Ahh.. Malaysia, the country of delightful contradictions. Ladies in headscarves hang out with other girls clad in hotpants that are no bigger than thongs. Here is the land where “air”* is water, and you won’t be arrested for getting out your “wang”** in public.
So far we’ve been eating our way across the country, tucking into all the good old staples like fried kway teow and last night chowed down to a rather large red fish that was probably well over a kilogram and a half.
I’ve had my obligatory iced nuts (“ais kacang”) and so I’m happy. For all you who’re not sure what it is, it’s basically a snowball laced with all sorts of sweet things and additives. Makes you go a little crazy with the additives and sugar high but otherwise it’s delicious.
Malacca has changed so much since I was last there, it’s quite the urban jungle with very few pedestrian crossings. You kinda have to play Frogger to get to the other side of the road. People take “Why did the chicken?” jokes very seriously here.
There are huge shopping malls in Malacca now, and walking through one of them on the way to the food court today we heard the “Psst! Psst!” of someone obviously trying to covertly catch our attention. It was that sort of whisper that someone gives you when they’re trying to sell you something naughty, like skunk or local women. Turned out he was trying to flog a couple of cans of San Miguel and a bottle of Johnny Walker… a strange enough thing to experience until you realise that Malaysia is a Muslim country and as such, selling alcohol isn’t particularly au-fait here, not to mention the fact that Annie is pregnant and I am lethally allergic to the demon drink.
I’m not sure what to call the museum feature on Pudu prison. Is it a highlight, or a lowlight? Well it’s a rather famous old prison in KL. For some reason they had a museum special on it and Annie and I went to see it. Heck it cost a buck each and we were looking for an escape from the heat.
Within we saw all sorts of interesting facts about prison life, as well as footage of someone getting caned. My god the prison warders really let those guys have it. No wonder the recipients of said caning couldn’t sit down for a month!
There are also these trishaws that are decked out to the nines with flowers. These guys have really gone to town. Those things look immaculate.. not to mention really, really kitsch. To top it all off they’ve got a boombox aboard the trishaw pumping out Westlife. I wouldn’t be seen dead in one of them, but the other tourists really like ‘em.
I’m sitting here at about ten at night, wide awake from the jet lag but it’s no big deal. I’m on holiday so I don’t have to worry about being compus mentis tomorrow.
Incidentally, Malaysian TV is the same it always has been, movies riddled with “iklan”, commercials and variety shows. Oh, and watching Spongebob Squarepants dubbed into Malay is probably one of the most surreal things you could ever see.
Gonna try to get up early enough to do some standing practise in the morning, and maybe a bit of mini-form to get the system going. Did a bit of standing today and didn’t half feel good for it. My body’s getting used to not being on a flying metal box and I’m relieved that the aches and pains are finally going away.
Darn it.. I’m getting old.
P.S. Why is it my hotel has got to be next to a karaoke bar? Before it was the “Unchained Merody” and “Under Plessure”. This time I can’t make out the lyrics. Thank heavens for small mercies.
* “Air” means “water” in Malay
** “Wang” means money in Malay, I know, I know there are all sorts of euphemisms that spring to mind but this is a family blog.