The strange mix of old building from around the globe are testament to Melaka's rich history involving Dutch traders, British colonizers, and Chinese immigrants. In my last entry I said that every city has a Chinatown so KL's did not impress me much. Melaka's was a different story. Closet sized specialty shops line the streets. Old men with long stray whiskers worked away at creating their hand made crafts, tools, and other tin goodies. When the sun set every single dwelling was light up dragon breath red oozing Chinese pride. This was easily the most interesting part of town.
The main square in the city center was dominated by a old out of place Dutch building. They turned it into a museum, the most boring museum I have ever walked through.
There was a whole section dedicated to national education. There were no explanations are write up, just random books behind glass, and documents that were not even old pinned to the wall. I have been to a lot of museums and that was undoubtedly the worst.
Without much interest but not much else to do I headed up to the top of the hill to the old ruined catholic curch. It was nice but not spectacular. Much more interesting was what was going on inside. There were dozens of Indian men setting up banners, lights, and a few chairs. I thought they must be setting up for a big party. One of the workers corrected me. I was on the set of the next big Bollywood movie! I was very surprised that not only did they let me stay, no one seemed to mind that I took a seat ride beside the director.
I am sure that would not happen in Hollywood. I stuck around for a couple hours watching the painstakingly slow process of getting three second shots one at a time. The equipment seemed archaic. The music was being played on some old tape player with big wheels that had to be manually spun backwards before every take. Belly dancing, air biting, camera glaring are key elements of any Bollywood flick and this one seemed to have it's fair share.
Capitol Satay is officially my favorite restaurant in the world. It took three attempts from six until ten when I eventually got in to the busiest place in town. I was instructed to grab my own goodies from the large grocery store style cool rack. I picked up some meat sticks, dumplings, seafood, mystery balls, and unknown greens.
With an authentic smile My waitress started my burner and filled the pot in the middle of my table with several liters of tasty peanut stay sauce. I thought I must have been doing something wrong when I saw the owner making a comment to the waitress as I was cooking my prawns. Actually he was just not satisfied with the size of the ones that I had (prawns that is) so he had the waitress bring me the biggest prawn I have ever seen in my life for free. When I was finished my gorge for a mere three dollars the owner came over for a chat and brought with him beers on the house. I had two which was worth more than the meal.
At this point I was supposed to meet up with Breden but he was stuck in Thailand on more important buisness so I continued on to Singapore and the Philippines flying solo.