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It’s been ages since I went on a holiday. Last week I took leave and the four of us including my two boys went to Melaka (known as Malacca in the olden days during colonial times). Melaka has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Cities.

First, the Portuguese conquered Malacca, then the Dutch and later the British Empire. That is why there are a lot of rich cultural remmants of the glorious past. It was our first trip to this part of Malaysia. Apart from getting lost during the drive and moving around in circles, it was a marvellous holiday. No one lost their temper which is an achievement itself. We had a grand time.

We checked into a hotel that was in the heart of historical sites and shopping malls. This saved us from driving. I could not wait to explore the famous Jonker’s Street and I was not disappointed. The buildings are beautifully restored and the elaborate carvings on the walls and pillars are a sight to behold. The streets are full of shops selling souveniers, antiques, clothes and food unique to this state. Such rich baba-nyonya heritage.

The Maritime Museum
We entered ‘Flora De La Mar’, the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca now in the form of Maritime Museum. There is choc full of histories of the Portuguese, Dutch and British era. However I was too busy taking photos of my sons to really appreciate the historical impact. I was not much of a history buff during my school days. I do love to read historical romance but that is besides the point here.

We search in vain in our car for the Portuguese settlement and finally had to concede defeat. We walked to the replica of the Melaka Sultanate Palace and to our dismay it was closed. Sigh! I had wanted to walk along the corridors and imagine myself as a Malay princess of the golden era.

I definitely had to visit St. Paul’s Church which had been turned into burial ground for the dead by the Dutch. The huge tombstones with incriptions were all around the walls. Superstition aside, I took photos again. I’m such a shutterbug. Do not ask me anything technical as I take just for the love of capturing the moments for memories sake. The Stadthuys was also on our walking trail.

We went on a Melaka River Cruise and bought tickets which enabled us to leave the boat anywhere and anytime. When we are satisfied with seeing the destination, we just wait at the jetty and hitch a ride to the next destination for free.


I had to explore on my own and found some lovely temples. Melaka is famous for their Satay Celup, Chicken Ball Rice, kuih-muih and Nyonya food. I bought back some for family back home to have a taste.

It was time to leave. Reality was waiting for me. With reluctance, we bid farewell to lovely and quaint Melaka.It was a marvellous holiday. I hope one day my boys will look back and remember the wonderful memories spent there. Cheers.

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In human beings managing the church, that is. After years of attending church, I finally decided to be baptised this Christmas. The reason for the delay and hesitation is due to language barrier. One recent fine Saturday morning, I drove and waited outside the church gates until the pastor arrived. I voiced my reservations whether it will be problematic if I attended English classes but baptised in the Mandarin session. He laughed at my worries and said, whatever language, we are all under the same roof. My reservations melted and I looked forward to the phone call later informing me when my classes will start.

Just to explain, my mum attended the Mandarin session and I followed suit. During the sermons, I read my own English bible given by a good friend while the pastor addressed the rest.  My poor boys stood out like a sore thumb as they too unable to communicate with the rest of the children. We are there at the church faithfully every Sunday so that we can be by my mum. My beloved dad is at rest in Heaven.

The phone call came. Another pastor informed me that the management decided that it is not possible for me to attend English classes and be baptised and continue attending the Mandarin session later on. It seemed it is a conflict to do so. To put it simply, he explained that this is to avoid a situation where I will be ‘grabbed’ by either session. Further conversation on the phone became a blur. I simply could not believe my ears.  My faith was shaken there and then. I teared up just thinking about it. Instead of being encouraged and feeling welcome, I was…..

Today is Sunday and here again at church. This time I looked at all with different eyes. The ones I looked up to, the ones I though had wisdom, I felt let down and rejected by the very church I had been attending. When the time for Holy Communion came, I left and sat in my car. I could not bear to be there.

There is a church in my neighbourhood. Shall I attend to see whether I belong there? But my mum….

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My brave little boy

After sleepless nights finally the day came to go to outstation for my young boy’s treatment at the hospital. The short medical term for what he is suffering from is called JIA. This juvenile arthritis only affected children under the age of 16. After getting slightly lost, an uncle came to the rescue and took us to the correct place. Wouldn’t you know the good doctor was on MC that day! But luckily she has briefted her capable replacement and boy, was she thorough! She took several pages of notes and I really had to crack my head trying to remember all that history.

We were pretty worried as my son had to be admitted to the H1N1 ward as the doctor was attached to that ward. Luckily there were only suspected cases not actual ones. When I had to left my young boy in the room because they had to prepare his wrist for the insertion of the drip and also to take a blood sample, he was really worried. Luckily he did not cry as I had assured him that I would be waiting just right outside the door. The doctor and nurses praised him as he did not raise even a peep. For a young child he has been subjected to numerous jabs and so far he did not cry once. I am rather proud of him because he did not made me worried about this.

His steely will showed a slight crack later however when he was lying on the hospital bed. After being examined and prodded, he enquired in a trembling voice whether the next course of action will be the last and a large teardrop squeezed out of his eye..I thought my heart will break. Until now, he did not even cry even though he is terrified in the strange surroundings and new treatment. I comforted him by telling after taking some medicine which will make him sleep, the doctor will put the medicine into his wrist joint and knee. I assured him that he will be sleeping while the treatment being done. So, no pain will be felt.

Finally he was taken to the treatment room and I was by his side until he nodded off. I had to leave the room while the ttreatment was being done. The procedure itself was pretty fast and later he was wheeled back to his ward. I waited for him to wake up and had some anxious moments when the red alert went off. The nurse explained that the pulse rate set was for babies, so even though out of range, no need to worry. Whew! He woke up two and a half hours later very drowsy. I had to coax him to take a sip of water. I was happy when he wanted to take some Milo and some rice. If the food stayed in his stomach, the doctor said he can be discharged. He was scared to eat as he was feeling drowsy which is a new experience for him as this is the first time he had been sedated.

Thank God even though there were some anxious moments like nearly losing the way on the way to the hospital and reaching slightly late, I must say kudos to the doctor and nurses. There were a few very brave moms in the same ward whose child is seriously ill but still showed concern for me and my son. I really admire their courage and my heart goes out to the mom whose elder boy has passed away and now her younger son has the same life-threatening illness.

May God bless all the moms in the world and I am so happy the journey was safe and my boy went through the treatment smoothly. He still has to go for a follow up visit next month and I prayed he will get well soon.

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