Very nice and fancy National Museum.
For my last stop in Malaysia I chose the quaint little historic town of Melaka. And cute it was. I found a nice room with a loft bed, which I found very cool for some reason until I realized I had to go up and down a ladder every time I needed something from my bag downstairs or to go to the bathroom, buuut it was nice to have my own space. I walked around the nearby mall and treated myself to an expensive new SD card for my camera and a new pair of shorts (yippie!) before heading over to the more touristy part of town. Up on this hill was an old church, which had no roof and barely had walls, and was apparently around for as long as the town itself. There was an old fort of sorts as well in addition to a fun waterwheel and some traditional Dutch "red roof" houses.
First Annual Youth Olympics thingy majiggy.
All in all a nice quiet place. Except there seemed to be a severe lack of restaurants and so, for the first time this trip, I had McDonalds. This is not something I'm proud of, but damn, it tasted good. I don't even eat it at home, maybe once a year while on road trips, but it felt nice to have something familiar and something other than noodles or rice. So it can come in handy.
The next day I headed for his place called Villa Sentosa - a traditional house/museum that is still lived in by the original family. According to the guidebook and other brochures it was a great opportunity to see a real home and since I had already run out of things to do I figured what the hell. I arrived just as another group of 5 people were leaving and so I was on my own with a rather eccentric 72 year old Malaysian man, who, although he spoke English it was barely understandable.
Night out on the town.
So ok. He led me through his house talking a mile a minute and constantly grabbing at my arm to lead me from room to room. He seemed to be obsessed with taking pictures of myself in his house (with my camera though) and more than once kissed me a big, wet, old man kiss on the cheek. Appropriate? I think not. But ok, he's old and foreign. Well, technically he's the native here, but you know what I mean. At one point though he decides to look into my eyes at an uncomfortably close range and tell me how smart he can tell I am and how beautiful I am and I'm pretty sure he tried to make out with me. On the lips. He starts with his kiss on the cheek and then attempts to come to the front of my face with his wrinkley face all puckered and ahhh I had to pull myself away quite forceably.
At the hopping French Club with some aspiring French students.
You think that would be enough, but nope. He then wanted pictures of us together using the timer on my camera. God, when I could I escape this place. Finally he let me go with a special autographed brochure. Lucky me. It was the first time I've ever hand sanitized my face.
Time for Singapore. I took the bus the four hours there, frantically eating a shitload of raisins and chewing half a pack of gum, afraid the insanely strict country would confiscate outside food and somehow lock me up in a cage for treason or whatever. But it was quite low key and besides the bus driver threatening to leave us if we weren't on the other side in exactly 20 minutes, it was fine. We got dropped off at some random metro shopping station and after figuring out where to go, I emerged from the underground to immediately get hit by a biker while crossing the street.
Absinthe never looked so good?
Great start. Especially since the biker had the nerve to then yell at me. I managed to arrive at my hostel with no further incidents and quickly met a very talkative French guy, Fabian, who invited me to go out the following night to some French club opening. What can I say, I make friends easily. Anywho, Singapore was a nice, big, modern, barely-Asian city. And super clean. I wandered around one of the hundred malls (and I'm not even exaggerating here) and what did I find but soup filled pork dumplings!! My favorite Shanghai food.. and maybe one of my favorite foods from this whole trip. Needless to say I ordered some and when I went back the next day the drink stall guy remembered me. Apparently they don't get a lot of white people there.
We aren't in Melaka anymore.
So so good.
The next night I went out with Fabian to his friends house who lived outside the city. I almost had a problem because the only shoes I have are flip flops and sneakers, both not allowed in clubs, but the crazy old lady who was apparently living in our dorm room (and screamed in her sleep.. so awkward) offered to let me borrow her ancient heels. Sigh. They were better than nothing and so that's what I wore. Fabian gave me shit for it, but hey, it was nice of her to offer. On the way there he assured me he wasn't some creep trying to kill me or something by getting me alone outside the touristy area, which was funny because I had just been thinking that on this trip I have thrown away all caution and basically trust everyone I meet.
Flo and Pascal checking out some fish.
Oh well. Seems to have worked out so far. We pregamed a bit at his friends house with some other people then headed out to the club. The place itself was nothing special, but it was fun and nice to go out for once. We got a ride to another club, but the cover was too high and so me and Jon "the hostelboy" (aka the receptionist) walked back. We stopped into another bar where his friend worked and got some free drinks and I got to watch Jon try absinthe for the first time. They set the drink on fire and he burned a straw trying to drink it. He then later said all he tasted was burned plastic. Hilarious.
The following day I bumped into good old Pascal from the hostel in Kuala Lumpur. He had met an Austrian guy, Flo, and I ended up spending the day walking around the city with them.
We headed to Chinatown
which was the cleaniest Chinatown on earth due to Singapore's strict laws and went to the new Marina Bay Sands hotel to visit their skydeck. It was just nighttime and the views of the city were unbeliveable. We managed to be there on the night of the opening ceremonies for the first ever Youth Olympic Games (who knew?) and got to watch the scene from above. There were light shows, music, and fireworks. Pretty awesome. Afterwards we had a good Thai dinner then went to some bar/club which was about 80% prositutes, 15% older white guys, and 5% unsuspecting travellers such as us who didn't know what they were getting ourselves into.
Yet another Chinese temple.
I standed in line for the bathroom feeling like a fool for having shorts long enough to cover my ass, a t-shirt that didn't show my mid-drift or cleavage, and shoes that didn't increase my height by at least 3". Needless to say I didn't stay long although the boys seemed to enjoy themselves (and the attention..) and so they stayed.
The rest of my time in Singapore was spent visiting some churches, a few museums, and walking around various parts of the city. While in Little India I was approached by a small Asian man who had made his presence known by asking aloud, presumably to me, "why is it that Westerners always walk so fast?" I told him I was from outside New York and he asked me how I liked England.
All male temple wash. Naturally.
Ok so this was no genius. We walked and spoke for maybe 4-5 minutes before he had to turn off, but not before giving me his phone number and email address with the comment to contact him if I need anything. Yeah, sure buddy. What is it with random older men wanting to give me their contact info within minutes of meeting?