk along jonker street and observe some of the old Chinese shophouses. Some of them still have at the fron facade partially tiled walls. They are very pretty tiles, in the Straits people fashion. Becos of its antique value, some of the tiles have been pierced out and sold to collectors.
The picture is not of any antique value, but the tiles are equally pretty with our national flower (bunga raya - which mains highway flower..becos it was chosen as our national flowers as years ago it was indeed a popular flower grown along Malay villages, and now even in the city)
I am very fond of cats and will photo any that come near me. Since VT refuses to have a cat section, I am happy to put my cat photos in any section!!! Just ignore if you are not a cat fan like me.
When we visited Lisbon I noticed so many beautiful tiles decorating walls, floors etc. Melaka had several pretty tiles, too and I wonder if this is a legacy of the Portuguese occupation.
As you stroll through the Chinatown area keep an eye out for bakeries selling pineapple tarts - a Nyonya speciality.
I have seen one very relaxed man who I decided to photograph. Sleeping here is very convenient no matter where you are. Just look at the man on the picture. You can really see almost everything.
THIS INCREDIBLE GUY WAS CARRYING SOUPS WITH THE MOTORBIKE! AND NOTHING SPILLED!!!
This guy must work in a circus, in my company, for example.
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