About Me

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I finally made it to the adventure of a lifetime and now I'm a citizen of the World. Indy author, blogger, in love with being an author - Mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live - Devon "Pete" Hall.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Muse Hangs Out in Melaka

 A bridge over the river from the cruise boat.
I have loved Malaysia in general, but I have truly found a restful, yet interesting town in Melaka. I’ve been in town for about two weeks now, and managed a couple of days of sight-seeing. The pictures below will show you what a fun place it can be, but honestly the best part for me is that I located my muse again in the suburbs of Melaka (or Malacca, depending where you look). 

Some dear friends may remember that I named my muse Shirley a few years ago, and she’s been pretty good at alluding me in the past couple of years. Oh, she’d show herself, maybe peek around a corner, just long enough for me to get an idea, but somehow slip away when the writing got to be real work.
Shirley's favorite hangout!

Well, she’s resurfaced and I’m pretty sure she’s bragging with her other muse friends about how she dragged her recalcitrant writer half-way around the world is search of her. Well, credit where credit is due - she did, successfully. 

Melaka has proven to be an oasis for me. There is just the right amount of things that are new to me to keep me interested and the perfect combination of comfortable, familiar stuff to make me settle down in my little hotel room and write. 

Wonderful shopping on Jonker Street
I do love sight-seeing so that’s been nice, but also experiencing such a diverse community of cultures keeps me on my toes. I heard a low droning noise last evening and realized it was the Muslin call to prayer. Now, I’ve heard this sound in Cambodia and other parts of Malaysia, but I realized in that moment that I find it rather soothing, in the same way that church bells make me joyful. I am not religious myself, but I find that the traditions of religious institutions often speak to something in me. 

J's Corner staff!
When I was staying in the Old Town section of Melaka, I happened to find a little café – J’s Corner – with a good selection of Western-ish food choices and since I’ve about exhausted my ability to constantly try new foods, I ended up eating there once or twice a day. I got to know the servers and on my last day there they asked to take a picture with me and then refused to let me pay for my meal. I doubt that any of them were over 30 years old and some were much younger, so our ability to relate to each other was a wonderful surprise. I have had so many wonderful experiences with people all over Southwest Asia, but this is a topper.
Jonker Street -Chinatown marketplace

Malaysia, in general, is very welcoming. There are a lot of Malaysians, especially the older generations, who speak beautiful English, because the country was under British rule for so long. But even if they aren’t fluent it is a rare bird that doesn’t try as hard as he can to speak with me. In every country, there have been those who you can just tell are irritated by the whole foreigner thing and don’t we have the same thing in America?
Colorful transportation in tourist areas.

One of the things that struck me very quickly is that it takes no more than a couple of days before you begin not to notice head scarves. They are such a big deal is other parts of the world, including my own country, that I was surprised how easy it is to become used to something completely enigmatic to us. Now, I rarely seem to notice unless the woman is wearing one with some bling to it. Yes, they do exist, sparkly headscarves, and I am a victim of the “sparkle effect” – anything that glitters gets my attention. I see the occasional burqa here as well and, frankly, it is a far different experience.

But getting back to Melaka and my flighty muse Shirley, she’s here and apparently she’s staying for a while and so am I. I plan to stay in this same hotel for at least a month before I head to Bali. Besides working hard on the first draft of my new book, I am launching myself as an online researcher and freelance writer (at ridiculously reasonable rates!). So my blogs may be a little less exploratory, but I’ll try to keep the flavor going!
Another picture from the river cruise!

A'Famosa - remains of the Portugese era
See you soon on these pages and if you happen to be in Melaka, look me and Shirley up!


  1. It's nice to know that there are still kind and considerate young people out there! Sometimes it makes me cringe when I witness some rude behavior, that is taken as normal.

    Hi Shirley!

    1. LOL - Shirley waved hi! There are tons of really nice young people here. I'm sure there are some that aren't, just like everywhere, but I haven't run into them. I've just experienced varying degrees of wonderful.