As we sit in traffic crawling out of KL, the expat, Jon, he tells me that it is Labour Day on Monday so all busses out of KL will be fully booked, we were therefore quite lucky to be on the bus.
As we pull in to the central bus station in Melaka, Jon we swap mobile numbers and agree to meet for a beer the following night.Despite the central bus station's name, it is in fact 5km from the centre of Melaka, so I catch a cab to my dodgy little hostel on the outskirts of town.
The hostel has a weird vibe, so I head out to get some food intending to go back and get an early night.When I arrived back at the hostel, a few guys were sitting in the lounge deciding on what DVD to watch.Burn After Reading was the consensus, as I had not seen it I thought I'd stay up and be sociable.
I get a text from Jon, saying he and his wife were inviting me to dinner at their house the following night and if I wanted I could stay over.A little strange, but very hospitable, so I agree.Don't worry Mum I emailed Adam the guys details in case he was an axe murderer!
The following day I got up early checked out the hostel and walked the city.China Town, Little India, the antiques centre, the Dutch town sq with it's famous clock tower, the Famosa Fort!A very picturesque city by SE Asian standards, for one of the busiest weekends of the year it was eerily quiet.I wandered the streets soaked up the culture, had an ice cream the headed for the Dataran Pahlawan shopping centre to take advantage of the air conditioning.In my attempt to buy an external DVD player for my laptop, I stumbled across a guy who sold me a memory stick with twelve films on it, all new releases $2 each!Completely legitimately obviously.
Jon picked me up in his Proton, everybody in Malaysia drives a Proton.He gives me the guided tour of the city and we go to Tesco's to get some beer before we head back to his house.His wife, Joyce, kindly offers to do my washing, whilst Jon and I head out on the bikes for a tour of the neighborhood.Jon gives me a brief Malaysian history and politics lesson, informing me that the corrupt government, police and army are run by the lazy Malays and all the business interest are run by the Chinese.In a military style he matter of fact tells me the pros and cons of the three main ethnic groups, Malays, Chinese Malays and Indian Malays.Bitterly he tells me that you can't buy property here unless you are Malay, even if you are third generation Chinese Malay you can only rent!
Jon cooks up some burgers and I play cars with his two year old son, Harry.We have a few beers with dinner, after which he cracks open the gin, then the rum, the vodka and back to the gin.He tells me that he is ex Special Forces, who lived in Oz for ten years before moving to Malaysia eight months ago, to set up a corporate IT security company.We sit in his air conditioned lounge exchanging travel stories and arguing about musical tastes as we continue to work our way through his spirits cupboard.The following day, I'm up bright eyed and bushy tailed. Joyce makes me a coffee and tells me how ill Jon was last night and how she had to clear it up.I apologise for my involvement and go back to packing my bag.When Jon surfaces forty five minutes later, we laugh about the nights antics whilst watching an episode of Diel & Pascoe.Jon still feeling worse for wear, asks Joyce to drop me at the bus station so I can catch my bus to Mersing and on to Tioman Island.
I thank Joyce for the lift and say good bye to Harry.My hangover kicks in as the lady at the counter tells me there is a six hour wait for the next bus.Five kilometers from town and not much to do, I sit in the waiting area hack in to someone's wifi catch up with emails before falling asleep on a row of plastic chairs!