R I C E

From the 10th to 13th of March, five classes from my batch went to Malacca on a school trip! It was a fun and eye-opening experience for me and I would love to go on another trip with my class.

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The start of this journey – decorating the front cover of my journal!

Watch this video to see how I did it hehe 🙂
ImageUnglam hahaha but oh well first group photo after lunch! They were such a fun bunch and really lame at one point when we all agreed to tie our hair in two pony tails for a day. We gave up halfway through though (except Ethel and Val) and switched back to a single pony tail after getting judged too much.

ImageCollage of photos from Jonker Street! There were three places of worship here for different religions so that was pretty cool 🙂 There were also shops selling antiques! Our tour guide said that some people thought the antiques were all junk so they said that the name “Jonker” came from the word “junk”, but that’s really not how it came about, plus the antiques are priceless if only we learn to appreciate their value!

ImageThis place is St. Paul’s Church, located at the summit (makes it sound super high up but it’s not) of St. Paul’s Hill! Google to find out more about the history of this church and also about St. Francis Xavier – I’ll share more about what I saw and experienced here! There were two artists selling their drawings and paintings in the church. They drew everything around that area – the church, the statue of St. Francis Xavier, the adorable cats that roamed around, etc. The original price of a super pretty drawing was RM 65.00 but they reduced it to only RM 10.00 for students! I’m not sure if that’s all they do for a living, but they are really talented and their works should be priced at a higher value! I was discussing this with Vanessa (art prodigy) and she and I agreed that if we could draw as well as that, we’d never sell our art. Of course, it’s different for them since it’s a source of revenue, and I think it’s impressive that they are brave enough to do what they enjoy (I think!) as a career and share their talent with inquisitive tourists! The artists also have Facebook pages!

Then as I was sketching a kebaya based off of a magnet at the souvenir stand, the shopkeeper pointed to a magnet with an intricate carving of the fort at the bottom of the hill and asked me to sketch it too. I shook my head and said it was too hard (because of the rocky texture and the whole look of it hahah idk), and then he kindly offered to draw it for me! So I let him, and omg they are all incredibly talented.

Lastly, there was another guy busking in the middle of the church! He played oldies on his guitar and sang along. It added to a homely atmosphere in the church, in my opinion!

The locals at the church made a really strong impression on me because they continued to do the things they loved and interacted with tourists for a living despite any challenges I think (!!) they might face (plus the scorching heat from the sun)!

ImagePeranakan food for dinner that night! It was mainly spicy and fried – which really appealed to my taste buds ahhaha it was so good. There was otah in a crispy skin! I’d never seen anything like it and it was g r e a t. (Getting really hungry blogging about this now despite my extremely satisfying Japanese dinner a few hours ago.)

Image213 class photo on the cruise! I’m not in it because credits to me haha : ) It was a great 45 minutes of us doing community singing to the tunes of everything from “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” to “Do You Hear The People Sing”.

ImagePrettiest picture I have of the scenery ❤❀

ImageThe next morning, we headed to Chetti Village 🙂 We learnt how to make flower garlands and many of us put them in our hair hehehe.

ImageWe also went to Taman Mini Malaysia! It is an outdoor experiential museum which features 13 differnt styles of houses from each state in Malaysia. My group visited around 4 or 5 houses and then stopped to get ice-cream hahaha. After that, we went to play with the ducks (or geese??) and the rabbits and the chickens in the petting farm!

ImageWe spent the whole of the next day at Kampong Pelegong! We did a wide range of activities: walking around the kampong to look at the agriculture, weaving baskets (as seen in the picture above), learning to cook some yumyum chicken, playing traditional games and watching a cultural show! It was an eye-opening experience and a peek into what activities the locals there engage in – they probably have to tend to their crops instead of playing and exploring the whole day (what we did). It also showed me that some parts of my perception of a kampong were wrong because they have electricity and modern gadgets like we do! I think it’s great that they are advancing together with us in the digital age and yet preserving their culture and roots in the kampong and sharing it with us too!

ImageWe also watched some locals make Kueh Bahulu!! Our guide said it’s BAHULU (or something like that sorry I’m not sure) and not BULU/BOLU or whatever Singaporeans say hahahaha. Ingredients (for mass production): 30 eggs, 2kg sugar, 1.5kg flour. SCARY but the warm ones were so good and soft.

ImageOn the last day, we visited a school for intellectually disabled children. We helped to clean the house (the rooms were converted into classrooms!), paint the walls and interact with the children. They had many games and puzzles for us to use and the children were really cute. The ladies running the centre were also super sweet and smiley and they are amazing for reaching out to these children in their community!

ImageAll in all, this trip was great!! I feel 213 has bonded a lot and we all learnt so much from the community in Malaysia as well as from each other. It’s really late now so my brain has kinda stopped working, but I really miss RICE (omg I forgot to say it stands for: Regional Immersion Community Exploration). It really achieved all its projected outcomes and I’m so thankful for being the first batch to go on this trip!

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