Spending Our 5th Anniversary In Malacca

We celebrated our fifth anniversary a little later this year since our schedules just wouldn’t permit. 🙂 We have officially been together for five years on the 17th/18th of December 2009. 17th and 18th, to those who don’t know is because between those two dates in 2004, we were traveling on a train to Langkawi and he climbed into my bunk and wanted to clarify the relationship. 😀 Old story, moving on. 🙂

I’ve known this for a long time already but you are actually my best friend, confidante, gossip partner and most of all, boyfriend rolled into one. 🙂 It’s all Jolene ever needs. Someone who can feed her with gossip, listen to her gossips and react to it, listen to her embarrassing secrets, make her howl with laughter, surprise her randomly when you notice almost all her likes and dislikes and to love her just the same. I’m glad you can do all that and not run away yet. 🙂

Expensive phone bills are not the norm for us and we only use Skype to chat when MSN is down. Though admittedly I have emo-ed in the past about the lack of phone calls (we’re both too busy and lazy) and lack of webcamming, but I know this is the way we do it. 🙂 We make up for it when we see each other by telling each other everything and anything about what we have done, people around us who did things (ie. juicy juicy gossip!) and what we want for the future wayyyy into the night before we drift off to sleep. I’m usually the one falling asleep first as you continue to talk excitedly while I reply you with super random things coz my brain doesn’t quite comprehend anymore as it is shutting down. <3

I really like that. :) 

So this Malacca trip was supposed to be an eat as much as possible and take nice nice photos kind of trip. We started off with some noms back home in SS15. It was is one of those quieter lanes where Chee Kiang usually likes to have breakfast at. I can’t remember the name of the place for the life of me. So much for being a Subang girl.


He likes his dry..


I like mine wet.


It was supposed to be a day full of photos so here’s one to start things off. 


Stitch was REALLY happy when we arrived in Malacca.


As it was during the year end holidays, plenty of cars were jamming all the way into Malacca town. Here’s the Jalan Munshi Abdullah road sign. This was the road where my mum grew up on in a couple of shop lots that housed almost 20 members of the Ho family and one nanny to each kid! There were live-in cooks as well.

The road was called New Come Road back in the day. My great grand father bought three shop lots on that row to build a home for his family but he never got to live in it because he died before the building was completed. His third and fifth wives brought the children (child no.6 right up to child no.14. Child 1-5 either died or were back in China) to live their lives there. My grand father and his brother being number 7 and number 6 respectively started a hardware store business which we still have to this day though the shares from all the siblings have since being bought by my grand dad. Grand Uncle no.6 excelled in his studies and went on to study medicine in Hong Kong to become an orthopedic surgeon. 

My mum would tell me plenty of stories from her childhood about how her older guy cousins would play pranks on the young maids. Of how she and her cousins used to steal food from this refrigerator at Aunty No.6’s apartment as it was stocked full with ice-creams and chocolate. Of her dangerous stunts sliding down the stairs with a few of her cousins on ONE piece of wooden plank, at the SAME time. Of how they hid in fear and peered out the balcony to see soldiers roaming the streets in 1969. At that time my Aunty Ping (my yeema who passed away) had a foreign exchange student who stayed with our family. I think she was American, and being more happening than my aunty, she was out at some party when the riots started and scared my grand dad shitless when he couldn’t even contact her. 

Another one of my mother’s favourite story to share from the old shop lot was the aircon story. She messed with the sole air conditioner in my grandparent’s unit (the entire shop lot housed three families, each family had one unit to themselves) and spoiled it. Just as she was about to be caned by my grandmother, my 4th Uncle steps in to block my mum from getting hurt. Quite touching, but not much drama, sorry. 😛

My family used to own a hotel called Regal Hotel in Malacca and it was the first proper hotel in town. The kids could just walk in anytime and have a meal and put it on the tab. My mum said she dare not simply eat for free because it was after all ran by 12th Uncle and so she would usually just tag along when 12th uncle’s daughters went for a treat. The hotel has since been sold off.

Then sometimes when I have alone time with my grandma, she tells me stories of her early years in that shop lot after marrying my grand dad in 1950. Third great grandmother was a feisty woman who is your typical first wife. (1st and 2nd wives were left in china. 4th died shortly after marriage.) A particular scathing remark I remember grandma telling me was when my first Uncle was born (if you remember my cute nephew Ethan, it’s his grandfather!), my grandma’s mum always came over to look at her first grandson. Third great grandmother did not like having my grandma’s mum around and said to her, “If you like babies so much, why don’t you go get one yourself!” and being a midwife, my great grand mother (grandma’s mum) adopted a child. So just like that my grandma had a baby brother at the ripe old age of 20.   

