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30.09.2010

Getting to Cambodia Without Paying for a Visa and to Siem Reap in a Comfortable Mercedes... Aslo Free of Charge

I spent about 36 hours in a bus travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap. Gosh, that was a ride! I must say, though, that this time the journey was nice and smooth, I had to change buses only twice and I didn't have to travel at nihht alone with some dodgy people dropping me off for the bus. The vehicles were really nice and comfortable so I was even able to get some decent amount of sleep. It was just my arse that was sore after sitting too much. It really hurt me as hell.
I had originally planned to stop in Bangkok for a day or two but then was dropped at the bus station from which buses to the Cambodian border depart. The bus to the border turned to be leaving in 30 minutes, so I just thought that I might as well hop in it and go. And so I did. The ride, which was five hours, cost me 227 Bat, which is nothing. If I was going with a travel agency, I'd probably have to pay around USD30 to Siem Reap. And I went for about six bucks, which is really nice. So I advise anyone who is planning to travel around Thailand/Cambodia to use local  transport, especially in Thailand. It's really well developed, cheap and not so difficult to figure schedules out.
Got on the bus, got my sandwiches from a bus company, unfolded my seat and very comfotably started the journey to the border.
On the bus I met a Japanese girl who was going to Siem Reap as well. We didn't talk much, just exchanged few words about the arrival time. Satani is leaving in Cambodia with her husband, as I learnt later, who co-ordinates TV projects for Japanese broadcasters and currenty he si doing something for Japanese TV in Laos. Before she told me all this, however, we got to the border town, Ayatuya... or something like this and together took a tuk-tuk to the check point, which Satani offered. Cool! Off we wnet to the border.


And now strange things started happening...
Poipet, the border crossing, Cambodian side


We went through Thai passport control. I'm already on the other side and I know that I need a visa so I'm looking for a place to apply for one. I've foung an office, rcking into it.The officer gives me a form to fill, I'm asking a few questions about my visa and regualtions... No, I can't get six-month business visa on arrival, just one month one. To extend it I'll have to go Phnom Phenn. Ok, cool, I'm fine with that... I'm applying for a business visa, right? To get one, the requirement is that I need a latter from an institution confirming that I'm actually entering the country on business porposes. I don't have such a letter and I'm actually surprised that the oficers need one from me... Finding out that I don't have any documents with me, the officer told me that getting me through will cost me additional USD. So, for all proceedings I'm supposed to pay USD30. And I'm fine with it. So, I'm filling the form, the passport is already taken from me. I just need to fill my arrival card and I can go. But before I'm handing theofficer a twenty-dollar note thinking that I've given him fifty bucks. When he realizes he comes to meand says that I've given him to little and he want ten bucks more. Oh, I'm sorry and I'm giving him fifty dollars. So, it's done. I've got my passport back but not a sign of my change. I'm approaching the officer asking for my twenty dollars back. I can tell that he is a bit confused, surprised with my requests. |He quielty confesses that: "I don't have small money". I'm replying that I don't care, I already have my passport in my hand, that I don't care and I want my change.



Right... Can you believe? There is no USD20 note in the whole place, at the border crossing where all the transactions are held in dollars. No money. I repeated again that I want my change back and to my surprise the officer is giving me my fifty dollars BACK saying :"It's ok, ok.... Just go". What? Now I was surprised but decided to do as I was told before che changes his mind. Went out from the office, holding my pasport in massive disbelief... started walking faster and faster, almost running to the passprta and visa control counter. And I'm thinking: "Ok, I'll probably be asked to cash there..." and was ready to pay. But NO!!!! NO, NO, NO. Nobody asked for anything and so I was let in Cambodia saving USD 30. Not bad hey? :-)
But this is not the end.
For all this time, and the whole event with visa took around 10 minutes, Satani, my Japanese friend, is somewhere around. Now, we are at the Cambodian side already and now she is telling me that if I want to I can go to Siem Reap with her. She was waiting for a driver to arrive and pick her up. Really? Is it really happening? Not only had I entered the country for free but alsno now I'm being offered a ride which the offer will save me soooo much time. I s it really happening? It was indeed. The driver arrived and we were taken to Siem Reap in a very comfortable A?C Mercedes-Benz van. The whole car just for us. Not bad, hey? :-)
In Siem Reap we exchanged our phone numbers as I'm planning to invite Satani for a coffee or something nice to eat and this way thenak her for making my life so much easier.



