Sometimes it's the little things - take sidewalks for example.
Leaving our guesthouse (in a historic building in the Unesco World hertitage town of Melaka) it's two steps down, jump the culvert and.... you are in the street! The first day, we waited patiently for the one way traffic flow to stop before making the jump. The second day, we waited for the traffic to slow before jumping the culvert. By the third day, we didn't care what the traffic was doing, we just jumped the culvert. We slowly realized that car drivers also realized there were no sidewalks and were prepared for people constantly jumping the culvert into traffic. That said, with a motorcycle passing a car that is passing you, who is sandwiched in-between a parked car and all the other mayhem, it reminds you just how handy sidewalks can be at times!
We ended up at the "locals" pub on our second night. Tomas was drawn to it by the pool table, Julia was drawn to it for the outside tables on a quiet street and a real local flair. By the time Julia returned from fetching the camera, and the whole jumping the culvert thing, Tomas had settled into a conversation with the locals, and one Brit who had recently moved to Melaka from Goa, India. Eventually Tomas moved inside to the pool table and Julia continued the conversation with a retired professor, a philosopher, a doctor and a few entrepreneurs. Needless to say, we eventually extracted ourselves around midnight and thankfully found a place to get some dinner.
Now there was no easy day the next day as Tomas had a swim lesson with a local youngster and a fantastic translator named Lim. Julia went along as well - it's not every day you get to swim in an outdoor olympic sized pool in Malaysia - for 60 cents!