Aziz and Fatima
Jonker 88 (restaurant with traditional Malaccan food) was full of Chinese but it also proved Jason right. On my table I was first joined by a Malay Tourist guide called ‘Andrew’ and a Hong Kongese tourist. After they had finished, two Malay students joined the table and the next leg of my Malaccan journey opened up.
Aziz and Fatima had a car and they showed me a Malay experience called ‘jalan, jalan’. I was staying at a hostel called ‘Jalan, jalan’ and I translated it as ‘road, road’ and then ‘crossroad’. They laughed. Like the sounds, ‘jalan, jalan’ is fun and describes many a traveller, whilst Aziz and Fatima also used it for ‘window-shopping’. To me, it meant travel for fun, without purpose.
Aziz drove us to the seaside first where lots of Malay were flying kites and then onto a beach. It was cooler and more spacious than the city. Aziz and Fatima were very bubbly and asked lots of questions about London. They both want to travel when they finished university.
Milik Ahmed, owner of the house
After, Aziz took us to a Malay Kampong (village) that’s within Malacca. We drove round and found an extraordinarily cute house. There, the house owner took us round his house, which was more like a living museum.
It was a fun few hours driving around with Aziz and Fatima.
Later that evening, I went to the weekend night market and ended up sitting at the karaoke end of Jonker Street. Next to me was a man who’s Gan Chinese (from SE China originally). He was an old guy who shared his satay and some Gan snacks. We talked about Malacca, life and China, to a backdrop of old Mandarin, Hakka, and Taiwanese songs sang live.
Life on the street is something that I miss, now I’m back in Europe. The UK is famed for its nightlife but it can be one-dimensional, based on drink and mostly for 20-30 somethings but the streets of Asia are for everyone, from the youngest kid to grandpas and grandmas. There’s food, games, shopping, lights and even some drink too, but I guess Asia has the weather for this kind of nightlife.
Traditional Malay House
Me sitting in a cute Malay house