ancient new modern history

by justine

the first part of the long leave commenced with a road trip to malacca. yes, we all roll our eyes at the little town that spawned, since the last count, 2,134,518 lomo photos and even more artsy fartsy DSLR shots. post-worked and posted to death. which is why the posse road trip was sorely missing one mr music and one miss rabbit (who scurried off to the less-travelled pulau ketam instead).

so malacca is, in the loosest sense, a home town of sorts. sketchy family history about supposed baba nyonya heritage, teochew wanderers touching points along the west coast, and the annual ching bing (qing ming to you) trip which i’ve never participated in, all tie me back to the state. plus i am head-over-heels for the lard-soaked chicken rice balls. probably the strongest proof of my heritage, methinks.

closed my eyes and picked two cameras to accompany me on the trip: the beloved LC-A+ and the paradoxically under- and over-rated golden half.

expired centuria dnp lends a rather strong purple haze to all photos (tested in a few trial rolls) which i’m not particularly fond of. i guess despite my occasionally pink hair, i’m a conventional girl at heart.


the weather was blazing, which just screamed for a fixed-speed toy cam and a tribe toyota brolley.

4201622953_51c74f2353how obliging.

overpriced baubles and the throngs of KLites aside, the town has also fascinated me with that delicious creepiness old abandoned buildings have. as you peek through a crack in a mildewed door, you start pondering the “whys” “hows” and especially the “whos” of this dilapidated shell of a house, even expecting to be greeted by an unblinking otherwordly eye (because that’s what always happens in the movies, ok).


these place are supposedly unclean but with my starbucks-numbed senses i couldn’t and haven’t felt a thing. maybe just a little imagined loss and despair which in all probability stems from me trying to inject some romanticism into my yuppie life.


still, annual pilgrimages to the place has made me a little sick (though we could pin that on the horrid horrid satay celup).

chicken rice balls. check. st paul’s church. check. techni trishaws. double and triple checked. eye on malaysia. maybe not. baba house. hmm. cendol. check. geographer. limau limau. jonker after 8pm. it’s as if time elbowed its way forward just to stand still.


a sparkling, gleaming white tomb of a 500-years dead and gone and forgotten malay warrior. i dare you to make sense of that.


but then again, i’m merely rambling, waiting for my hair to set. which it just has.  i wish i were a peranakan princess.