• In Malaysia, the very worst insult is to call someone impolite. Not only do the people there have a certain sense of decorum, they’re also some of the most gracious hosts we’ve encountered, and we wanted to take a minute to introduce you to some of them.

  • This here is Tay Kim Whai, who owns a liquor store on Jalam Kampung Pantai. Most liquors in Malaysia are lychee-flavored, and Tay Kim is a connoisseur.

  • Sherman, who owns a shop on 2nd Cross Street between Heeren and Jonker, started practicing martial arts at the Malacca Ching Wu Athletic Association when he was seventeen. The school had these great set routine posters on the walls, but they were falling apart, so Sherman took it upon himself to make new ones. They turned out so well that he decided to sell some of them at his store, where you can also find hand-painted maps and antiques.

  • Just down the street from Sherman’s shop is another belonging to Ray Tan Aik Leng, who also goes by the aliases “Ah Long” and “Dragon.” Ray Tan is one of the few people still making traditional Chinese paper-cuttings by hand, and we purchased as much of his beautiful work as we could!

  • While Sherman and Ray Tan both have ancestors who came from China, our friend G. Devarajah traces his roots back to Kalingapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh, India. He is what’s called a “Chitti,” a descendant of South Indian traders who arrived in Malaysia as early as the 15th century and intermarried with the native Malay community. G. Devarajah’s own family arrived in Malaysia in 1414.

  • Last, but certainly not least, Ms. Dorisse Tan and her husband own a lovely bar tucked away on a side street off Jin Bunga Raya. The business has been in their family for five generations, and the beautiful solid wood bar itself is almost 100 years old. Mr. and Mrs. Tan have four children and five grandchildren.

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