Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thanksgiving in Malacca, Malaysia

The following day, it was Thanksgiving that day! My fourth Thanksgiving away from home. I wrote in my journal, "I hate seeing the pictures of Thanksgiving because they make me sad. But, I'll be home for Christmas. However, it does not feel like Christmas is coming since it was 'feels like 105' today."

I am not one of those people that enjoys holidays away from home. 

We went on a tour to the city of Malacca, about two hours south of Kuala Lumpur. It was colonized/occupied at different times by the Portuguese and the Dutch. There was clearly a very strong influence by both countries in the architecture there. It was quite beautiful.

Our tour guide was great. He had an abundance of knowledge about everything you might ever needs to know about Malaysia. On the drive down, I learned that "Kuala Lumpur" means "muddy estuary" which isn't the most beautiful of names. I learned that Malaysia is 57% Malay people, 23% Chinese people, 13% Indian and 2.1% indigenous tribesmen. 60% of the people are Muslim, since many Chinese people apparently converted to improve their business ventures. In Malacca, Chinese men who married Muslim women are considered their own race. Their children are known as something that sounded like 'babba nonyas' but that could be completely incorrect. 

I am uncertain if that is a real person, but I'm hoping it isn't.

Also I arrived a couple months after the Malaysian Air plane disappeared. Chinese tourism dropped 60% after that. About a month after that, an Air Asia flight crashed into the ocean, which was the airline I flew from Korea-Kuala Lumpur and then KL-Phnom Penh. 

The drive down was very pretty. There were a lot of palm farms (the largest cash crop in Malaysia) and rubber farms. Cows were also mixed in.

Our first stop was St. Peter's Church, built by the Dutch in 1710. It's a Roman Catholic church.

The church was beautiful. And very European. Except it was Malaysian.

We then headed to the city center, which is famous for the church and statehouse built by the Dutch.
There were a lot of little carts with Hello Kitty on them. I did not feel the need to ride in them.

This is the inside of Christ Church, which was built in 1753.

The square is called Stadthuys, It was built in 1650 by the Dutch occupants at the time.

Apparently, parts of it are dangerous.

There was an alarming bug, though I find most bugs alarming.

Our next stop was St. Paul's Church, built in 1521, which is now in ruins. The statue of St. Francis Xavier had a tree fall on it the day after it was consecrated, which followers now consider significant since St. Francis Xavier's arm is now a relic.

Notice his missing hand.

This is A Famosa, which is the oldest surviving European architectural remains in SE Asia. It was built in 1511

It was brick that seems to have been covered in some sort of plaster.

Afterwards, we drove to get lunch at a tradition nonnya (sp??) restaurant, which I believe was delicious and spicy. But the later events will be in my next blog,

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