And yey!!!! I'm in Siem Reap. Was dropped in the Pub Street area to have a quick look at. Went to Funky Monkey for a beer, left my heavy backpack there and went to Aqua - the swimming pool where I expected to see John. Wasn't disappointed.
What a surprise, hey? I said that I'll be back :-)
Then John called Annie and after a welcome beers and a joint, I went to check in Annie's. She took me out then for a few more beers and local traditional AMOK (I'll write more about food later). I was introduced to some new arrivals in Siem Reap, people who arrived after I had left. Anyway, it'll take me some time to catch up but the begining was/is great.
It was and still is a bit surreal that I'm here. I couldn't be happier. The house is as beautiful as I remember it... my room has an AC unit, a fan if I didn't like A/C, a big comfortable bed... what else could I ask for? Perfect environment to start going with my work. But not today. Today is a day to roam the town and check the place out for new pubs, restaurants, hotels, evants so that I can write about it all here.


Cambodia... here I am :-)

25.09.2010

Questions from Malaysians and my Contemplations about Stuff, Plus Some Press

Interesting here is that 89% of people I talk to is interested in: firstly, my marital status, secondly my age and thirdly, my confession.
It's just right after I pronounce my name when the question pops up: "Are you married?" "No", I respond. Hmmm, they look at me surprised and ask me why it is that I haven't tied a knot yet. Well, then I go round in circles... you know, it hasn't happend to  me yet... What am I supposed to tell them? Should I tell them that each time I hooked up with somebody there has always been something wrong from the very beginning (apart form one time in high school)? I was either too young, or he was too old; timing not right... circumstances.... somebody else interfered... not enough faith that things will work out... too fast, too slow, bad vibes, horoscopes not compatible... Should I tell them that basically I attract men who are incapable of making any serious commitments telling me, that's from recent experiences: "Let's not plan. You never know what the future holds." Sure, for fuck sake, nobody knows. 'You never know what the future holds'- a stupid-childish-get lost mate excuse. So what do I say? I say that I'm too young to get married :-)

'How old are you?' Twenty-seven, going twenty-eight. Uuuuuuu, they look at me surprised and scratch their heads scrutinizing my face, checking me out top-bottom. Too young?! 'Girl,'they seem to want to tell me', you are miles behind the hills already!!! Wake up!!!!!!!!! To young, right. And so they share their stories: got married at the age of 18, have three or four children and they are happy. Actually, I was tempted to write that they are not but people I've met are happy. And I can see it. Maybe they think less with their heads and more with their hearts. Whatever it is, they can't believe that at my age I haven't got a family. I can't believe it myself, to be honest.

I've never said that I don't want to raise the family. I want. A lot. Yes, I dream about a little house in the country, a garden, a cat sitting on a fence, children running around and me sitting in a rocking chair waiting for my beloved hubby to come back from work. And so what? So why do I feel like an idiot? Why do I think that this dream is soooo outdated, naive and childish. And yes, I know that a little house will turn into something like a sad block of flats without a garden but... but a dream is a dream.
I feel grown up enough to have such a dream. I've done things, I'm still doing them. I've had enough time to find out things about myself and the world. I'm ready to start another chapter in my life. Being a teenager for the whole life is not fun, I think. Hmmm, anyway I feel like an idiot writing it. And why? Because that's not what one should say. No, no, no... It's too serious. And we don't like serious there days.

I was supposed to go on to the third question about the confession but... but I'll return to it later. The previous two drained me a bit and a headache started. :-)

A few updates from the press.

1. About the abused maid from Indonesia

The accused couple claimed trial two days ago. They face charges for human trafficking, for which maximum sentence id 20 years behind the bars. 

Governments in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur stated that the case is a criminal case and not government-to-government issue. At the same time, the government in Jakarta thanked the Malaysian officials for handling the case so quickly.

