Apologies for the interruption, folks, but I just got distracted by a trio of entertainers and a few Tigers in the Lounge bar of the hotel.
Both the trio and the tigers were excellent:) There ain’t much alcohol in tigers due to the fact that Malaysia is a Muslim country, which means you can consume a lot of them without any ill effects except for bladder stretch.(make sure your bladder is elastic and pliable before consuming tigers:))
No where was I? Oh yeah..had just shaken hands with and said goodbye to my new Muslim family friends. Walked back to the vehicle and found One was there as well. He thought he would join Two and me for the rest of the day. It didn’t take long to figure out why – free lunch! The passengers’ tour costs pay for the driver’s lunch. Not that I begrudged him lunch, cuz the meal was another one slotted into the category of “Best meals I have ever eaten:” It was Nyonya tucker. Having a very confused and multicultural history, Melaka has all sorts of cuisine.
Nyonya is the popular one. There is also Baba tucker as well…I haven’t figured out who Baba was yet, only that he seems to have been some rich fat dude with exotic furniture.
Anyways, back to Nyonyu tucker. It can be described as Chinese goes native…Sort of what happens when Chinese tucker hits deep impenetrable steamy tropical jungles. Lots of coconut milk, curry, chilli and other spices – the meat melts in your mouth and the fried tofu is creamy and delish and I have never had fish as good ..and the veggies…cabbage, carrot and fungi of different sorts..all very delicately cooked.
Interestingly they do not use chopsticks – food is eaten with a fork and spoon…and that is a challenge in itself with rice. Asian rice is fluffy and light and defies traditional eating implements. It flies off spoons every which way and snickers at forks. The only way you can tame it is with chopsticks. Despite the lack of suitable weapons (Malaysia is very strict on weapons – no guns – and I guess they class chopsticks as weapons too…not that it stops the Malaysian populace – they just make hand made rifles and shotguns from wood and scrap metal – very ingenious they are – wonder why they can’t make home made chopsticks? But I digress – have a habit of that – probably senile decay setting in) – anyway, despite being chopstick- challenged, I managed to corral most of the rice:)
After the meal it was a trip to the zoo. The Melaka zoo is well worth a visit (even despite the right lens to take pics of far away or small subjects – mutter mutter, cuz it was locked in that bloody teksi!)). It is what I call a modern zoo – less caging and bars and more freedom for the animals. Also in Malaysia they deliberately make educational puzzles for the animals – instead of just feeding them, the critters have to solve puzzles to get their food – and there are lots of different educational toys for them, relevant to their species. There were lots of different and interesting critters I had never seen before including these massive muscled cattle which make American bison look like puny midgets. I also got to see my first gnu – there was a nonsense poem about a gnu from my childhood – can’t remember it, but it was cool to finally see a gnu.
Of course on par with the rest of the day, it was the wrong time to visit the zoo – unlike stupid humans, most the animals were asleep. Did manage to have an intelligent conversation with a hornbill though and a black panther snarled impressively at the idjit humans. However the zoo is quite big and by the time I had done the circuit, I was knackered.
Alas, there was no rest for the wicked or lens-deprived. The next stop on the magical mystery tour was the Crocodile place. This, folks, was a complete fizzer! Do not waste your time here. There were only two sad crocs in the place that I could find and one of them was stuffed! I know it was stuffed because there was a sign attached to it, saying, “Please do not sit on the stuffed crocodile!”
Next on the list was the Botanical Garden – Oh gawd – I will never survive – my legs were worn down to the stumps ! However I espied a sign saying buggy rides! You could hire electric buggies and ride round the Garden Bottaneek! One and Two were horrified at my sudden plan to relieve me bloodied stumps – terrified I would crash and burn spectacularly – WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?! I ignored their frantic pleas and signed me life away ( you had to sign your life away and hand over yer driver’s licence before being allowed to risk life and limb). I hired a single buggy – no way was I gonna let One and Two tag along on a multi seater one!
And the single seater buggy? Hah! They are wot we call Wrinkly-mobiles here! It is what the elderly infirm and incontinent drive around terrorising pedestrians and cars with! Heck, me sister has one (not that she needs one) and she won’t let me drive hers – doesn’t trust me or summat – WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER!?
Well..it was bleedin fun – they don’t go more than 5 miles an hour except for when you go down hills – you can really hoon down steep hills..and I did! Finished me ride only to find One and Two had disappeared. Oh good grief! I sat down resigned to a long wait.
Finally, there was the sound of a buggy in the distance…. Yup..it was a double buggy, manned by One and Two! Not wanting to let me out of their sight, they had grabbed another buggy and followed me. But, they were much more cautious drivers than me and couldn’t keep up..HAH!
Last stop was the butterfly park – a pointless visit, as you can’t take butterfly pics with a wide angle landscape lens. And true to the rest of the tour, it was the wrong time of day to see butterflies – late afternoon they are all dead!
And to finish off a perfect day, I had to try and make a surreptitious exit from the lounge bar and across the lobby wearing only one shoe.
That’s because one of my sandals blew out – I think it finally succumbed to being sucked into quick mud the other day….
I think I am going go to bed now before the sky falls in…