Local Heart, Global Soul

November 4, 2012

A Surprise That Almost Takes the Wind Out of Our Sails…

Filed under: HISTORY,Landmarks,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After we passed on foot under the gaze of the fearsome dragon that confronted us then we entered the city, we then had to cross a river and a bridge to complete the short distance to Dutch Square.

Now we have a chance to check out something that made Himself and I burst out laughing as we got a fleeting glance of it  from the coach on the way into town, actually we should have been at least a little prepared for what we had seen: First, Dutch Square isn’t called Dutch Square for nothing… The Dutch were in control of Melaka from 1641  until 1825  so it was fairly certain that there would probably be influences of some sort left behind.

Secondly, on this trip to New Zealand we have had an uncanny habit of stumbling across things with an almost kitch-more-Dutch-than-the-Dutch flavour, everything from bakeries to a very decent sized windmill in the small New Zealand town of Foxton.

So when Himself and I sat in the coach and suddenly saw a very Dutch looking windmill by the side of the road we burst out laughing.  It sits between the busy road and the river and is nestled into an ornamental garden.

Immediately it’s clear that it’s a complete tourist magnet, in fact getting photos of it is harder than I imagined,  if you stand on the pavement next to it you can’t get much of it in the photo:  if you stand as far back as you can on the pavement  it’s not much better: you are perilously close to the traffic and people keep walking in front of you, if you stand on the other side of the road you can get it into your photo but along with supplemental extras that consist of  trishaws, cars and motorcycles going past on the busy road, not to mention the almost constant stream of tourists having their portraits taken in front of it.

I waited patiently for multiple couples taking the obligatory “her-with-windmill” and then changing places to photograph  “him-with-windmill” and if there was a friend in tow, and possible extra “him-plus-her-with-windmill”, then there were larger family groups, parents taking photos of their kids by it and even what looked like an entire tour party group shot.

Himself and the kids had gone off with Velveteen to search out a joke rubber cow as a gift for her Mother at the nearby Market by the Stadhuijs (Town Hall). Velveteen’s family have a wonderful tradition of doing joke gifts for Birthdays and her Mother already has (and loves) the joke rubber chicken ! (yes, they found what they were looking for too!)

Since I’m walking slower and stopping to take photos, they have gone ahead and I’ll meet up with them a short while.

This certainly doesn’t look anything like a working windmill, it’s too small to mill flour (yes they do have mills this small in the Netherlands, usually found in farmers fields next to a canal and they are just very basic water pumps) but the Dutch ones this size are generally far more plain than this one so I suspect that this one is not so old and is here as a tourist attraction to complete the  Dutch Square’s  “Dutch flavour”.

It seems ironic that we Dutchies when we go abroad still can’t escape the windmills, not even in the Southern Hemisphere or in Asia… oh well, we’ll just have a laugh and not let it take the wind out of our sails.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The river from the bridge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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