Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Home Away From Home

Wednesday 13th June, 2012; 01:14
Location: Davie's Flat, Melaka Malaysia
Why: My Melakan Digs and a Novel Concept.

Nothing like a friend sending me an FB message asking why I haven't posted a blog lately. As it turns out, somehow, my posts were not visible on my wall **shakes fists** Thanks AC for bringing it to my attention! I hope you enjoy my shelf and I'm so happy it has a new home.

Speaking of which, when I decided to stay in Melaka for a while, I wanted a place to call my own. So I put the word out on the streets of Chinatown. I happened to mention this to the owner of a cafe I frequented. And it just so happened that Michelle (owner) had a flat above her antique shop on Jonker Walk that she could rent to me.

Ask and ye shall receive.

When the day came to get my keys, anticipation and excitement washed over me. I had the entire 2nd floor of the building to myself, though most of it, I didn't need for living. The building was built in 1938 and is part of Unesco. Actually, the whole of Chinatown in Melaka is a Unesco site.

My humble digs above P & M Antique House on Jonker Walk, Chinatown's main street:

As you can see from the above picture, my actual living space faces the street where I get good sunlight. This part of Chinatown is really lively, albeit a bit touristy. Sometimes, I get annoyed with the giant tour buses that idle outside the street while all the Japanese tourists are swarming around trigger happy with their cameras. Being sandwiched between two karaoke bars (next door on the left and two doors down on the right), there is always a Chinese song playing in the background, sometimes with a good singer, most times with a bad. I've gotten so used to it that it's now background noise.

When I first saw this space, it was bland but spacious and had potential:

The rest of the top floor includes a long hallway that is filled with 5 rooms on the left. It's a good set up for a guesthouse:

Towards the end of the long hallway lies the kitchen and bathrooms. I have a squat toilet room, shower room and the luxury of a western toilet room. The best part - they're all al fresco while still being completely private. The kitchen is lacklustre and after nagging my landlord to put in a proper hot plate to no avail, I am perfectly content hunting for food on the streets. In fact, my day is not complete without a bowl of curry laksa or roti canai, food I couldn't make at home anyway.

I found a wonderful deal on scarves one day while cruising around Dataran Pahlawan, Melaka's mega mall. These scarves would make great curtains and also souvenirs for family back home. I purchased 10 for RM50, approximately $16CAD.

The colourful scarves brighten the flat while giving it an artsy hippie feel:

Fortunately, except for purchasing my bed, all the furniture was found inside the other rooms, including the massage bed you see on the left in the above picture. Of course, I had to add a touch of hippie tie dye.

Besides a brand new bed, I also splurged on a cotton sateen, 728 thread count bedsheet set. I found a fantastic deal at Makhota Parade, Melaka's other mega mall. On sale, it was RM215 (aprx $71CAD) and was by far the biggest luxury item I've afforded myself in my travels but also the best deal. Back home, bedsheets with this high thread count would cost several hundred dollars easily.

Sleeping on 728 thread count sheets feels divine and makes me feel a little more grown up:

One thing I loved about my flat was the pale yellow walls - a blank canvas for me to create! I found some inspiration at Anna's favourite cafe during my hop over to Chiang Mai in April. So I sketched out a rough drawing and got to work.

Starting at the base:

And working my way up...

Smiling all the while...

And smiling because the Cute Dutch guy was playing muse to my creativity!

Ah, boys...they are never far from my heart and mind. And bed? Haha, wouldn't you lovely readers like to know!

Back to the wall canvas. Satisfied with the tree part, I added some leaves:

Okay, it's 02:30 and a really, really awful rendition of Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Close My Eyes is being belted out by someone downstairs at the karaoke bar. Gawd.

A few days later, I came back to finish off this little project after fussing over the bird silhouettes. Et voila!

This is what I see every morning when I wake up. And with plenty of room for my yoga mat, my practice has become a daily routine. Routine. There's a novel concept. After traveling for so long, it is actually quite nice having a routine. Melaka's Chinatown is ideal for easy living, making friends and eating well. Life is good.

Sometimes, I have to pinch myself that I am still out here doing this wandering thang. I have surpassed my goal of 'Travel for one whole year' and looking forward to the next part of this nomadic lifestyle. Please come back for more anecdotes of moments abroad. I promise to make sure my posts are visible on my wall.

As I close to turn in for the day, the bad singing has stopped....nope, it's back again. Hmmm, where did I put those earplugs.....


  1. Mad skills Pocstar... Hmm... about that ceiling...

  2. Thanks Mark! Yah, the ceiling is a sight for sore eyes. Not much I can do with it except draped fabric under the awful flourescent lights. I think this space used to be an office.

  3. Oh Melaka, Melaka, how I miss you so much. The ice kachangs, the delicious wonton noodles and the rich beautiful culture that holds my heart dear. I am glad that you my friend is there to enjoy it. And what an amazing wall for your creativity. Well done, simply well done!

  4. my darling francis, i will have an ice kacang in your honour tonight! thanks for reading my blog. lotsa hugs n kisses from Melaka!

  5. Love hearing about your new life abroad Davie! Thanks for sharing.. Keep it up :)
    Big hugs, Scoots

  6. Hey Skoots,
    Thanks for checking in. Life abroad is great though I miss you like an addiction.
    Mad, mad hugs, davie