In the early 90s, I remember visiting the already empty shop lot with my family as they picked out antique furniture to decorate their respective homes. My Yee Ma gave the kids a task to keep us occupied, she got us to pick up all the coins we found on the dusty wooden floor and surprisingly there were plenty. 

The hardware store business was still running on the ground floor and this was before they moved to a bigger premise about half an hour away. By then grand uncle no.6 came home to be with his family and hung out with grand dad quite a lot. It was shocking when Grand Uncle No. 6 hung himself in the shop lot because he did not want to trouble the family when he found out he had alzheimers. Consequently, my grand father too developed the illness about 9 years later and so did his 9th brother. *crosses fingers* Let’s hope it stops there! 

The shop lots have since been transformed into a modest budget hotel called Venus Hotel! I was trying to look up information on this budget hotel but there was none. Maybe my family history can make the place feel more ‘authentic’. Throw a bit of the antiques around and put up some old photos. Perfect! 


This was when we parked the car and started taking artsy fartsy shots (which we hope turns out to be so). Here’s an old school car number plate shop.


and now time for some hau por photos from me.


You think that’s spontaneous huh? It was more of “Okay now this side, then you kiss me on the cheek okay! 1..2…”


Just so you know, that we were there and all.  


Jonker Walk, the musical!


I thought fish spas were usually found in atas-ier places. 


Had to hurry past this as I was afraid the scaffolding (that is what it is called right?) might collapse on me.


Almost all the trades in the area looked like family business. Another old school looking something, this time, A MONEY CHANGER! (oh how exciting. -_-)


Guess me taking his photo added a little excitement to his day judging from his smile. 


This was selling all over Jonker Walk. Tiny umbrellas posing as wine bottles and most of it was like RM10 to RM15. I almost bought one but I get turned off when all stalls sell the same thing.


This was rather interesting! More photos on this guy later. You usually see these clay figurines being depicted in ancient tvb dramas.


What an apt name for a dentist! I got a very apt name too. Pergigian Gigi Lai, as suggested by my cousin Hong Fei.


1Malaysia!


Just for fun, we did something we never thought we would ever do! At least not until we become superstitious adults who take note of numbers of new cars, death certificates, number plates of cars in car accidents, birthdate of first born, new washing machine serial no, four numbers our dead ancestors gave to us in our dreams… the list is endless.


Being total novices to the whole 4D Toto thing, we bought a few numbers which was basically variants of our anniversary date 17 or 18 of December 2004. Being total noobs, we just randomly bought the numbers and didn’t ‘ta’ the numbers. To ‘ta’ is to permutate. 


Fuckanathan 1718 came out but it came out 7811 or something. CONSOLATION PRIZE OKAY!


You wonder if all the businesses are there just to look pretty for tourists or is that really how they roll? 


Though it does not have anything to do with malaccan culture, I thought the knick knacks that almost every other shop was selling were rather cute! Cartoon magnets!

 


Store owner yakking on his modern handphone while being enveloped in old world architecture.


So, there were plenty of chinese characters all over Jonker Walk as expected, since the area is rather chinesey. Had a bit of mandarin tuition from him though frequently reading things wrongly, like mixing the chicken character for mother or horse. Mother and horse are quite similar. But turns out it was about the chinese prime minister. This was on a poster at the front of Jonker Walk. Not the towel. So easy la the towel. Lao por wo ai ni. THERE!


Chee Kiang’s favourite cartoon! When I found Tusiki (Tuzki?) stickers, he wanted one for himself!

Tusiki building the great wall of China? Hahahaha.


Cute fans… but such is my life these days, always in an aircon somewhere so this is quite useless. Aircon clinics, aircon afternoon nap rooms (common room at school), aircon car, aircon bedroom……wait, only my lunch place is not air-conditioned! How can this be! ROAR! 


Chee Kiang thought including the chinese words would make for a better photo. 


Little wire decos. 


Another staple at Jonker Walk would be the awesome t-shirts! I just bought one with a few black sheeps staring at one conventional white sheep going, “Who’s the black sheep now?”. Gangsta sheeps! And another one with the silhouette of a little girl and a tiny baby alien holding hands looking at his spaceship crashing into her home. He then says, “Sorry……..” SO CUTE. Little alien has a tiny antenna from the top of his head!


Just liking the colours but I think these Babe shirts are rather much.


Steamed peanuts!! But I love salty steamed horse peas more than these. 


Okay, this was rather nice and unlike the mass produced toys found all over the place! 


Not quite a tourist attraction, but he just wanted to pose like the models.


He’s getting there!


One with the weather beaten road sign. Do you think the Malaccan government manually scratched the paint off for maximum authentic effect?


