Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Heeren Street

"Blows are sarcasms turned stupid."

George Eliot, English novelist

George's a woman, by the way. That was just her pen name.

Looks like the gnarled, throttling fingers of medical school are wrapped firmly around my neck and are wringing whatever joie de vivre I managed to scrape together from the joy-parched earth of Manipal out of me. For like the thousandth time - I did keep count - I rue the day I opted for this course and learning.

Okay, now that I've explained my unenviable state of existence I'll go straight to the point. I was too busy to update this web journal yesterday and the day before (yes, it is possible for me to get too busy, believe it or not) and from the looks of it, I won't be updating in the next few days either. Rebecca (what I call my laptop) came down with a pernicious worm, and after reading through a whole lot of really dull technical papers on how to get rid of it, I have came to the realisation that reformatting the ol' notebook is way less troublesome ('cause someone agreed to do it for me). Anyway, she had been kind of sluggish these few months - so it's mind-wipe for ya, Becky girl! Thanks, Lingghezhi. I'll pay you in House episodes, as usual.

Oh yeah, and here's a few pictures of Malacca's Jonker Street's out-glammed lil' sister, Heeren Street. It's also known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and it runs parallel to its more popular counterpart.

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Pigeon and some seriously old roof.

I always enjoy a walk through the narrow road which is flanked on both sides by sleepy and (some) crumbling old peranakan townhouses that date back to the Dutch era in Malacca all those centuries ago. They are often known collectively as the Millionaires' Row, and I guess it must have been some sort of Beverly Hills of the Malaccan town in its time.

Or not.

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Dilapidated. Pretty lapidated too, if you ask me.

Of course, emergency reconstructive surgery works have already begun on some of the more salvageable townhouses.

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Pretty, ain't it?

Most of the old house had intricate sculptures of phoenixes and flowers adorning the frontal facade, made from pieces of I-don't-know-what-but-i'll-just-say-painted-porcelain-bits-because-it-sounds-classy. Though they are in essence of Chinese aesthetics, the ethnic flavour in their crafting is hard to ignore.

And here's one of my favourite buildings in Heeren Street.

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*Low whistle*

Incredibly picturesque, no?

On certain nice, clear days, I would take a walk down this lane alone and just drink up in the quaint oldness of everything along the walk - I've done so every time the urge got me. Sometimes, I even leave the main road and take walks through the maze of back alleys cobwebbing through the ancient houses and shops erected in a higgledy-piggledy fashion between Heeren Street and Jonker Street.

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Where some Baba kid of yore played footie.

It's hard not to be proud being Malaccan. I really do love the town I grew up in.

I have always been partial to this street because it is still largely unspoiled. There's no millions of garishly coloured light bulbs strung across the road, posh pedestrian pavements and a-buck-apiece antique stores lining the drive like in Jonker "Commercial Cow" Walk. There, the ambience and charm of a few hundred years of Baba Nyonya history lay firmly buried under tasteless state capitalisation of heritage - particularly during the weekend nocturnal flea market. The feel of wonderment and discovery is just not found in Jonker anymore.

That atmosphere of awe is still intact and beating here in Heeren, thankfully.

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Feel it?

However, I think that is fast fading too.

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Damn you, Digi. First my movie theatres, now my favourite street.

k0k s3n w4i


bevE said...


i like the pics =3

im so hungry T_T the only thing i've eaten all day is lunch *sigh*

jayjayne said...

Nice pictures (as always!) Damn, I wish brisbane had more picturesque history. The only thinge we have is this old building... called the Treasury. Which is now a casino.



And (as I didn't want to feel like a moron, commenting in a previous post)- ahh, the prose of "forbidden love". All the sudden, your significant other's hand was like a grenade, if you saw someone you knew.

Lol. Many lols.

I think it's much more difficult for femme's (esp. young asian ones) when you go off on a new relationship adventure, as your oldies always want to "chat" to the boy. And my oldies are wack.


mrbherng said...

The best unspoiled part of Malacca would be those tiny little lanes between, Kg Morten, Jln Bunga Raya, and Jonker St. At least for now.

michellesy, heeren st fan said...

I always did like Heeren Street better than Jonker, mainly for the same reasons as you.

It's quieter, way less touristy and hell, who wouldn't love that white, towering icing-cake-confection of a building on Heeren?

I've always imagined it to be the dwelling of some rich tycoon with a gazillion wives tucked away in those rooms. And probably three grillion kids too. Heh.

But the fact that Grandads lived on Heeren St before he moved to KL will always make it that little bit more special to me.

I actually managed to track the exact house down in my last trip to Melaka. Snapped a couple of pics for Grandad to look at too, not that he can make out more than shapes and lines these days outta those ole peepers of his.

ps: I see you've managed to squeeze 'lapidated' in there somehow XD

k0k s3n w4i said...

How come you're always "the only thing i've eaten all day is lunch/breakfast?"
And what happened to "looking at your pics is always a chore?" >_>

Malacca needs a casino. We need a place to get rich or make other people richer.
Oh, we haven't got to that phase yet at that time. I'm reeeaaallllly slow.
What exactly wud ur oldies want to talk to the new guy about? Warnings? Like "The only right answer to 'Am I fat?' is 'I love you' and not 'Damn straight'?"

My grandmother make paper stuff to sell to those chinese incense shops in that riverside chinese district off Jln Bunga Raya. Been meaning to hit Kg. Morten but it kept slipping me mind.

Yea, I was thinking of your grandpappy when I wrote this post. I wanted to ask you which but you were on an offline streak then. Do let me know when ur in Malacca again! You haven't tried Capitol Satay Celup!

michellesy said...

Really? At the time I knew that Grandads lived in Melaka before he moved the entire family, kit and caboodle to KL.

When he said Melaka, I didn't know he meant right-in-the-middle-of-Melaka Melaka though!

I have no idea which number it is now - but I do have a halfway decent snapshot of it.

Grandads did say it used to be where they stored and made handrolled cigarettes though - oh, the in-political-correctness of it all when viewed in the harsh light of today LOL!

I don't know when I'll be back in Melaka again. Hell I don't even know when I'll be back in Malaysia again. *sobs*

Elaynne said...

Wow.. I'm so proud to be a malaccan!!
Its fun walking along the streets acting like a tourist huh?? hahaha If only the weather is much much cooler... haiz... that would be perfect!

k0k s3n w4i said...

I wanna know how to handroll fags... err... for academic purposes.
Well, you can always visit. Bring your kids back next time and go all nostalgic on 'em. "This country was where mommy ran away from when I was your age"

Well, compared to the indian summer, Malaysia is srsly mild. Acting like a tourist has it benefits. It's easier to chat up some hot japanese tourists for one.

bevE said...

i think i lied.

(about the pics, not my statement)

coz dinner is always late.