Day one in Malaysia

Melaka coconutSince we arrived in Asia, Emily has consistently asked for one thing to eat – coconut. Unfortunately here, they don’t tend to have the hardened brown coconuts we have at home, so the flesh is quite different to eat. Instead, they chop open a green coconut, pop in a straw and drink the milk. The rest, including the flesh, is thrown away. We’ve tried to explain that to Emily every day, but it didn’t seem to be getting through. So in the end, we went to a coconut-drink stall and got them to pop open a coconut for Emily to eat the flesh (until it matures, its quite slimy!). But she enjoyed half of it, and we took the rest of the flesh away in a plastic bag for her to eat later. So she has finally had her coconut, and we can finally get some peace!

We saw a couple of key sights in Melaka – the Baba Nonya Chinese house and the Museum of Beautification. The museum was especially interesting, as it displayed hundreds of painful looking ways of disfiguring the body to make it look beautiful, from all over the world. Things like filing teeth to points (New Guinea), lip plates (Africa and Indonesia), brass neck rings (Burma) and most horribly, skull flattening and elongating from New Guinea. We thought they were all horrible (even the corsets, which could reduce your waist to 13 inches) but our special favourite yuck one was the bound feet of China, especially with the graphic details and photographs displayed alongside tiny pairs of shoes. The girls were completely grossed out (I know that’s not a proper word, but it’s a great description) and we had to go to the Kite Museum to take their minds off it (or rather, bore them to sleep!).

Melaka lizardOur final sight of the day was the hawkers and stalls in the main square. Food stalls selling coconut drinks, curry puffs, curries and stir fries. Stalls selling t-shirts, stickers, name plates etc. And trishaw drivers offering scenic rides around town every few feet that we walked. In the end, we got so engrossed in watching the Malaysian honeymooners get their photo taken with a monitor lizard, that Charlotte and I decided to have a go too. As you’ll realise, the smiles are false! My haircut, on the other hand, is real.