2. DRUGS

In a nutshell: they are illegal. The government and the police are very serious about any psychoactive substances. For distributing drugs, under Segtion 39B of the Drugs Act 1952, there is a MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY through hanging. So drugs here is a big no-no. Recently I have read about two cases related to the issue: one about a rais organised but the anti-drugs police, a raid on a durian plantation. Lots of stuff was fund - I haven't got a newspaper with me now, but mostly synthetics. The other case - a student caught... Poor guy will have lots of trouble.
So guys, if you think about using in Malaysia - think twice. Not a good idea.


3. Education


I wrote before that Malaysia aims at improving their educational system so students become competitive and knowledgeable workforce domestically and internationally. Here is a comment about domination of Western theories and ideas about politics, economy and communication. The comment was made by former prime minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when addressing more than 500 students at University Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim). He said that Western political, economical and communicative theories failed to deliver best solutions to the world's problems and that Muslims shout strive to come up with their own solutions. "Because we are so tied up with these Western philosophies, the world is faced with moral, social and economic crises. We have begun to feel that what we have inherited and what is taught in Islam is not appropriate and outdated. We even feel lowly when faces with theories and thoughts from the West, although theirs are not religion-based," said the ex-prime minister. He also called for making passion for knowledge, exploration and research adding that if these disappear, Muslims will be colonized.



There's soooo much more to it but I'll finish here as the clock is ticking, the Internet is relatively expensive and my head is going to explode in a sec, so I'm off to get some fresh air and a cigarette.... What?! It just doesn't make any sense. Whatever.

24.09.2010

Some news from Malaysia. Talks of the day - from local English language newspapers

Having calculated everything, with deep sadness and regret, I conclude that I cannot afford to jungle. Bummer!!! Well, you can't have everything, can you? I'm leaving soon to Peneng instead from where I'm hoping on the bus to Bangkok. I was told it is a direct connection but... I somehow don't believe it.

I've been here for more than two weeks. Got stuck a bit really. I's been a great holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city but... It's time to head Cambodia as I have things to do there and time flies. I'm planning a long stay there but... we all know how it is and how one can get lazy, then postpone things... and in the end it turns out that the deadline is approaching and the panic starts. I want to avoid this panic and do things on time. Slowly but surely.

The jungle will wait. I will have to. Anyway, I'll be coming back to Asia every so often so nothing has been lost(silver lining).

I'll be in Penang early in the morning and I'm trying to find somewhere cheap to stay online but it doesn't loo pretty... :-) Very expesive is this Malaysia counrty. Expensive but sooooo interesting, indeed.


MALAYSIAN HEADLINES

On of my favourite things right behind smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and sex :-) (although the order should be reversed) is reading newspapers, which the activity is even more interesting in a foreign country. It gives a bit of the insight into what the nation is talking about. So, I'll try to brief you shortly in what Malaysia is talking about these days.


1. 1Malaysia Campagin

There are three major ethinc groups here: Malay, Chinese and Hindu. Their cultures, religions and food mingle with one another but the country isn't free from ethnic problems and inequalities. Thus, the 1Malaysia concept and campaign was introduced.


"1Malaysia is intended to provide a free and open forum to discuss the things that matter deeply to us as a Nation. It provides a chance to express and explore the many perspectives of our fellow citizens. What makes Malaysia unique is the diversity of our peoples. 1Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future. I hope this website will initiate an open and vital dialogue exploring our Malaysian identity, our purpose, and direction. I encourage each of you to join me in defining our Malaysia and the role we must play in its future. Each of us – despite our differences – shares a desire for a better tomorrow. Each of us wants opportunity, respect, friendship, and understanding." (from http://www.1malaysia.com.my/about/about-1malaysia/)


Posters with slogans calling for creating a unified nation seem to be everywhere: in the streets, squares, public buildings. All the effort is to make people feel Malays; not Chinese, not Hindu or Muslim but most of all Malays. In the press people from various groups discuss how to achieve this unity and all the eyes are at teachers and educators who are supposed to talk to and teach students about tolerance.

2. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival.

In Kuala Lumpur the main attractions were organized in the Chinatown area: dance shows, exhibitions and of course mooncake eating.
But the festival is not only about eating but also about buying lanterns or building them. So, this year, as one could read in one of the KL's dailies: "Octopus lanterns sell out." This year for the first time ever, lanterns came in the octopus-like shapes and sold out like hot cakes (mooncakes - people had to queue for hours to get these). It seems also, as the New Straits Times suggests, that old-fashioned traditional candle-lit lanterns are back in a game. "Battery operated lanterns were popular some years back, but people seem to appreciate handmade lanterns more nowadays." Apparently, a traditional lantern strikes the better mood.

