Malacca Travel Blog

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Altogether now: "Land of hope and glory, mother of the free..." Just kidding, I'm actually about as patriotic as Lord Haw Haw.

Since I've been on my own, each time I travel with someone for more than a few days, I get a little bit attached. I invest time in getting to know them, as you would any other friend that you have at home, and make an effort to develop a friendship. Inevitably however, after a stretch of time moving in the same direction: sightseeing, bussing, piss-taking, ferrying, joking, drinking and eating together, we go our separate ways.

I generally become a little bit morose and weary for a while, it feels like a kind of friend hangover. Each time these people go their own way, they take with them the little piece of my personality I've shown to them and, vice versa, I carry away a bit of theirs. So, I think, am I wasting my efforts to be friends on people I may never meet again apart from on Facebook? Should I simply be cordial with future acquaintances, rather than friendly? 

Eventually I always manage to banish these thoughts as foolishly negative, pick myself up, shift on and meet more people, kick-starting the cycle all over again.

Funky disco machine. A Melakan Rickshaw ready for a night on the town.
So it was that I left Bill, Lee and Lex in KL and headed south for Melaka, feeling a little down after spending two weeks in bloody good company. Then the whole travel friend thing happened again, only this time in microcosm.

Shortly after I arrive at my hostel I meet Lindsay, a lawyer from Landan Tarn. We get on and take the piss out of each other in traditional English fashion. We have a good laugh, visit some museums to explore the history of Melaka a little (The Portuguese, Dutch and Brits seem to have taken turns grinding the place gradually into the dust before independence, at least if you take the modern day Malaysian take on things at face value). We eat, watch Indiana Jones and American Idol, firing off snide remarks about the contestants.

And then, after two days, she’s gone, off up to KL before heading back to Singapore and a meeting with her father.

Dining in style. Lindsay with two enormous prawns at a restaurant we went to. You cook all the stuff in boiling satay sauce on your table. S'really good.
And me? Well I plunge into a pointless, self-pitying friend hangover for a few hours before picking myself up one more time. I buy a ferry ticket to Sumatra, a place that Lee and Lex raved about and quash any thoughts of being alone over there for two or three weeks with the rather magical thought that I may get to see orangutans.

This seems to make everything a little better and then I get to thinking again (I think way too much sometimes). It seems to me that these time-limited friendships burn all the brighter, forged as they are in common ground arrayed against the slings and arrows of unfamiliar territory. When people do leave, what hopefully remains with you are good memories. And that should be enough. On the travelling merry-go-round, you have to move on, meet more great people, watch them go, and remain yourself. Otherwise, just forget the whole thing.

The Aussies have a saying: Go hard or go home. I’m still going hard after 6 months. I won’t be going home just yet.

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Altogether now: Land of hope and …
Altogether now: "Land of hope and…
Funky disco machine. A Melakan Ric…
Funky disco machine. A Melakan Ri…
Dining in style. Lindsay with two …
Dining in style. Lindsay with two…
photo by: louise2553