My journey down to Melaka wasn’t actually that bad, set up with my favorite sweets, 2 chairs to myself and thanks to the lovely boys I met in Krabi I had the Pokemon game on my iPad. I was almost disappointed when my bus pulled into Melaka Sentral Station. From there I hopped on a local bus into Douglas Square and made my way towards the hostel, Jalan Jalan. The hostel itself was quite cool, it had a nice chilled vibe, which seemed to be the theme everywhere in Melaka.
My first day was pretty quiet, I slept, had a wander down the infamous Jonker Street, ate a beautiful organic curry and picked up a load of travel tips about Australia from a girl in my room who had just spent the last year living and working there. It is always useful to meet travelers who have been to where you are heading next.
The next day I decided to continue to theme from Kuala Lumpur and went out on my own. I hired a bicycle and visited a few museums, Dutch Square, I popped into the Hardrock Cafe, which seemed so overpriced compared to the rest of the town, but I suppose it is a chain. Towards the evening I plonked myself downstairs in the lobby and got chatting to a group of people, this included an English midwife, 2 feisty Spanish girls, 2 beautiful dutch girls and Sam, and Oxford educated Englishman turned nomadic writer. We all headed out to an infamous curry street food cafe, we ordered a huge range of curries, breads, rices and starters, all for only 7 ringit each. It was amazing food, and I attempted the whole ‘eating curry with you hand’ technique. It got pretty messy.
Our night led us to a small street-side bar, where we sat outside on the street with the 2 cafe owners, drinking beer and swapping stories. They told us about the tuk-tuk bikes that the locals drive tourists around Melaka in. They spend a small fortune on decorating them with themes they think will attract customers, there was a lot of Hello Kitty ones, which are undoubtedly for the mass of Asian tourists. The owners friend peddled by on their bike and offered us a free ride around the block. Sam and I jumped into our Barbie themed side-car, equipped with flashing lights, reggae blaring from the speakers and even wifi. Our driver laughed all the way around and showed us what each building was, but I couldn’t help but feel bad being peddled around by this guy.
Upon our return, the bar owner said something which resonated with me, he said “why do you travel so much, we are all in Melaka, you all leave tomorrow, this is not cool. However, this is a moment we have all shared, lets enjoy it for what it is, a moment.” I guess it reminded me how lucky I am to be doing this, and to remember to always be in the moment and not thinking about the past or future challenges. I had never really thought about the impact on local people, who befriend so many travelers, only to have them leave a few days later, nobody really likes goodbyes do they.
Despite having my ‘live in the moment’ torch reignited, my next few days were unfortunately spent in bed. I was the ill-est I had been so far in my trip, I had been quite lucky to not get that ill all throughout Asia so far, but this time I truly was bed-bound. The next few days were spent at hostel, taking many cold showers, napping, playing on Pokemon and catching up on my diary in bed.
A few days later, when I felt well enough to move I made the journey back to Melaka Sentral Station, purchased my ticket from one of the many stands and made myself eat some plain rice before the journey. I was grateful for the rain outside and an entire row to myself, allowing me to get as comfy as possible and avoid the possibility of throwing up on the person sat next to me. It was time for my final stop in South-east Asia, Singapore baby.