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Friday, May 18, 2012

Massage, Melaka, Museum, and More

I already made mention of the massage cruise and only have two pictures since I rested and relaxed the rest of the time.  The first is pretty awful, catching Matthew about to devour a piece of dragon fruit on the platter set next to us.   The other is the woman who massaged my feet just as she was starting.  The massage lasted 45 minutes and was wonderful.  It was very much like a Thai massage, which means they dug into your feet with their knuckles finding all the sore spots.  They did mostly the feet, not as much on the calves, but then at the end, did the head and neck too.  We both loved how we felt afterwards as we left the boat.  I do have to say it didn't last an hour on the water, as they said it would...when the girls finished the massage, we were dropped off at the dock.   I honestly think they take advantage of us non-Asian/Indian folks.  We've had several situations where they tried to tell us that's what we were to get.  But it was worth every ringot.

I just had to get a picture of this, but not sure you can tell--it's the LARGEST grape I've ever seen!
I had planned a day-trip ahead of time with a taxi driver named Taufik.  He was recommended by someone on Fodor's forum, and we emailed back and forth several times to plan both a day trip and for him to drive us to the airport on our last day in KL.  He was prompt picking us up at 9 am for our day in Melaka, about an hour or so away.   He was very quiet on the drive down there and I was afraid we'd be expected to tell him where we wanted to go...and I had done some research, but not that much.  But when we arrived, he drove us to a dock and said to go take the river cruise for 45 min and he'd wait right there.  So off we went....

I was completely enamored with the murals on many of the buildings, which are obviously for the tourists on the river cruises to enjoy.  

After the cruise, Taufik took us to the old part of town and parked.  He told us to take as long as want here to see everything, but pointed up the hill and said to walk up there first.  It's an old church that I think dates back to the Portuguese or Dutch,both of  which had possession of the town at different times.  All the buildings that are in red were built by the Dutch.

Proof that I made it into one museum...not my favorite thing since they're generally not air-conditioned in these humid countries.  

replica of a house in old Melaka up on stilts (this was also inside the hot museum)

Anklet from ancient times--thought my friend Annette would like to see this and make one ;-)

Lunch in Melaka after getting oh so freakin' hot walking around.  We wanted local fare, but not sure where to go, and NO place was air-conditioned, so we settled for this outdoor place with a slight breeze, but then he turned on a cool fan right next to us, so it was better.  I had fish and chips because it's a seafood area, and it was delicious.  My drink was a soursop and mango smoothie, which was also really good, but gave me a brain-freeze, so I had to go slow.

another random photo...try reading what it says.  pretty funny explanation...vast variety of bearables?

After leaving the old town, Taufik drove us to another place where they have this circular lift you can pay to ride that then rises up on a tower for a view of the city.  I watched this thing come down and decided it wasn't for me--not on a full stomach.  Well, not in this lifetime really....I don't even like merry-go-rounds.  Matthew opted not to go up also, so off we went to the next place, which was a fort.  By now, it's around 4 pm and we've already had a full day, but Taufik was just warming up.
  Something I found interesting was when he pointed out this beautiful complex of buildings as the police station and complex.  The officers and their families are housed there for as long as they're working.  The firemen also have the same situation.  His uncle used to work as a fire fighter in Melaka, so he knows the area from when he visited him as a boy.  He said they have to move when they retire.    

This mosque was in a part of town that's new--they're building on landfill all over this area.  When I expressed interest in the architechture of the mosque, Taufik offered to pick us up earlier on Friday so he could show us the town of Putrajaya, which is realitively new and where all the ministry buildings are now located along with two mosques.  He also took us to the Portuguese section of Melaka to show where most of them live now.  He said they've mixed with the Malay people too, of course.

Taufik told us the story about the 5 brothers or friends who went to school together and because of a misunderstanding, one was labeled a traitor to the emperor and was ordered executed on sight.  He went into hiding, but later one of the others defended his brother and the emperor became upset with him.  When the first one was vindicated, the emperor ordered him to kill his brother, which he did, but then he drowned himself out of shame for what he did.  His grave is on a small street in an inconspicuous place because he was considered a traitor.  

We thought we were on our way back to KL, but Taufik stopped at a botanical garden and park and told us to take our time and walk the grounds.  It's now about 6 pm and I can't believe he's still showing us sites.  Especially since it means getting out of his air-conditioned car to go look at places in the 90* with 100% humidity to do so.  And by now, the mosquitoes are out and hungry for fresh meat....but off we dutifully went.  This turned out to be a cool place, but not literally.

I had just been wondering how Muslim women exercise and here we ran into a group doing aerobics with a teacher in this park.  I'm still wondering about the ones who are orthodox and wear the full burkas.  These ladies meet at the park and workout together.  Just watching them made me sweat.  Well, I was already sweating and had been all day.
 And I also sneezed all day....partly from in air-con, then out into heat, then back again.  But now it seems I have a slight cold.  Drat.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this! Everything looks so clean, neat, and pristine. Is it?