Perhaps an actor hired by the Malaccan government to make the area look more rustic. 


Check out the long line waiting to cramp into the chicken rice ball shop. The last time I had chicken rice balls I hated it because it was too mushy. But it was also because I was like 8 years old and was so damn picky when it came to food. Mushy rice balls is so yum now with soya sauce from the soggy steamed chicken. Mmm.


A quick fish face with the stone fishes.


SUPER OLD SIGN BOARD! Check out the currency denomination! 


We had to share tables when we were in there and the wait is super long. I think all the lining up and food waiting took about an hour.


Really long wait.


I was wondering though why chicken rice balls are not replicated all over Malaysia like how Char Kuay Teow and other hawker delicacies are. 


A smile with lips slightly parted.


A smile with teeth showing. 


Chicken carcasses right next to our table. Nice.


In case the chicken started sweating.


Good to see that good hygiene was a priority.


The steamed chicken skin was a little too soft for my liking.


Chicken rice balls up close.


The chicken rice sauce that is used is not quite soya sauce so it wasn’t up to my usual expectations but we finished five balls each!


Yeah just shove it in your mouth, uh huh.


This little girl was not happy that I was going trigger happy. The two times I went near her with a camera, she turned away, refusing to look at me. 🙁 I felt so sad.


 But he enjoyed his mochi.


Mochi close up.


Since it was the end of the year, Jonker Street was filled with tourists. Elbow to elbow.


Passed by a shop selling toys from my past. Couldn’t resist myself!


The brand I bought was the inferior one. Thins out damn fast. The good one is the one with a pink cap and is slightly bigger in size. 


I miss these things!


Chee Kiang didn’t want to play though. 🙁


Chee Kiang reenacted his “HEY YOU!” look which was in one of his FB profile photos. This look kinda sticks in your head.


You can’t see it here but I was blowing one of my bubbles.


More quaint chinese things to be found along Jonker Street. My grandmother used to have one and she would walk around the house with it on some evenings saying that the smoke will chase away the evil spirits. 


Haven’t-Finish-Skool meets Old Skool.


An olden toy outside an antique shop. Isn’t it gorgeous?


A lone joss stick under the afternoon sun.


A trip to Malacca can never ever be complete without having Durian Cendol. This means I have racked up far too many incomplete Malacca trips in all the 21 years that I have been visiting. 21 x 5 visits = Over a hundred visits sans cendol. I haven’t even been to A’Famosa until 2007. Locals never bother to visit the tourist attractions.


Durian Cendol monster. He had two.


Of all places to be pinching a pimple!


It’s a little unfortunate that the stain on the mirror made his nostril look diseased. 


High tv aerials to get Singapore television shows illegally. My mum used to have it as a child.


One trishaw puller put his legs up in the air and shouted, “Weee!” as he took a corner.


Some pastries that I think belong in Negeri Sembilan?


A necessary photo outside the clogs shop.


So this was the clay figurines that I promised to get back to. I tried googling about this cute little things but I really don’t know what they are actually called. Polymer clay right? Not candies right? 


The sifu is a real master. Love the gold bits he puts on the figurines.


To play with my bottle of bubbles, I found a quiet spot away from the bustling crowd to just blow bubbles. 


A young family wound down their car window to allow the bubbles to get into the car.


Chee Kiang managed to get a photo of me exchanging smiles with the family. Would have looked better if I was 19 years younger. 


Fascinated by the bubbles.


A few passing kids were rather jealous of me.


It was without question that I made Chee Kiang blow his fair share.


Weak bubble.


Found another quiet spot with a pretty backdrop. 


I thought there was supposed to be a mirror on this thing. How will the ghosts see themselves now? 


Pineapple tarts are one of the more famous souvenirs from Malacca. Again, never knew.


Another downtrodden altar.


We then explored the back alleys, away from the main Jonker Street and saw a bit of the local trade. This shop sells noodles!


A shop that sells plenty of beans and spices.


So messy, not quite sure what it sells but provisions nonetheless. 


Reminds me of the turtle eggs I saw being preserved in a similar jar.


A little out of place was this dirty looking warehouse which I assume to be a santan making factory.


More arts and crafts things. 


After falling in love with works of art in Paris, I had an inkling that Malacca would satiate my new desire to look at and learn about paintings. But this was a batik painting gallery, bleh. I want to look at poster colour or water colour paintings! Even oil paintings would do!


I think we eventually ventured over to an area called Masjid India… or something. Here’s one of the lions guarding the oldest temple in Malacca.


And here’s one of me with the joss stick container.


Here’s one of someone who knows exactly what to do at a temple. 


So grand..


