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    Tropical Punch Tour: Malaysia Part 4

    Sunday, July 4, 2010
    Melaka, Malaysia

    A fierce dragon guards a Chinese Buddhist temple in Melaka, Malaysia.

    Just one of several displays in the unusual spinning top exhibition at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    An amazingly intricate flyer enjoys some wall space in the kite exhibition at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    Another colorful display in the kite exhibition at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    Something awoke me around 7:30 this morning. I’m not sure if the guy who runs the place I was staying at made a loud noise, but there I lay awake with my eyes wide open. A moment later, he opened the locked door to the three-bed dorm room I was staying in and peeked inside. (No one else was staying there that night.) I looked back at him and he quickly shut the door and walked away. My iPod touch was a few feet away on a table, where it had been charging. (Ironically, that was the first time I charged it in a dorm room or a room that I couldn’t latch from the inside.) I wonder why he peeked in? He really had no good reason to. If I would have been sound asleep and snoring, I bet he would have stole my iPod. I went back to sleep, and after I woke up a few hours later, I was weirded out enough by that little episode that I packed up my backpack and marched, soaking my shirt in sweat under the blazing tropical sun, over to Chinatown to stay in a 16-bed dorm at the Voyager Hostel.

    Body art on display in a stairwell at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    African lip extensions on display at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    An oversized Indian nose ring on display at the Muzium Rakyat in Melaka, Malaysia.

    Right after I checked in, a sudden rainstorm appeared out of the grey and completely drenched Melaka. I was so stoked I didn’t get caught out in it! When it cleared up, I paid a visit to the Muzium Rakyat, which displayed the history of Malaysian culture, including their art, music, fashion and food. An odd, unlikely exhibit on the same floor traced the history of spinning tops and their use in competition and entertainment. On the second floor was a similar exhibit that took a look at over two thousand years of kites, from their little-known usage in war, politics and religion, as well as their more famous function as a form of amusement for adults and kids alike. The top floor was filled with an old exhibit full of faded photos of people from around the world who employ scarification, tattoos, piercings and the like as a form of beauty and loyalty to their tribes. Overall, the Muzium Rakyat struck me as quite the quirky institution that is entertaining and informative at the same time.

    This tofu, beans and rice meal from an inconspicuous mall food court was so delicious!

    Roll over photos for captions.
    All words and photos ©2010 Arcane Candy.

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