|From the river in Melaka|
|Kuala Lumpur intersection|
I have loved so many places on this long journey of mine. Chiang Mai, Thailand was my first love, then Hanoi, Vietnam and now Melaka, Malaysia. I’m off to Bali in a couple of days and who knows if I’ll lose my heart yet again.
I’ve been in Malaysia almost three months, since Jan 11th to be precise and it’s funny but so many people asked me what in the heck I would do for three months in Malaysia?
|Penang from the ferry|
From Butterworth (the mainland jump off to Penang Island) – to Ipoh, a city of 700,000 people, which feels like a small town – to Kuala Lumpur, easily the most beautiful big city I’ve seen in SE Asia and finally, to Melaka, where I’ve stayed for two months and regained myself – I have loved them all.
This is a lovely country, very different from my own, and peopled with a wonderful mix of nationalities and cultures.
|Limestone temple cave in Ipoh|
In Penang, I had my first prolonged interaction with someone, actually two ladies, who I knew to be Muslim and guess what, they were wonderful. Of course, they were but I am a Westerner after all, and unduly influenced by fear mongers at times, whether I realize it or not. Since then I’ve collected these exchanges, with women and men, and I have felt so grateful for the gentleness I’ve encountered.
In Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, I experienced a little family-owned Chinese bakery with the most wonderful buns tucked behind the vendors hawking everything from knock-off designers to t-shirts with Snoop Dog or Angelina Jolie on the fronts. Additionally, I turned a corner, two blocks from Chinatown, and stumbled on a gorgeous Hindu temple.
|Chinatown Kuala Lumpur|
Ipoh housed stunning murals and limestone caves to numb your senses and a very kind man who showed me his city with pride.
|Hindu temple just around the corner - KL|
I’ve seen a colorful stream of Indian Hindus, the women dressed in saris of amazing colors, on their way to temple here in Melaka.
Melaka has been a mixture of Chinatown, gorgeous river walks and historical sights, not to mention the haven I found in the suburb to write the first book I’ve written in years – the Sunflower Hotel.
Today, as I contemplate leaving Malaysia and Melaka, in particular, I am sad, pensive and secretly vowing to come back someday.
I deeply wish I could just give a giant group hug to all I’ve met here, and thank them for accepting the crazy white lady who chatted with them when they couldn’t understand her. And more than accepting, they’ve embraced me and I’ve felt at home here.
I love you, Malaysia. I will miss you and yours desperately and remember all fondly. Goodbye for now. I hope I’ll be back someday, perhaps to share you with someone I love.
|My favorite shot of Sunrise Cafe - Melaka|