Our original plans were to go to Georgetown and the Thai Border, but work called and my friend had to go to Melaka for a day. I caught a ride with my friend and her colleague, had my own day out, and then spent the rest of the weekend in Melaka with her.
The ride down there was fairly uneventful. We had dinner soon after we arrived at Jonker 88. My stomach was a little bit unstable from my recent visit to, ironically, Singapore and so I did not get to enjoy the food as thoroughly as I would have liked. Of all the foods that I tried in Malaysia, this place served some of my favourites.
In a clear indicator of quality, people queued up to get into this place. My only regret is the limited state of my stomach and inability to really enjoy the food a bit more fully.
After dinner, the three of us parted ways and I went to my guesthouse, the Santo Inn, near the Kampung Mosque. This guesthouse was run by a nice guy named Andy, who was very attentive and kept the place running well. The place was kept very clean and the location could not have been better. I believe that I paid only MYR 40 per night, but I do no remember so well. It was an excellent value regardless.
At the sound of the azhan the next morning, I awoke and went to the mosque. There were about three of us praying at that time. I then embarked on a mission to find coffee. Nothing seemed to open all that early and so I wandered around a bit until I realized that I had not brought any cash with me. I returned to the guest house, picked up money, and set out again- not finding coffee until drinking some instant stuff served at a market food stall with a roti John.
I wandered the downtown area a bit and visited several museums. My first visit was the Customs Museum which was mostly cool because of the exhibits of contraband that has been confiscated over the years. Admission was free and it was good for a few minutes recreation, but I would not dedicate time for that one in particular. My favourite was the Maritime Museum, which included a lot of really cool exhibits ranging from pre-colonial Malaysia up to the modern day Navy.
Eventually, my stomach started showing signs of acting up again and I decided to seek out a pharmacy. I received directions from several people, yet struggled to find this phantom pharmacy to which they were directing me. Several times, I passed traditional Chinese Medicine shops, and so I decided to see if they might have anything of practical value. The results are the subject of a past blog post.
Soon after prayers, I met up with my friend. She would be taking a room in the same guesthouse and we would be traveling back together by coach the next day. We had some dinner and then set out for a river cruise. The cruise was an excellent value. It was unnarrated but offered a very nice look at the city from the water. I did some laundry and we waited for it over tea near the guest house. We then walked down by the river and stopped at a riverside restaurant for dessert. As we continued our stroll down the river post-dessert, we stood on a bridge as two boats passed underneath us carrying a wedding party and announcing their presence with the beat of drums.
The evening could not have been more perfect. The weather was delightful, the atmosphere relaxed, and the setting gorgeous. The woman I was with could not have been more perfect. While I can talk about the place itself, quite frankly it is a blur because of her. It was on that walk that our conversation turned towards the possibility of us and we took our first steps towards a future together.