We arrived at the restaurant in the Equatorial Hotel in 10 minutes' walk from Porta de Santiago. Meals are always one of the pleasures on trips and our lunch was supposed to be representative local dishes, which was generally called Nyonya cuisine. I'll show you the pictures of the restaurant, the menu and some of the dishes.
At the moment when I tasted the first spoonful of soup, I felt something weird, but while eating dishes served one after another, I began to feel good. The mixture of spicy taste, sourness, sweetness, the flavour of various herbs,,,,I hadn't been able to even guess their tastes in advance. Can you imagine the taste of "Udang Lemak Nenas", fresh prawns and pineapple simmered with coconut cream? The dessert was "Cendol", sweet bean jelly and coconut cream with shaved ice. All the dishes were new to me. I understood that they were actually a mixture of various cultures.
The required time to Kuala Lumpur was estimated to be about two hours. In case of being involved in a traffic jam into the bargain, we left Malacca just after lunch. The route was the same as the route which we took in the morning. I was a little tired after taking a walk in the streets of Malacca, and I carelessly took a nap though I wanted to very much talk with our tour guide.
However, I'm going to make a note of his words and my thoughts, though I won't write about anything too private. The guide, who speaks four languages as I wrote before, was from Ipoh, which is located to the north of Kuala Lumpur and is well-known as the place of production of tin. His father is Chinese and his mother is Malay. He was the youngest but one among a dozen siblings. I asked lots of things mainly about historical matters.
One of his stories was; When he was in the third year in his primary school -- approximately 8 to 9 years old -- he apparently taught letters to his mother because she was neither able to read nor write letters then. Judging from his age of the middle forties, it was only about 40 years ago and about 20 years after Malaysia became independent from Britain. I think this stuff eloquently tells us about Britain's atrocious reign.
He answered my questions as if he was carefully choosing his words and probing for my political background until he knew it. After he had understood my fundamental thoughts toward the Great East Asian War, he fluently talked about his way of thinking of their own culture and history.
I wondered if the Japanese Imperial Army, which landed at Kota Bharu in the Great East Asian War, might have passed his home town of Ipoh, and people in Malaysia might have welcomed the army as their saviour.
His strong affinity toward Japan, his sincere attitude toward Ten-noh, the priest king of Japan and his gratitude for Japan as well as his confident pride as a Malaysian touched me.
To my regret, however, I fell asleep unintentionally on the way to Kuala Lumpur, though I was meaning to continue to chat with him. Next time I visit Kuala Lumpur, I'd like to ask him to guide me in his home town of Ipoh. I'd be pleased to pay him a double fee.
tin [U] ([化学記号] Sn) スズ, (金属元素) ブリキ
atrocious extremely bad
Kota Bharu 日本軍が大東亜戦争で上陸したマレー半島北東部の都市
saviour (困難・危険などから) 救ってくれる人［もの］, 救世主
サンチャゴ砦から徒歩数分でエクアトリアルホテルに着いた。食事は旅の楽しみの一つ。我々の昼食はツアーにセットされている地元の料理。ニョニャ料理と呼ばれている。ガイドブックに載っている料理が並んだ。最初は妙な味だと思ったが馴れてくると美味しくなってきた。スパイシーさに酸味や甘み、ハーブの香り、、、エビとパイナップルのココナッツミルク煮(Udang Lemak Nenas)なんて想像すら出来ない味だった。デザートは小豆とゼリーのココナッツかき氷(Cendol)。なるほど多文化の融合した味であると実感した。