Category Archives: Malaysian Adventures

Globalization, or Finding a Piece of Texas in Melaka

Melaka is about a 2 hour drive south of Kuala Lumpur.  It was the place where colonization of the Malay peninsula began (first from Sumatra, then from China, India and the Middle East, and then relatively late to the party was Europe- the Portuguese, the Dutch, then the English).  When the English came in, Melaka became part of their Straits settlement with Penang and Singapore.  I wanted to visit at some point because I am a sucker for historical stuff, so we took a quick day trip last weekend.

Melaka is easily accessible by bus, so that’s what we did- spending a whopping RM32.80 each way on a Super VIP bus for a more comfortable ride, for a round trip cost of about $20 USD.  For both of us.  On the cab ride into the historical area, Micah noticed a familiar sign.


For the uninitiated, our adopted home state of Texas launched a very successful anti-litter campaign in the late 1980s.  Those signs look like this:


We thought it was hilarious and really cool that Melaka adopted this now-iconic symbol of Texas, of all places.  Not only is the campaign slogan the same, but the two signs are practically identical!  The color blocking is the same, the font is the same, the iconography is basically the same but of course changed to be culturally relevant.  At the bottom, the outline of the state of Texas becomes the outline of the state of Melaka.  At the top, Texas’ Lone Star becomes the Crescent Moon and Star from Melaka’s state flag.  One would think this would be pretty clear grounds for a copyright infringement case, but it appears that Texas is in favor of the globalization of anti-litter.

I will say, from our single day in Melaka, they did seem to have their litter under much better control than what we’ve seen in KL.  Texas goes global for the win!

Over a Century of Details

The Khoo Kongsi (clan house) in Penang, Malaysia

The Khoo Kongsi (clan house) in Penang, Malaysia

For the Intricate photo challenge:  A corner piece from Khoo Kongsi temple in Penang, Malaysia, built in 1906.  Clan houses are very important in the Chinese community in Penang.  They served as a sort of community center for new immigrants from the clan.  The Khoo Kongsi complex contained housing, an opera stage, meeting and business rooms, and of course this temple.  (It also currently contains a museum detailing the history, but I don’t think the museum displays were part of the original function of the clan house.)  There are many clan houses, but this is one of the finest…according to our favorite guide book.

The Khoo Kongsi Temple

The Khoo Kongsi Temple

A Moment of Zen with the Butterflies


I finally participate in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on time, instead of at the last minute!  Here I present my contribution to Motion.

We finally made it to the KL Butterfly Park.  The Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, colloquially known as the Lake Gardens, includes a lot of different “sub parks”- like the Bird Park (also, see where I wrote about it), the Perdana Botanical Garden (which also includes the Hibiscus and Orchid gardens), the Islamic Arts Museum, as well as a few other museums.  We’ve explored a lot of these parks and museums and somehow hadn’t seen the Butterfly Park yet.  We had a free weekend last weekend, so we finally made it there!

Inside the park, the mood was quite and contemplative.  We wandered around enjoying the sounds of the water fountains and the bright color splashes of the flowers and the butterflies.  Even through the heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur, it was relaxing to spend some time with these little guys.