Arrival in Malaka
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Malacca, Melaka, Malaysia
Transfer by local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 3 hours)
I woke up around 7:20 am but wasn't sure of the time since my phone was dead. I took the room key and my computer and went down to the lobby where I was able to get wi-fi and I checked my new United flight info to pass on to Carolyn and Intrepid. I accepted Alex and Tai as my new facebook friends and updated my blog with my notepad entries. I was just about finished with that when Alex popped up with her hand out for the room key. She very kindly agreed to come back downstairs and have a cup of tea while I had my breakfast. She had already been to breakfast. We were later joined by Simon and Tai. Alex and Simon were going walking with Shane at 9 am, but I passed because I didn't want to get lost (not that I mistrusted them) before we were supposed to leave at 11 am
At 11 am we walked down to the green hotel AnCasa - the more upscale one - where the shuttle bus to the bus station was standing. We stood in line as people got on. A young man was looking for change so he could board the bus and Shane offered but Tai changed his bill for him. Then we all piled on with our luggage. There was a space for luggage since it was a shutle. We sat in seats for the 20 minute ride to the bus station that is located outside the city just like an airport, and for the same reasons, according to Tai.
Actually the bus station was much more like an airport than bus stations in the US. It had ticket windows, screens with departures listed, gates and a waiting area with lots of shops and chain restaurants. While we waited for an hour, some of us went off to get some lunch. Margaret, Alex, Simon and I ended up at the Subway shop
The ride was uneventful - I slept a little - I saw lots of palm oil plantations. I didn't take any photos from the bus. We may have had a bathroom stop
with more totally dangerous toilets awash in water and slippery ceramic
tiles. We didn't have to stop for lunch since we got our lunches at
the bus station. We arrived on the outskirts of Melaka and began to see houses, apartments, commercial buildings. It looked more appealing than KL for some reason. I am not sure where the bus station is here in Melaka, but we got picked up in a minivan and driven to our hotel - the Hotel Mimosa. We liked
it a lot better than the one in KL but the air-conditioning was still
quite cold. We had a view of the mosque and minaret across the street
from us although I never noticed it once we walked out.
Then we had 10 minutes to get our laundry ready. I got my camera and other stuff ready for our rickshaw ride at the same time but needed an extra minute to get downstairs
We walked back to the hotel. At 4:30 the trishaw or rickshaw drivers pulled into the hotel
parking lot. Margaret wanted the green decorated rickshaw. I think
Tai-Rabbit went for one decorated with rabbits and Alex and I got the
one with Pikachu from Pokemon. The driver Chris turned out to be our
tour guide as well. But before that we met an elderly gentleman who introduced himself as Kama Pasha whose ancestors
came from Turkey. He does not know any Turkish at this time. He told us
he was in the Royal Navy from 1961 to 1982 and worked on getting rid of
mines. His brother went into the military too and ended up a Major
General. Kama asked each one of us where we were from and wasn't
satisfied with the country. He wanted to know the state or province or
whatever because he seemed to know about every place. He mentioned he
lived on some island between Vancouver and Vancouver Island that had
artists and craftspeople. I don't know what he was doing there. He was born in 1943
when the Japanese controlled Malaysia and he is still able to ride people around in a rickshaw. I was impressed.
Our rickshaw driver was Chris and he was our local guide
star performer was testing the sound system. We didn't stay for his
performance. We walked back to the hotel with Tai while Shane and Simon went out for some drinks. Oh, I forgot - we saw the house that Raffles built on the riverside by the Ghost Bridge.
After returning to our room, I uploaded today's Nikon photos and am writing up this blog. I may try to go through my previously uploaded but not seen photos before I go to bed.