3. Malaysia-Indonesia Crisis due to abused Indonesian maid who was found in Penang

So there are people from Indonesia coming to work here and one of the common professions for women is tending rich Malay's houses. This unfortunate case when revealed cause a lot of tension between Kuala Lumpur and Jakrta. "Biker horde tells Malaysian envoy to go home." There was a protest organized in front of the Malay Embassy in Jakarta. The participants said the they are giving the Malay envoy two days to leave the country. The protesters  threatened to go to shopping centres and ask Malaysian tourists to leave the country. The police assisted the protesters and bar their entry to the shopping malls. The governments are investigating the case. A couple from Panang, who hired the maid, was arrested on the September 19th.

4. Paris Hilton is not coming to KL....

We could read last night that paris Hilton cancelled her trip to Kuala Lumpur due to unexpected trouble at the airport in Japan.

Hilton was denied entry to the Country of Cherry Blossoms due to drug offences. Japan has very sever laws when it comes to drugs and anybody previously penalized for drugs-related incidents will be banned from the country. In the past celebrities such as the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney had problems with admission to Japan. It is said that Paris stood a chance to get permission from the justice minister had she informed authorities about her arrival earlier. But the princess decided to just show up a day after being convicted. As a result of all this fuss, Paris left Asia and cancelled her trips to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, where she was to introduce her new lines of clothes and perfume. On her departure she twitted: Going home now. So disappointed to miss my fans in Asia. I promise to come back soon. I love you all. Love Paris xoxox."

OMG!!! Paris, you've surely disappointed masses. NOT.

And what is going on in our wild country?

23.09.2010

Melaka, Malacca... a day in the town

I was supposed to go to the jungle but my friend Annis disappeared for two days without telling me where he was going. The problem was the I had the keys to the house and I didn't want to leave the house. So I stayed in for the whole day yesterday, which was nice after the two whole days spent in Kuala Lumpur running around the city. Today though, I woke up and decided that I have to do something no matter what and took off to Malacca. It's only an hour bus ride from Seremban, where I'm staying so I as well could always come back if Annis called me.
Good decision!!! Had a great time, took some nice pictures, which I'll upload later. History? Well, if anybody interested find out in Wikipedia, there lot's of info on the net :-)

Everybody is really friendly here in Malaysia. I guess I like it here more than in Thailand which the country got so much spoilt by tourists that they don't care any more. Here taxi drivers don't nag you, you don't want to go, you don't go - just say it and nobody will follow you, which at times is strange... all in all you get used to this Asian-lady, lady tuk-tuk style after being here for a while. In Cambodia, when I finally get there, I'll have a lot of pestering for sure.

 I'm so happy that I'm here. And I'm even happier that I'm doing all these things by myself. Of course, sometimes it wuold be nice to have somebody to talk to, but then... well, people will approach me and talk, so actually the problem is solved. I have a voice recorder on me too - when worst comes to worst, I can always talk to myself, can't I? Travelling solo is good. It gives you the feeling that you can do things yourself. It tests your patience and stamina, your mental strenght. You start believing in your abilities: you have to face some challenges, you are responsible for yourself. Nobody here. Just you... Just me. Without a map even.

Travelling without a map

This is maybe not the best idea but gives you some thrills. I didn't have a map of Kuala Lumpur and managed to explore the city. It's good to read some thing on the Net, though. It definitely saves time but then... I ask people, students usually. Or I stumble on some sites and here we go... a nice surprise. Something interesting. But basically, apart from the Internet people are my sources of information. I talk to them when the wait for buses, in temples, in the street, in shops, everywhere. And they are willing to talk, which is fantastic. But if somebody doesn't like getting lost and roaming around, a map will do and a guidebook. But... no matter what, there must be some kind of a plan. My plan is to get to this National Park and cross the world's longest suspended bridge. Maybe tomorrow will be the day :-)? Me don't know it yet.

I can't wait Cambodia though. Cambodia, Cambo, Bodia... Angkor... Mmmmmm....

