Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Helper in Malacca

Ray, outside Red Handicraft

It was eight thirty and left to my own devices I found myself in a trendy cafe bar called Limau Limau.

My habits ruled and my nose took me to coffee. I decided not to eat breakfast here but to ask the owner instead for suggestions.

Jasmine, the owner, suggested I talk with Ray, her most loyal customer. Jasmine has only lived in Malacca for five years and felt that I needed to speak to a real Malaccan.

Ray was tucking into a healthy fruit salad breakfast. He's probably in his 30's and runs a shop called 'Red Handicraft' (Blog with photos of Ray and his shop)which specializes in papercuts.

"My favourite place, a place where I take friends is Jalan Bunga Raya, in the old cinema area. I always take my friends from China there. They do great 'doygan' (soyabean cakes). It's a simple setup, just on the side of a street."

Shellfish at the roadside place Ray recommended

The crowd at the roadside cafe

Later in the week, Ray took me here and also to the Portuguese area of town, where we had a Portuguese style meal. The people still speak Portuguese but in a 17th dialect.

The subject of food took Ray on to traditional food.

"This place used to be full of traditional food and cheap it was too. Not like now. The traditional ways are going, sadly and in more ways then one. It used to be very safe here. There was no need to lock your doors but now, break-ins are common. People get into house through the airwells looking for antiques."

Antique dealers and migrants got much of the blame for this change in Malacca's fortunes.
Jasmine and Ray also talked about streets names. I remember Jasmine said about Goolie Street and that it was the place for very cheap labour. Oh, so Koolie is a Malay word.

We talked a lot but my stomach got the better of me. I asked for a breakfast suggestion.

Ray "Here's great. The food's healthy and delicious."
Me "Yes, this does look great! But I want to eat what locals eat. Do you have any suggestions for a more traditional breakfast"
Ray "Ok, toast and jam."

Ray gave me the directions. It was only a couple of minutes away. Unfortuately, I didn't record the name of the place but it's on the corner of Jalan Kampung Kuli and Lorong Hang Jebat.

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