Well lookie here. New journal for a new country. I have nothing to write about getting to or from airports, into or out of airports, or any normal travel stuff. I’m happy to have left Thailand behind me, because I didn’t much enjoy it, though I think it would be very unfair of me to say it’s not worth visting, or that it’s a “bad” country, whatever that might mean. The circumstances of my travels, and the things I chose to prioritize, coupled with certain details about Bangkok transportation, as well as the circumstances around my stay on Koh Lanta colored everything about my time there. The sole bright spot…. that’s a lie. It’s not the sole bright spot, but it is perhaps the brightest of few (it was also the last point of departure from Thailand, and so remains freshest in my mind), was my all too short stay, one night, in Krabi. However, I will say the hostel was not cheap by Southeast Asia standards, but beauty, and cleanliness, and a/c costs. The owner though, I will say, while not being unfriendly, wasn’t particularly warm. The digs made up for that, however. And the surrounding landscape. I was two miles outside of Krabitown proper, as it’s called, in an area that while still being fairly urban was far enough from the center of town that there was still plenty of grasslands with cows and chickens roaming. And the locals were friendly enough, and the whole section of town, the whole two streets I wandered along briefly, all too briefly, had just such a wonderful, friendly atmosphere, one might even say of joviality. Yes, Krabi, I must say, is one place I would like to revisit for longer.
So here I am in Kuala Lumpur, staying and working at a questionable hostel, one in which I am right now feeling very much ambivalent about. If the manager was even remotely friendly I would feel more comfortable, but speaking to him is like speaking to a corpse; I’m talking to someone completely apathetic. I mean, at least a corpse has a good reason for not caring. It is without working organs, without blood, without hormones, without a central nervous system (or any kind of nervous system). It’s not that it doesn’t care, it’s that it can’t care. I dunno. Maybe Malik is a corpse. He’s a rather fresh looking zombie if that’s the case. Anyway, the city seeems great, and the fact that nearly everyone speaks at least a bit of english, and many signs are in english, and I am much more comfortable making my way around foreign countries now, should make it easy for me to get by here, even if the work exchange is awful. HOWEVER, it has not even been a full twenty-four hours yet. The job should prove simple enough, and the rest of the time I will have to myself. Besides, as I told Huyen, I haven’t signed any contracts. If it’s really so terrible I can just leave. That’s really kind of a last resort though.
Mostly all I’ve done today is ponder about this hostel deal, transit from place to place—hostel in Krabi to airport to airport to hostel in Kuala Lumpur—and wander around KL a bit. Mainly ate some really cheap claypot chicken and rice at a stall on a street in Chinatown, and wandered along a portion of Jalan Petaling, which is a well known street market with nothing to differentiate it from any other street market in S.E. Asia, where one can find knock-off name brands at very cheap prices and very low quality. Everything from purses to belts to shoes shirts hats sunglasses wallets jewelry perfumes…. all underneath brightly colored tarps, or not, depending on what the sun is doing, or not doing. Everything rolled up at the end of the night and taken away to a garage somewhere, or likely a house or apartment where the owner/renter of the stall lives. These sort of streets can be fun to take a stroll down because one never knows who or what he may see or find. Besides that there are almost always street food vendors scattered throughout, and always around entrances and exits. It’s a good time as long as too many sellers aren’t trying to pull you into their “shop,” the rebuffing of whom can get a bit exhausting after a short while.