18.09.2010

Shopping in Malaysia

Thailand was cheap but here prices are the same as at home. I went shopping a few times already and to my horror I spent more than I'd  ever expected to spend in SEA,

So if anyone is interested here are exapmles of prices (1RM=1PLN)

- 300g minced chicken meat - 8.15RM
- 4 prawns - big ones - 11.02 RM
- 4 tomatoes - 2.30 RM
- a small coconut milk - 1.50RM
- tom yum paste - 3.40 RM
- cabbage (medium size) - 4.00 RM

The shopping was done in Tesco, which here is called JUSCO.

Eating out is cheaper a bit than cooking at home and that's why we prefer cooking home. Though, sometimes Annis brings some Indian food for a change. People here really know how to prepare curry, masalas and all that stuff that back home cost a fortune. I've learnt how to cook an Indian curry - I'm adding the recipe to my list of cusine from SEA. I can't wait to cook it for friends.

Today is my turn to cook again!!! :-) Meat balls on the menu.
Cheers everybody!

16.09.2010

A trip to Malaysia

It was supposed to be a direct bus from BKK to KL. It was supposed to be there at 7 p.m on the September 12th. It was...
I got on the bus on time with seven other people who were going to the islands. I was the only one heading KL which didn't bothe me too much as I still believed I was going there on one and the same bus. We started at 7 p.m on the 9/11. Bags in the storage and off we go. I was tired so I fall asleep immediately, the we stopped for some food and a cigarette. In the bus again. Then at 4 am the driver woke us up and quick, quick off the bus. What the hell? So I knew that there is no direct bus to KL any more. We are waiting. Meanwhile the people travelling with me discover that their bags were searched through. Mine as well. But nothing was taken as there wasn't anything of any value for out Thai friends. But the feeling wasn't particularly comfortable. It's like somebody burgles your home... So we are waiting. I'm going to a lady at the counter of someting that was supposed to resemble tourist agency and asked after my bus. It'll be in 20 minutes I heared. OK!!! Cool! But the bus didn't come. A pickup drove by an really ugly, old, one-eyed Thai did and I was asked to get in a car. What?! Sure you didn't confuse me with somebody else? Am I really supposed to go with this man? My mother told me once never to get in a car with strange men, especially at 4.30 am somewhere in SEA. It's pitch black dark, humid, the only sounds you hear are crickets and dogs barking in the distance. Well. what the hell, I thought. I need to go, I need to go. If he wants to kill me, he will kill me anyway :-) Luckily the driver wasn't interested at all in killing, raping or stealing. Dropped me off at yet another agency. What? I was ordered to wait to be picked up to the bus station. Before that, however, I was scammed. Actually I allowed this. So the lady told me that I won't get to Malaysia without a return ticket, which, of course, I have to purchase from her. A return ticket? I've never read anything about a need on one. I resisted at first but she was so persistent that I gave up and bought it. Shit!!! I knew that any word she was saying was true. Where is my common sense? Anyway, I ended up being escorted to yet another waiting place, where I was told that the BUS departs at 6.30 so I had an hour to kill. In a nutshell, there wasn't any bus. There was a mini van that didn't leave the city until if got full, of course.
Will I be in KL at 7 pm? No way!!!, somebody told me. OK. No problem. That all happened in Surat Thani.
Ok, I'm in a van happy that the journey had started again and I was moving forward. Are we going to KL now? NO!!!!! The next stop is in Hat Yai, the town 4 hours from the Malaysian border. Hmmm. Another 4 hours in a nini van in the company of people from the Czech and a guy from Alaska. The time flew quiclky. At the border it was crazy!!! Apparently the ramadan had finished few days before and Muslims from Malaysia were travelling to and from Thailand going or returning from their holiday. Hmmm, so many things have to be taken into consideration when traveling. I'd never come up with an idea of checking a Muslim calendar. It was a mayhem at the border but surprisingly it took us only 2 hours to get through. Happy that I'm already on the other side I'm asking: are we going to KL now? Hahahah, no.
Phanang is the next stop. We'll be there at 4 6 pm. Aha. And when in Kl? Nobody knows. I wasn't so much worried about the delay but about the fact that Annis, my Malaysian friend, told me he'll be waiting for me in KL.
It's late afternoon and we're getting to Phanang. What about KL? The bus to KL at 22.00pm and in KL at 4 am on the 13th. At least I got something concrete. Luckily I wasn't alone. I met Olivier who was going to Borneo through KL and again the time flew fast on chatting, eating and smoking cigarettes. Well, I was smoking. Of course the bus was late. In the end I got to KL in the morning and was picked up by Annis.

