The big muddy

Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
Trip End Apr 01, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Thursday, January 25, 2007

In Delhi, Beijing, and Hong Kong I pretty much had a place to stay and an internship of some sort waiting for me upon arrival. Despite repeated attempts, I had no such luck in Malaysia and rocked up on Kuala Lumpur (KL) with bags in-hand, a short-term reservation at a guesthouse, and no real plan of any sort. The NGOs that I contacted never responded, and the housing situation was looking a bit dicey. In what would be an introductory lesson into Malaysian culture, almost all the online housing ads I came across were quite specific in terms of the gender, religion, and often even race of the hopeful tenant. Needless to say, I was the odd man out, and it didn't help matters that I only planned to be around for six weeks or so.

I'd originally intended on three months in Malaysia, but I arrived late due to prolonged southeast Asian adventures and decided to check out early for a number of reasons, too boring and over-thought to go into here. To simplify matters further, I decided almost immediately that I didn't like KL all that much. I can't completely explain why. Maybe I was spoiled by Hong Kong, but it just didn't feel like a hospitable, enjoyable environment in which to spend any extended amount of time. Finally, since my only real contact there was an academic department at the University of Malaysia, and they post a lot of their materials on-line, I decided that there really wasn't much impetus for me to stick around. So I played tourist for a few days and started looking for a place to live outside of KL. In short order I lucked upon an inexpensive apartment in a quiet little beach town just a ferry ride away from one of Malaysia's premier island resorts. Why not?
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