EIGHTH MOVEMENT: MALAYSIA
I slept in today and then made my way to the City Plaza in Singapore to catch a bus to Malacca, Malaysia; lucky for me they still had seats available. I hung around the City Plaza for two hours waiting for the bus. Finally the time came for me to board the bus. It took about an hour for us to depart Singapore. The bus stopped and we went through Immigration to exit the country. We then boarded the bus again, crossed the Johor Strait, and exited again, this time with all our baggage, and went through Malaysian customs. Throughout my waiting and the bus journey, I read the Book of Chronicles; pretty much a supplement to the Book of Samuel and the Book of Kings. It was about another three hours before we finally reached our destination of Malacca, Malaysia. At the bus terminal I found out that all the taxis operate on a flat fare; since I do not, I found out where the city bus is and decided to take that to the old city center (for their part, all the taxi operators were very helpful in directing me to where the bus stopped at). I then had a quick meal at McDonalds (during this trip, McDonalds and Pocari Sweat have been lifesavers; I should be their world-wide spokesman), before getting on the bus to the city center (number seventeen). The bus filled to capacity before departing and it wasn’t too long before I was in the old Dutch city center. From there I got my bearings and walked to the hostel I booked with. I checked in, checked my email, and the was off to the city’s Chinatown to explore the Jonker Street Market.
The Jonker Street Market was very lively with tourists and locals; I walked by the “Christ Church Melaka” and then crossed the Melaka River, entering Chinatown. Throughout the old town were many bicycle-taxis that had very festive designs, lights, and pop music playing; I was very tempted to take one based on their showmanship alone. The market in Chinatown was very crowded and I tried my best to avoid the large quantities of people. I walked around enjoying the mix of Chinese, Dutch, and Islamic architecture, as well as the karaoke performers on the public stage in Chinatown. Also, everyone was very friendly and relaxed – it was very cool place to be. Furthermore, everything was lit with red lights, which I loved (I love the color “red”). Eventually, after wandering around for some time, I went to a pub named “Mr. and Mrs, Jones”, which had blues and rock being played live in it. At first I couldn’t see the main singer/musician (he was obscured by the piano); at first I thought he was European based strictly on his singing (he performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Come Together”, and “Just the Way You Are” like he spoke English naturally), but when I met him, I saw he was a middle-aged Malay dude with an impressive vocal range. I stayed longer than I expected so that I could enjoy the music and had several Guinness beers while I listened to the music and read some of the Book of Ezra. Finally,. when I was good and drunk, I left the bar and stumbled back to my hotel room.
Overall, based on my first impression in Malacca, I am looking forward to my travels in Malaysia; I think I will have a great time in this country.