Malaysia Part 2
This time we went to a historic colonial island, which was much smaller and more touristy.
At our second stop on the cruise, we went to a historic trading city. Turns out most of Malaysia's history is all about trading, which is how they ended up with so many different cultures there all living together. It was really obvious to see it in this smaller town!
We signed up for a walking tour of the old city, and it ended up being just right for us, other than the fact that they expect you to not use the bathroom for the entire thing. Clearly, they don't get many kids on this tour. But it's just so cool to have a tour guide to a place; they're usually local and they know so many little interesting tidbits of history.
Anyway, he took us around and showed us the colonial fort and old town hall and all that. But the funniest thing was that after he was done with the colonial buildings, he stared to take us to the religious buildings. First was the oldest church in town. That was cool. Then was the oldest Chinese temple in town. Also cool.
About the time we arrived at the oldest mosque in town, I suddenly wondered if we were going to go to a building for every major world religion? Turns out that was pretty much correct. After the mosque, he brought us to a Hindu temple. Each one had over 100 years of history on the island and they also each had a current vibrant congregation. It was so funny to see representations from all those major world religions coexisting there for so long.
It was also kind of cool because there were people from all over in our tour group, and each time we went to a different religious building, different people would get excited and, depending on the religion, go in and make a prayer. I just felt like, I've been in Asia for a really long time, but I've only lived in homogenous places. It was a very different experience to be in Asia, but in a place that was so thoroughly a mixture of different Asian cultures.
While we were on the tour, E somehow became instant best friends with another little girl her age from Singapore. They were so cute walking together and chatting quietly about their lives! By the time the tour ended, they had worked out a time to meet up together in the kids program, and that was the beginning of a wonderful discovery! They spent a lot of time after that in the kids program, and H and I really enjoyed the unexpected down time!