Jimmy the Optometrist

Malacca, Malaysia

In Malacca, we asked a man for directions, and two minutes after he sent us on our way, he looped back around the block to intercept us, shouting that, actually, his shop was nearby and if we wanted to wait for him to drop off his groceries he’d give us a ride to our destination.

As it turned out, he was from Guangzhou (my family’s hometown) and an absolute fount of Malaccan historical knowledge. Upon hearing we are only here for a day and only had plans to eat at Jonker Walk:

… he took us on a blitzkreig tour of the town before dropping us off, pointing out the restaurant at which NOT to have Malacca’s famous chicken rice balls because it is often recommended to tourists but doesn’t actually do them that well…

…waiting for us as we climbed to the top of a fortress that had a view of Indonesia (can’t say I could see it)…

… and bringing us to the one spot in front of which we had to take a photo otherwise we might as well have not been to the town at all…

He ended up late to an appointment he had with a patient and we ended up with promises to send friends to find him should anyone we know ever visit Malacca — as well as promises to return because one day is surely not enough to cover everything there is to see in his hometown.

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  • Gregg

    The kindness of strangers is a joy to be savored and returned in kind. Great story and pics.

  • Ray

    if you were from out of new york and found me, i would do the same !