Sunday in Melaka, Malaysia

8/9 – While we wandered around town yesterday, we came upon Christ Church, an historic building built by the Dutch, with an active Anglican congregation.   

 
They hold services for the English, Chinese, Malay and Indian (Tamil) populations that live here.

 
We decided to attend the English service a at 8:30.  The church isn’t fancy inside. 

 

We were greeted by several parishioners and a priest on our way in.  The priest asked about our home parish, and gave us a heads-up on how they do Communion (they intinct – dip the host into the wine).  Although there were lots of hymns I recognized in the English/Malay hymnal, the selections for this Sunday were all new tunes for me.  Just like at home, we had to juggle the hymnal, the prayer book and the week’s bulletin.  The teens gave us a rousing praise service on guitar and drums, with Amazing Grace sung to a different tune.  The homily was given by the bishop.  Then Amazing Grace again, the time to the familiar tune, but with a verse I was unfamiliar with, from the original 1779 version: “The earth will soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine, but God who called me here below, will be forever mine.”  In good Anglican fashion, we were invited to the coffee hour after the service.  Nice people of Malaysia!

There is also an RC church here: 

   
And the ruins of St Paul’s on the hill, which was built by the Portugese in the 1500s, repurposed as a Protestant church and then a fort by the Dutch: 

    

A little girl trying on the angel’s wings from a burial stone:

 
After the Dutch, Malaya (as it was known) was taken over by the British, then by the Japanese during WWII, then the British again, before gaining freedom and becoming Malaysia.  So much history here!

On our way to church, we passed a long queue of folks standing in front of a restaurant that wasn’t even open yet.  We had seen the same long queue yesterday.  We stopped and asked what the attraction was, and we were told that this place served the best chicken with rice balls in town – a “must have” for visitors to Melaka.  

 
Well, here you go – chicken with rice balls!  This dish is sold all over town, so I asked what makes this restaurant so special.  The answer: other Chinese posted on social media that this is the best place, so this is where the Chinese will queue up to go.  It’s a Chinese thing…  

We walked down to the river, where boat rides are given: 

  There’s an old water wheel here:
 
…and a reconstruction of a Portugese galleon.   

 
There are reminders of WWII here: 

    
 
…and old trains and fire trucks: 

    
 
What a fun weekend!  If you get a chance to come here, we recommend the oyster omelet, and a Malay dish called Nyonya Laksa (below), after you’ve had the chicken rice balls, of course!

  

 

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