Sunday, July 13, 2003

Weekend blog: items from the past: the recent present picks up again on Monday.

July 5, 1992.

Up fairly early and went to Bukit China, which sports a massive hillside cemetery populated by Malaysian Chinese. The graves have peculiar, horseshoe-shaped walls surrounding a small area dug out of the side of the hill; the gravestones themselves are in the dugout.

Too long a walk in the now-hot morning (about 10:30 am) took me to the Dutch cemetery, which was mainly occupied by British, and then the Dutch church, which is now Anglican — and having a service in Chinese. I sat in a while. En route to lunch, I saw a Chinese funeral procession, the hearse crawling down the street, with a few mourners and a small band following. I don’t know of they were headed to Bukit China or not, but some of the stones there did look fairly new.

Lunch at the restaurant Kim Swee Huat, not bad fried noodles, excellent fruit lasi. From there back to St. Paul’s Hill, as a way of getting to the Muzium Budaya, cultural museum. The building, a replica of the sultan of Malacca’s former palace, is a marvel of wooden construction, and contains numerous displays of textiles, musical instruments and other items, including a fine set of distinctly curved ceremonial knives, keris in Malay. Just the thing to run amuck with.

At sunset, after considerable resting, I sought out dinner, and found it at Sri Lakshmi Vilas — a south Indian daun pisang. I had mutton & fish & veggies & rice on a banana leaf for a plate. Though they gave me utensils, I ate with my fingers, as everyone else did. Besides the novelty of that, the food was pretty good — and cost all of M$5.30, a little more than US$2.

After eating, I took a walk. The Kampung Kling Mosque wasn’t open to me, but I could see all the activity from the street, and hear it too, since the windows and doors were open: prayers ongoing inside, rambunctious kids playing in the courtyard outside. At Cheng Hoon Teng temple, in which I could go, there was a large ceremony in progress, with lots of chanting and incense.


Post a Comment

<< Home