I went out just walking today after some good coffee and breakfast at the Stolen Cup Coffee House off Jonker Street. The coffee is so good, the sandwiches are the best, and the people care about the customers and their happiness with the drinks and food. It has to be one of my favorite coffee houses. I don’t tabulate the places but it falls in line with the superlative La Viet Coffee in Da Lat Vietnam, so many different coffee houses in Hanoi, and the different coffee stands across Cambodia where one could gain sustenance on a morning.
Coffee is important to me. I like coffee signs and freshly brewed lattes, and iced lattes from the stands in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang. Hell, all over Cambodia coffee rules. I love the so-called coffee culture and the delicious egg coffee coming out of Hanoi from the little shoppes which I would visit. One noteworthy if you get that way is The Note. The Note is by Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter. If you get there, you will understand immediately why its called The Note.
So combining my last day tomorrow with my love of morning caffeine goodness, today I ventured forth to the Stolen Cup and partook of the wonderful restorative powers of a hot latte in the morning. Lets not limit ourselves to these coffee stands though. Right across the street is my favorite breakfast spot for traditional food. There some half boiled eggs, delicious toast bread and a kopi awaits for cheap. If you add in some Chicken Rice you are faced with about $3.00 or so. The coffee is strong and hot and all are welcome although I rarely see tourists imbibing there. Most of the waitstaff speak English so getting an order done is pretty easy. I took a person there I met at the hotel for his almost last day in town and he liked it. Its the prices one could argue. But its really the quality first. Then again perhaps its the culture there too. The busy times there where the morning crowd waits patiently for tables but never gets mad. Sometimes the tables become communal tables and you share moments with a few others. Often, interesting discussions arise since the customers all speak English too. They want to know where I am from, what I do, how I find Melaka. Hey! Its coffee days. This is what goes on with the coffee in the mornings.
Other people will bring their morning newspapers in or prowl the news on their phones. The conversation buzzes in a few languages and the waitstaff floats around with the food orders, taking the money when its delivered. There is not a lot of checking on the food at these places. Too busy and too many people waiting for the morning coffee day fix.
The more elegant coffee houses have a slower pace here. The teams wait on people, ensure that customers are happy, enquire about the food and whether you like it. One of them today offered a different blend of coffee for my second latte. Its all about the culture folks.
Its all about coffee days and coffee culture and getting to my very last day here in Melaka. I’ll ride the bus soon back to what is called the TBS bus station and then catch a bus in another direction after a few hours to Seremban and then a city bus to Port Dickson. The next few stops are shorter in duration. On the 20th of March, I fly to my last destination in Malaysia; Penang. There I have a AirBNB for a month where I get the whole place. I’ll be investigating, walking, eating, and drinking my across the city.
I also have the rest of the year travel planned out just about. I know when I am in Vietnam and Lao and Cambodia this year. But now I know that on October 18th after spending a few weeks in Cambodia and traveling from Phnom Penh to Kampot to Kep I will fly out to Taiwan for a few months and then spend Christmas in Philippines in Manila. I’ll be in Cebu, Davao, and Manilla until January 18th 2020, when I fly back to the USofA for about 45 days. Yes! I have it planned out that far because I book airline tickets way in advance and I lock in the arrive and depart dates and then fill in the details. Like for Taiwan, I know I will travel the western part of the island all the way down on their High Speed Rail service to see 5 different cities and whatever else comes my way. The Taiwan entry for US passport holders is good for up to 90 days so I will then fly on to Manila and other parts for 25 days.
I will have all my airline tickets booked in another week or so for the trip to Taiwan, Philippines, and then back to the States. But now its time to reflect on the coffee times and fondly remember the wandering days in Melaka. I spent 14 days here. I think it was the perfect amount of days. Tomorrow I send things off with coffee and then a walk to a Chinese Cemetery and park I could not find before. Then I go to a Nonya Museum in Chinatown. Then I am done. Its like so many times getting done with a place walking. I think back on the moments of the walking whether it was Tokyo or Vancouver or Hong Kong or Hanoi. So many places that have let my feet touch the city streets, alleys and parks. Thanks to all places!
I’ll coffee up tomorrow morning and see Melaka for the last time. Good memories pushed on by good coffee. Its coffee days! I will also publish my Melaka Photo Album tomorrow and share it out. I had fun with that too.