Monday is a good day to start again. Monday was the day we were leaving KL to explore more of Malaysia. If we could only get this packing done…
In our defense, we had stayed longer at Sonja’s place than we usually do in any hotel plus we had sorted things out that we didn’t take on our special trip to Thailand. And, we were probably more thorough than at other times. We noticed, for example, that the oxo cubes in our kitchen box had somehow drawn water and were disintegrating…a mess that we cleaned immediately, with running water and swipes so nearby, rather than leave it. So yeah, packing took until lunch time.
It didn’t impede much on our plans though. The city of Melaka, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is only 150km away from KL. Also, Flo had picked a small town half-way in between to have lunch as he read a lot about Malaysian food lately. Going on the motorway still delights Flo and we even listened to some audio book, a thing we haven’t done since we left the Australian Stuart Highway. This fact, probably more than anything else, should tell you in what a great shape the roads here are.
Stopping in Seremban at a small but well-frequented eatery (Lonely Planet suggestion), we realized that we didn’t even look at the language section so far. Luckily, most of the words for foods are exactly the same here as they are in bahasa Indonesia so we already know a lot. One phrase needs to be added to my vocabulary “sayuran saja” (gemüsig ich bin) and then I should be sweet for the rest of our time here. In the end, we had noodles in some kind of tomato sauce with fried tofu and tried a cendol as dessert. Cendol is like nothing I knew and it is surprisingly un-sweet. You get a bowl with shaved ice cubes, jelly noodles, little crunchy things, coconut milk and some sort of red bean mash. Not bad but very new for my taste buds.
Riding another 80km down to Melaka didn’t take long anymore. The city is probably still better known in the West as “Malacca”, first a Portugese trade hub, then taken over by the Dutch before being handed over to the British…Flo could give you a history lesson if you are interested. =P
Today, “Don’t mess with Melaka” is the slogan here. After we found a place to stay and cooled down a little again (man, you forget how hot those motorcycle clothes get), we explored the old center a bit. Crossing the river got us to the “Stadthuys” or town hall next to St. Peter’s hill. There used to be a fortress on the hill but after having been taken a couple of times by force, one settled for a church up there now. It is an odd place, filled with the old grave headstones which are nowadays used as props by the tourists. We even saw a couple taking their wedding pictures there.
Back down from the hill, half molten by the heat, we once again stumbled into a massive mall. The AC was on “freezer” temperature, I think, but the mall had many perks. First and foremost, it had massage chair which I used for 6min. Don’t bash it before you’ve tried it…it’s not the real thing but it’s still better than no massage at all.
Second, it had a real ice cream stall. The advertisement went from “natural ingredient” to “freshly produce”. BUT, the ice cream was YUMMY and it made me happy as the picture testifies. Flo had a very good but very sour “Lemon Lime” flavour which he balanced with “Snickers” while I had the more classic combo of “Chocolate” and “Berry yogurt”.
This refreshment gave us new energy to keep on exploring colourful alleys around the river. We also started looking for a dinner restaurant when the sun started to set, just to notice that most places were already closed. Cafe-style eateries close at 5.30pm here so we were more than an hour too late. Wandering the streets, we had to settle on a Western restaurant which meant that the food was expensive and not spicy enough.