The moment I stepped on the cobblestone streets of Melaka, a riot of smell greeted me. Perhaps coming from a stew cooking slowly on top a burner in one of the shophouses lining up the river. Cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric. I couldn't tell. There was only one thing certain though: my old, restless soul felt so at home.
After making a wrong turn, I finally found my home for the night, a restored centuries-old Chinese shophouse called River View Guesthouse. Rightfully so, the terrace at the back empties to a magnificent view of Melaka River.
One thing that endeared me to this city is how up to this day, the city is bursting with so much life and teeming with commerce unlike many colonial towns which are left to decay. In 2008, the city has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As soon as my room was ready, I left my backpack and made a quick dash to Jonker Street and grabbed a serving of durian cendol, just perfect to cool down under the sweltering Malaysia weather.
I imposed to myself that I should check out all the major museums scattered all over the city including the open grave of St. Francis Xavier (the saint was buried here before his relic was brought to Goa, India). After the obligatory visits, I was left with no energy to, at least, drag myself home. So, I hired a rickshaw. Sosyal na traysikad uruy! Fiesta theme!
I had a power nap. By the time I woke up, I was so recharged I sought out the party scene. Did I come during lean season because it seemed quiet everywhere? The quarter where I lived looked rather eerily romantic at night. I walked the length of the road until I reached Red Dutch Square.
With nothing much left to do except console myself with the sight of one big monitor lizard crossing the river, I traced my way back and tucked myself to bed.
The next day, I packed up and said my goodbyes to the very kind Malaysian couple who owns the guesthouse. I had a quick meal of the best nasi lemak and headed out to Melaka Sentral Terminal to catch the 12 noon bus to Singapore.
So there. Livin' la vida pica pica in Melaka, Malaysia!