"Meow" Museum

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, June 13, 2003

Where else would you expect to visit a Cat Museum than in Kuching. Although my guidebook described it as a little kitsch I couldn't resist seeing the place for myself, especially as the building itself is quite interesting. The museum is north of the Sarawak river quite far from downtown Kuching and getting there by minibus costs between RM6 and RM10 (which is still cheaper than a taxi). The minibuses in Kuching operate by picking up and dropping off passengers along the way between a fare, so you can expect to see them passing by bus stops and asking any waiting passengers where they want to go. The normal buses in Kuching are not very reliable, hence the need for the "bus dance".

When asking for a ride to the Cat Museum the minibus driver first thought we wanted to go to the Kuching Museum (seeing as Kuching means cat in Malay) and we had to resort to asking for the "meow meow" museum while animating 'finger' ears. This reminded me of the visit to the Great Cat of Kuching statue when a passing motorist starting "meowing" at us as he drove by.

The museum was very novel, but the layout and ambience was more whimsical than historical. About ninety percent of the exhibits were oriented around popular culture (huge collection of Hello Kitty junk - sorry Nayyar) and there was even a Whiskas cat food display. There seem to be a lot of industry displays making their way into museums here, the Sarawak Museum had a large propaganda installation for Shell Petroleum.

Following a quick bite to eat at the Life Cafe (very hot soup) and then a whirlwind tour of the small one-room Chinese History Museum, it was onto Tops supermarket to stock up on food for trip to Bako National Park. As you wander around this place looking at all the weird food they pump out their own version of Y-M-C-A called (yes you've guessed it) T-O-P-S. I was particularly tickled by a brand of fizzy soft drink they stock called Kickapoo!

P.S. Congratulations to Emma and Simon on the birth of their son James.
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