Red candles! I wonder what they signify.


The insides of the old temple.


We didn’t want to disturb anybody because everyone looked busy praying so we had to camwhore instead of asking for some help.


Remnants of prayer flowers.


These are the bronze engravings found on the temple doors.


There is something so calming about wax lotus tealights. Beautiful, religious and you can almost hear the chanting monks. Actually the only times I hear chanting monk is when I go to a funeral. If the funeral is for a family member, the song sticks in your head and you hear it when you’re in the car alone, when you’re in the bathroom, basically anywhere where there is supposed to be silence. Freaky.


Oh, here’s a fair bit of art.


Seems like you can’t take artsy fartsy shots these days without uncles staring at you with arms akimbo.


Check out my shadow!


You really don’t pass up brightly painted, uh, shutters? Whatever it is, nice background.


I’m sure he is just joking.


Beautiful clogs!! Probably a novelty but oh so pretty!


We ended up at this coffee placed called Malaysia 13 States’ Coffees or summat. Chee Kiang and I actually kepo-ed because we saw an old white guy flirting with .. um, i don’t know what race, but I’m pretty sure the girl is a fellow South East Asian.. and she was laughing at all his photos in his camera so we took the table next to them for some afternoon entertainment. We turned our chairs around to sit the Al Fresco way. Oh right, this picture is a list of all the websites and blogs that have reviewed this coffee place. Was hoping to put jayelleenelial.com on the map by blogging about having coffee there. 😛


A bit of christmas decoration.


So as you can see, apparently coffee beans grow and get processed different in various parts of the country.


Chee Kiang had a Negeri Sembilan drink.


Thick and frothy..


He actually likes it.


I was just having one since it seemed rather different but then I remembered how much I hated coffee that is not Nescafe.


My coffee was from Terengganu and it tasted horrible. So damn bitter.


Possible the only way to pass the time.


I noticed that the colours of my gorilla pod and our hands together looked rather nice under the afternoon sun and then he went on to exclaim, “I notice you like to take this kind of photos a lot.” Blushing, I decided to have a little variety so here are some pointless finger and hands photos:

 


That’s what waiters are for.


Since I wasn’t the driver of my own car for once, I had the chance to spend plenty of quality time with the toys in my car. I hardly get to hug them as they are strewn all over the backseat.


We passed by Bukit Baru and I had this urge to visit my grandparents’ old house. In 1997, they shifted to Bukit Beruang which is where the family would congregate every time we all go back to Malacca prior to my Aunty’s death. This Bukit Baru house holds many childhood memories for me. All the cars could be parked in the porch and the garden. During chinese new year, five cars would be parked there and there would still be room to run around playing fireworks. 

When it wasn’t chinese new year, my cousins, my brother and myself would be playing in the garden and running round to the back to play with the dog. We were about 6-9 years old and were light enough to seat on the dog who really didn’t mind us. Some nights, my aunty would devise games for us and we would play on the porch until we got bored. I remember once she asked me to lift up my legs as she held my hands and swung me round and round and round. I was flying!

Behind the sliding doors on the first floor was the family hall. We would all sit there after our bath to watch a VCR, either a Disney cartoon or a TVB show. Afternoons were spent playing pirates with the big bean bag and if there were hell notes lying around (especially when there is some taoist celebration coming up) my cousin sister, Jacqueline, being the tallest would hide the hell notes and ask us to find it. Speaking of that particular bean bag which always seemed to be bursting at the seams, I remember taking a polystyrene ball from it when I was three years old and putting it up my nose. It couldn’t come out for awhile and scared my parents shitless.

So many memories, I can never finish writing them all. 


I had to have a picture taken with the house. Since I was lazy to put my glads back on (glads can be such a bitch), I wore Chee Kiang’s Crocs out. The colours are blinding aren’t they?


Nice of him to wait patiently for me.


Opposite our house was a big family with so many girls. I didn’t quite comprehend it back then but come to think of it now, the parents were probably trying for a boy. So many girls I don’t even remember how many there were. They used to come over and play with us and we would flag down the Roti Man/Ice Cream Man together and get the adults to treat us to 30 cents ice-cream cones or Mammee Monster. 


There was a little boy who stayed in that house who would climb over the fence (very dangerous) to play the Happy Family card game with us. 


My grandmother painstakingly watered and loved these pine trees (there were four of them, but only two are left) and now they are cut in half. 🙁


I had quite a bit of explaining to do to the owner of the house when they saw me snapping outside their home. The lady asked me why I was taking pictures and I had to tell her that I was a bit sentimental and that this was my grandmother’s old house. She wasn’t too friendly.

Feeling a bit embarrassed, we then made our way back to the highway and headed home.