So you might wonder why I am saying that Melaka is actually a synonym for Madness!?! Well, there was the story of the coconut master, the beat-up, the stolen purse, the thief that became the victim, …. Before I even start telling all these stories, you should know that it ended well for me!
The weirdest thing happened the first day/night that I arrived in Melaka/Malacca. I started wandering around the city to find a place to stay, when I stumbled on this nice, clean hostel with a 12-beds dormitory. Since there were no free lockers available, I decided to attached my backpacks to my bed, and put strategically some coins on top of it, so that if someone were to move them, I would be awaken by the sound of coins falling from my backpacks (smart thinking, right?).
So, I was in this dormitory with 10 guys and 1 Spanish older woman. The Malay-Indian guy sleeping next to me, was not feeling good and kept waking up to go to the bathroom all night long. (which turned out to be a good thing!). At 4 am, I got woken up by my famous coins, I opened my eyes to see one of the guy from the dormitory sitting next to my bed/to my backpack, and looking straight into my eyes!!! It was soooo creepy!!
As soon as he realized that I was awake, he stood up and when next to someone else’s bed. I was half-numbed, not completely aware of what was going on, when my Malay-Indian neighbour stood-up, turned the lights on and started screaming “Wake up everyone! Wake up now! This guy stole things from us! I have seen him! Check your bags for all your valuables! Wake up!”
It still took me a couple of minutes to realize what was going on… A computer and other valuables were found in the room near the entrance of the hostel. The accused thief kept saying he didn’t commit the thefts and he was just sitting along the beds to pray (he was muslim)… He didn’t want to reveal his I.D., and told me he came from Singapore, to another guy from Nepal, and a third guy from Malaysia. His story wasn’t clear and didn’t make any sense! The owner of the hostel was phoned and asked to come immediately to help us in this situation and sort out the problem…
Then, the conversation quickly escalated between my Malay-Indian neighbour and the thief… And they started fighting which was pretty scary at the time!! I was crawled up in my bed, my back against the wall as they were fighting just in front of my bed! Thankfully other guys intervened and broke the fight up before I could get punched in the face (they were so close to me)!! The thief said he needed to go his mosque and pray, and rushed out of the hostel before anyone could react.
When he came back 2 hours later, everyone in my dorm was still in shock and trying to understand what had happened. The thief tried to grab all his things and to leave the hostel, but this time he had all the guys in front of him and determined to block his way… And that’s when the unbelievable happened: the thief got into an epileptic shock!! And, he was not faking it at all. This was real!! An ambulance was called, and me and the Spanish woman went through his stuffs to look for his medications. That’s when I found a huge bag of VIAGRA pills (like 70 to 100 pills!)… In my mind, I kept thinking ‘This creep had been staring at me all night while I was sleeping, and he had this huge amount of viagra pills…ugh! ugh! ugh! disgusting, creepy, sick, weirdo!’
We found his medication, and the medics took him to the hospital. So, he made it alright… but the rest of my day was shattered by what had happened… There are really creepy and weird people in this world!
The next day, I met with Audrey and James (whom I had previously met in Chiang Mai!), Khanyi (a friend of Audrey’s) and 2 guys from my hostel (Porus and Sean) to go see the famous COCONUT MASTER! In the Chinatown of Melaka/Malacca lives Kung-Fu Master Ho Eng Hui. He became quite famous thanks to his unusual performances at the popular Jonker Street: breaking coconuts with his hand, elbow and a single finger! Over the years, he really mastered the art of breaking open coconuts with his index finger!
These street shows drawn so much attention from locals and tourists, that he got invited in Milan, Italy! On 21 April 2011, Ho Eng Hui a.k.a Master Ho entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest time to pierce in quick succession 4 coconuts with his index finger (Each coconut is considered pierced once the inside water pours out). His time was 12.15 seconds!! So, his record remains unchallenged till today.
Yet all the smashing of coconuts for years has taken a toll on his “finger of steel”. So, the man invented a medicinal, herbal, burning oil!
And, Master Ho has definitely mastered the art of selling as well!! After breaking the coconut with his index finger, he applied a bit of “magic” medicinal oil on the swallowing finger and then claimed to feel no pain at all. To prove his point to the crowd (that his medicinal, herbal oil was working for any kind of pains), his assistant put some of this medicinal oil on the back of our neck. At first, I didn’t feel anything, but then it really started to burn. It was NOT a good feeling! But, so many tourists bought this oil! Unbelievable!?! Master Ho was a great show man, but an even better business man! What a weird, crazzzzzyyyyy show!
The next evening, guys from my hostels went out for drinks and to party all night long! One of the guy got a bit drunk, and on his way back to the hostel (alone) he got pretty beat-up/attacked by some locals in the middle of the streets! He was an easy target, completely defenseless (as he was really drunk). The owner of the hostel drove him to the nearest hospital where he got a couple of stitches. It was so unexpected because it’s such a small, quiet town… so weird…
For the past months, I heard so many times this kind of story… guys/girls going out to party and being physically aggress on their way home. So, when people think that because I am travelling (“being on holidays”), I am going all the time all night long partying & drinking… well they are so wrong! Firstly because I am a woman and I am travelling alone, so I have to be 2 times more careful! Secondly, going out partying and drinking every night is expensive (and I am on budget here!!). Thirdly, if I go out dancing and drinking, then my next day is completely ruined, wasted– waking up late and feeling bad the whole day! Lastly, if I wanted every day to party till dawn, go from bars to bars, dance and get drunk…well I should just stay at home where it’s cheaper, safer and way more FUN with my crazy friends!
The day following the beat-up, a Spanish woman from my hostel got her purse stolen in broad daylight in the middle of the streets! The men were on a motorcycle, grabbed her purse and took off! She was pretty shaken up by the event, as one of the guy pulled up a knife…probably to threat her or intimidate her…
I started feeling a bit worried, even thinking the people in our dormitory were doomed! So many weird, crazy, bad things had happened in just 4 days of time!! But I was also relieved that I was leaving the following day this crazy, weird, mad place called Melaka a.k.a Malacca a.ka. Mad town!!!