Monday, October 10, 2011

just in case

There was a terrific thunderstorm last night -- our cab driver from Kuala Lumpur said that from now until the Chinese New Year, it rains a lot here. He may have said "every day" but our accents made it hard to understand each other. Anyway. Lots of rain, nice to sleep in. And we kept the mosquito net around us all night, which seemed to make a difference.

The cab will pick us up at 3:30 this afternoon for the drive back to Kuala Lumpur, where we'll catch our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. We should be at our hotel around 10, I think, and tomorrow morning we head out to the sampan for our cruise through the Mekong Delta. Although I've been surprised by this kind of thing in the past, I don't expect we'll have online access for those days, and in fact we may not be back online until we're at home in NYC.

My summary $0.02 about Melaka: blech. Me no likey. Yesterday we took the "heritage walk" which meant a walking tour in the blazing equatorial sun around old churches and graveyards. We even went to the mall just to have something to do, and I kind of think that'll characterize my take-away sense of Melaka. I was thinking what a shame it is that their wonderfully rich heritage is gone in a blaze of plastic trinkets, but then again that's what we think about other people's interesting heritages even as we do the same with our own. The native American history of NYC...where is that, again? And the early Dutch settlers....where is that stuff again, other than in a plaque here or there? Instead we have giant skyscrapers and Times Square. So rich heritage makes way for temporary plastic crap all around the world, including Melaka.

one of the main sights: Christ Church, Melaka. I know.
a neat gate to Jonker Street, near our hotel
the details on the old Dutch gravestones were cool
they were really quite lovely, for gravestones
people were always "falling asleep piously to the lord" -- and at quite young ages, too.
beautiful work
kinda old
One final memory of both Kuching and Melaka: bad breakfasts. Maybe it's just a basic British breakfast, but breakfast in both places has included beans (the pork & beans kind of beans) and strange limp and sweaty meats, plus eggs and the most boring white toast in the world. Here, in the equatorial tropics, we get that kind of breakfast. I never quite understood it.

If we can get online over the next few days I'll be back! But if I'm not back, it's because there is no Internet where we are, and I'll do a giant photo post of the Mekong Delta trip asap.

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