Clonclusions:
- there's no direct bus from BKK to KL
- be prepared for bags searching when on the bus
- be patient
- stay cool
- enjoy the experience.

I've been to Malaysia for 4 days now. I haven't seen much yet apart from everyday laife of my froend Annis and his fiance, which is the topic for next post.

I have the whole time in the world to read, sit and take notes. I can sleep as much as I want and I cook for my friend Polish cusine. Today we are having golabki. Last night Annis cooked Indian curry that took my breath away. The day before yesterday Annis's girlfriend cooked. And so we're finding a commomn platform in the kitchen.
Miss you all people there!!!!

10.09.2010

And some more





















Some poetry at the entrance to the MBK shopping centre in BKK

The young King at the back and a bus from Kho San Road to my lovely hostel
To the canals I was going.
In the canals people come and go. Talking about Michelangelo????
Water trains come and go.


Lots of clothes
And some more

The King is watching
The trip to the Ocean Centre was the worst spent money ever but... it was worth to see this lovely creature.
MBK
I've found you, NEMO!!! Too bad that in prison.

09.09.2010

Fighting with a cocroach

I have many things to write about but the cocroach fight that I've just been through seems to be the number one of the day. So, as I wrote on my FB wall, I'm staying in one of the shabbiest places ever. The hostel is far form de luxe. My room has a table, fan and a very simple mattress. The bed liniens are stained but hopefully clean. No windows. Reminds me of a room in Cambodia U rented two years ago at the begining of my stay in Siem Reap. There's no light in the toliet, which causes some troubles at night. Touching the seat is an option but... you just squat and hope that you haven't shitted the place all over. I bought a light bulb last night but there's a problem with cords and nobody seems to be interested in fixing it. Oh well.
But it was supposed to be about the cocroach.
I'm coming back from the town, opening the door and it's there. A big fucker with a meter long feelers. What do I do? I run downstairs and ask for a repellent. No such a thing I need to get one form Seven Eleven. Going there, getting the stuff, comong back... Being afraid of opening the door, not mentioning facing the enemy. Opened the door, it's gone. I know that the fucker is hiding away. Where? Anywhere... It can be in my backpack, under the talble... Can anyone help me please? Luckily the somebody is coming. I'm asking for the assistance. 'You know', I'm saying,' I know that it's ridiculous but I'm bloody scared or roaches and can you, please, kill the thing for me?'. The guy looks at me with sympathy, enters the room and sparys the roach to death. Thanks God! It's dead. It was two hours ago and I haven't retured to the room. I think I'll be sleeping on a bar tonight. I know that I should be used to all insectst by now but.... I just hate them and the are really big. What can I do?
I've sparayed the whole room. It's probably for nothing but gives me some consolation.

What else?

I went for a walk around the town today. I decided to get lost in Bangkok and actually I've managed to do so. I walked the streets not much walked by tourists. I went to a flea market where people sell everything possible. I found a shop where buddahs are produced, I saw a shop where paitings of the royal family are paited in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to shops here it's wery similar to what I saw in China and Vietnam. Streets specialize in selling one given thing. So, I found a Buddah shop and following this there were tens of similar businesses. Next street - furniture, next one - uniforms for policmen and miltary officers and so on. Lots and lots of small factories actually. Farctories which in houses. People live and work there.
On my way back home, when I was trying to find a way home, I encountered people working out in a square. That's what I remeber from Phuket: everyday at given time people gather and work out together. There are tens of them. Music blasts from loudspeakers, it looks fantastic. And Thai people are really good at aerobics.

I bought a ticket to Malayasia for the day after tomorrow. I'm going there for two weeks to see Annis, a guy I met in Cambodia two year ago. I'm planning to stay with his family and see how people in Malaysia live. I don;t know if I'll manage to do much more than this due to a very limited budget. I have to get to Cambodia and start earning money soon.



07.09.2010

Back to Asia 2010. Can anyone call my parents?

