Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Road to Malacca and Being There.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Timbo hardly slept a wink. He could not get to sleep with this wretched cold. I felt sorry for him and even my magic cuddles were not enough to make him sleep. It is a good thing I do not have to sleep as much as a human.

We were up out of bed at 5.30, much earlier than we needed to be. Timbo sang in his croaky voice “We’re off on the road to Malacca”. I think he was being funny. We checked out and the taxi Timbo had ordered for the morning was there ready and waiting for us. The kind uncle took us all the way and chatted with Timbo. Timbo likes to tell people how much he loves Singapore and thinks of it as one of many places that are home to him. Singapore people are rather nice people I think, too.

We arrived very early. The coach was hiding from us. We got on board and soon we began the long trek across the island to the Tuas boarder crossing. After snaking around (though not a long queue), when disembarking Timbo asked if he needed to take his hand baggage with him. This was met with blank uncomprehending looks. He only took one bag, it was not checked. This was merely checking the passports. However, this is where no-man's land began. A seemingly very long drive brought us to the Malaysian passport check, but this time all bags were unloaded for checking. Timbo tried to choose the right queue for passport control and got the wrong one. He hen put all our bags into the big ex-rays machine but thankfully they went through with no problem. Then the next bit was fun. We had to find our coach! We did, and got on board again.

Poor old Timbo was feeling really, really poorly. There was a "comfort stop" as they are called. We got off and I looked after him while we took the chance for the break. Then it was back on again. I wish I could report the scenery was interesting, varied. It was not. I guess coming from Penang I am spoiled by the variety on the island.

Malacca is a big urban sprawl, Timbo said. It did seem to go on for ages. Suddenly in the middle of a main road the coach stopped. Timbo and some others were told off you get. We thought we were going to Melaka Sentral which the booking site said was the destination, instead we were stuck here. Several days later, when Timbo was much better, we checked his ticket and it was not for Melaka Sentral, even though the website did not seem to give a choice of final destination.

Timbo hailed a taxi, feeling most unhappy and most unwell. We got to the hotel, checked in and Timbo and I fell asleep.

We woke up to a car alarm beeping outside. Despite being on the 11th floor it seemed like it was not that far from the room it was so loud. As Timbo was poorly we ate in the hotel and had a huge pizza all to ourselves. Then it was bed again and I cuddled Timbo much, much, much more than ever and I think he slept better because of that.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Timbo woke rather late, but we were in time for breakfast. Timbo did not know if he was well enough to go out, but I gave some more cuddles and he thought it would be good to go out.

After sorting out about getting the hotel shuttle into the UNESCO heritage zone, Timbo also organised a taxi to take us to Kuala Lumpur, also known more simply as KL. This would only cost 300 ringgit, or about £55.00.

We got the hotel shuttle, essential as there was an uncrossable main road outside the hotel. A lady got off to go to the mall. Timbo said as a joke, I hope you are getting me something. She smiled.

We got to the bit of old Malacca everybody recognises and took some photos. We had to wait our time as there were loads of tourists all wanting their photos den or just standing in the way being total nuisances. Did they not realise I was in their midst? 

Timbo insisted I pose for him
We took some photos outside, went into the Christ Church, which is interesting on the outside but nothing special inside. But Timbo noticed a memorial plaque, which recorded deaths in a family from diphtheria. Timbo told me he was lucky to be born when he was as it used to be a disease that could kill children. He remembers his mother telling him stories of things like that.

A windmill in old Melaka Town
The façade of the red Christ Church in Melaka
The altar of the Christ Church
Anyway, we even climbed the mound to the old church even though it was trying to rain.
We did not see a Lidl while we were here
The tractor Oliver and an old Fire Engine
When we got there we looked around. 

St Francis Xavier, and missing right hand
It started to rain a bit heavier.

The interior of the church of St Paul with large memorial stones
Timbo took shelter and met up with the lady who got off at the mall. She was originally from Singapore but now lives in New Zealand and her son lives and works in London and has recently married. Timbo told her about Laing and Special K and how he retired early. She was really nice. Timbo even introduced me to her.

We went back down to see if we could take some more photos despite the weather trying to rain. 

Incidentally, when I am taking photos, Timbo says to me, “David Bärli? Who’s he?” I presume this makes sense to humans, and especially old ones like Timbo. 
David Bärli? Who’s he?
The shuttle bus arrived and even though Timbo was scheduled to return an hour later, he decided to call it a day. It was back to the hotel and collapse again on the bed.

After a snooze we decided to eat some local food and Timbo fell back on a good faithful standby, nasi lemak, or was it nasi goreng? It was one nasi or the other and they are simple dishes he likes. They are delicious.

After that, back to bed and more sleep.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Today Timbo was not at his best. After breakfast we returned to the room just as the room service man was finishing. We went to bed and rested and snoozed most of the day, rising to pack for tomorrow and have dinner. Italian again this time, but pasta not pizza.

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