I spent five hours at the Kiev Airport waiting for my flight last night, not knowing when the plane will depart and luckily I had made some friends on a plane from Warsaw. Luckily as the woke me up to board as I fell asleep on a bench. The flight was smooth, I slept it through. The flight attendants'd wake me up for food and I continue sleeping. Woke up in Bankgok.  I can say that I love flying from now on.

Went through customs smoothly. At the desk I met Zenia, a girl from Ukraine who was looking for a comapny to get to the town. I had a plan to stay in a Silom district, which here is called a Grand Bangkok, but was told into going to the Overstay Hostel. I was supposed to take a public transport but ended up going on the semi-public shuttle bus from the airprty to the area of Kho San Road (150 BTH, 30 BTH=USD1). Got off the bus and scamming's started. 'Lady, lady taxi?'. We knew the address and also knew that it can't be far away from where we were but the taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers didn't give up in telling us that the hostel was far far away and that we needed to pay at least 500BTH. But we are well travelled smatr girls and called the owner of the hostel who told us that 50 BTH on a taxi is a max we should pay. Provided we found a taxi driver who'd take us 'on a meter'. Luckily we found one who didn't speak English. We said the name of the street, repeted a few times and sat there hoping that he understood. He did with the help from his friends and a ride worth of 80 BTH.
Getting of, meeting the owner:-) A guy from Israel, dreadlocked, his pants down so that everybody sees his pubic hair. Why not naked then? We are led to the room... not too bad but not too good as well but I've decided to be open to what BKK gives me. We decided that we are not taking a dorm but a room. Had buy a lock, were given and additionalbed and all this for 150BTH for two. Beggars are not choosers :-)
The are where we're staying is four kilometers from Kho San Road, far enough not to meet to many tourists and not to be nagged by streetvendors, which is really good. Went out for food, got local prices so everybody is happy.
And that's cool. When I got to the town I had a feeling that cthis is the place I really want to be. Asia is a place where I want to be. And so I've started thinking what I should do to stay here longer. I've realised that this is my place. I love palms and banana trees here. It will be difficult to stay in BKK but maybe Cambodia'll bring something  good and if not Cambodia then Vietnam. But Asia is the place.
Can anyone call my parents tonight at 58 6827078 and tell them I'm ok?


04.09.2010

I'll think about it tomorrow

It was very emotional today. Saying goodbye to the important ones is not an easy thing. After the days of being nagged about my going away, I guess everybody came to the conclusion that there's no use in doing that and I was left alone. What's more, I got loads of help from my dad who would serve me as a driver and take me to places so that I didn't have to use public transport. I'm not a driver and going to places by bus would be pain in the ass. So that wes really nice of him. Plus, I got financially supported as well, whch was a great help. THX DAD!

I spent the whole day with the family, we didn't talk much about what was to come. And then I asked my mom what she would like to tell me before I left and it started. She started to cry and I realized that she's just afraid the way a mother is afraid about her child. In fact she doesn't want to stop me, she knows that it's beyond her capabilities to do so - she's just worried. Mothers are there to worry, that's the part of their job. Mothers are there to love them and admire them for their strenght and ability to let us fly away. I know that my mom doesn;t like the fact that I'm going away but... on the other hand I know that deep, deep inside her she is proud of me. She's happy when I'm happy even if happiness means totalyy different things for us. She'll be happy knowing that I'm safe and safe I will be, which I woved.
We've done it before. They waved me goodbye two years ago but the emotions weren't any less intense. So lots of hugging, kissing and before I've noticed I was in a car going to Warsaw. I'll be missing the a lot: my parents, brothers, nephews and a niece, sisters-in-law, all of them. I love them lots. We don't always agree but the truth is that I know thet whatever happens I have a place to come back, which the fact gives me strenght and makes me believe that everything will be ok. I know that I have a family and friends who are with me, I'm a part of this whole network of people who care for me and who I care for.
And so it's really started now.
I should be packing things and looking for my gym trousers which have miracously disappeared again. I shouold repack my packpack and throw away all unnecessary shit I've taken but I'm so tired today that i'll follow a Scarlet O'Hara advice and think about it tomorrow.I'm too tired and emotionally drained. So I'll think about it all tomorrow.