Happy new year
Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
272Trip End Ongoing
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On the good news front I was given a Thai visa finally. I dropped the passport off along with the fee and the paperwork the day before and then had to wait until the next morning to pick it up....hopefully with a nice fresh visa stuck in there. I showed up on time the next day, all nervous and a jitter with the worries of being locked out of the country of my residence and the man standing at the gate with an automatic rifle didn't do much to settle me down. The line was short and proceeded orderly enough so you knew the Thai's weren't in charge of this particular aspect of the process. It finally came to my turn and the guard removed my passport out of a stack and showed me the visa, then handed me the holy grail of document identification......problems solved. Big weight off the shoulders and all that jazz and now I can enjoy being with my girlfriend, working and actually seeing my parents when they fly 9,000 miles to come see me. As Martha would say, this is a good thing. I got to thinking the other day about the parents big trip to Asia and I realized that this will really be the first time in my 32 years of life that me and the parents have hung out outside of the chicagoland area. Yeah we all went on a family vacation when I was 15 but they were very busy being with all the aunts and uncles and grandparents and I was wrapped up in trying to lose my virginity while in the warm climes of southern Florida (mission accomplished on that score) so I don't count that as spending quality time together. So here they come for the big visit...coming to see me on my home turf which should be very interesting considering what I know from my upbringing. I actually have plans to film my father at the Bangkok weekend market for 3 reasons. The first being a documentary I plan on making called "The rage of the elderly". The second being there is a good chance I can use the footage on a reality TV show along the lines of "America's funniest home videos" and of course the 3rd reason being that it may be needed in various court cases that stem from my father's intolerance of crowds and heat and tight spaces. Keep an eye out for the footage because it should be friggin hilarious.
So let me just recap this little trip for my viewing audience.........2 hour ferry+10 hour bus+8 hour bus+2 hour minivan +4 hour ferry+3 hour taxi + 2 hour flight + 8 hour bus to Thai border+6 hour bus +2 hour ferry......mix all that in with some moto taxi's, tuk tuk rides, quality time at 2 different embassies and over watching a couple of heroin hazes and you can really appreciate the last 9 days of my life. Can someone please just kill me? Or at least give me some kind of citation for not going postal and killing a random bus driver. If it wasn't for my parents coming next month, I don't think I would leave my island for the next 3 months. I'm tired of running around and dealing with the rigors of travelling. I need a break. I need some quality hammock time intermixed with some diving and some loving from the girlfriend. I don't think it's too much to ask for.
So now that my bitching is done I have to say that Kuala Lumpur is a really cool city. It's very modern and very clean and I think the best way to describe it is that it has been just carved out of a rain forest. The jungle is still everywhere in the city and you get the distinct feeling that if humanity ended one day, the jungle would over grow this city within a year. It would end up like Machu Picchu or Angkor wat.....these amazing cities/civilizations eaten and devoured by the jungle. Maybe it would be found later by another civilization or maybe not but let me assure you, it wouldn't take long for the vines and trees to take over. Other then the food aspect I think Kuala Lumpur is one of my favorite cities in Asia. As for the food...well you never see a restaurant advertising authentic Malay food do you? The best description of Malay food that I have heard (and Cambodian food for that matter) is that most cultures take pride in their food and see it as an extension of their heritage where as the Malay's just kinda have to eat and they throw crap together to serve this purpose. Cambodia has this same problem but there is some great French food to be found in the capital since it used to be a French colony. Considering the primitive nature of Cambodia it is somewhat surprising to find so many good restaurants at your fingertips and for cheapppppp!
Ok well it's been about 2 weeks since I wrote that last paragraph and things have been a little rocky in the land of Neal. I finally made it back into Thailand and that was a great relief and now that I've been back, I have been working every single day except for xmas. Now when I say work I have to admit that I'm being very liberal with the use of the word. I mostly sit on a boat for half a day and am underwater for the other half so it's not like I'm exactly busting my ass over here. The only hard part is waking up in the morning and getting through some of the logistics of putting 50 people and two boats out into the water. The diving has been good and the visibility is getting better and to make things even more perfect, the customers are actually half listening to me so we haven't had any near death experiences on the boat. Diving always looks so fun and exciting until you have to account for 5-6 people who really have no idea what the hell they are doing and are 130 feet underwater. I suppose that's why they pay me the whopping $20 a day that I'm pulling in over here lol. New years was last night and I spent it on ko tao.....small island with some nice beach bars is a good mix but I have found that I am very intolerant of large groups of drunk people now. I spent 5 years of my life in college babysitting and taking care of inebriated kids and I have found that all of my patience for that sort of thing has been used up. My tolerance for idiotic and rude behavior is exactly zero at the moment so I decided to cut and run and headed home early. I arrived at my bungalow about 10 minutes before midnight and laid in my hammock and watch the fireworks flash below me...not the worst new years of all times (that would be the turn of the millennium spent at Hill Correctional Facility) but not great either.
The parents are heading out here in the next 10 days so I am planning on getting off the island for that occasion which is the good thing because my girlfriend/exgirlfriend (changes daily if not hourly) has been just riding my ass the last 10 days or so and I just have to get the hell out of here for awhile. Maybe she will disappear while I'm gone and my problems will be solved. Loved fucking sucks.....I don't know how you married people do it. I've been with ninny off and on for 8 months and I'm at wit's end at the moment. I don't even want to think about YEARS. Good god just take me out back and shoot me in the head old yeller style.
Anyways, that's my story at the moment, really nothing all that interesting, just the bullshit of daily life. I think at the moment the only difference between my drama/bullshit filled life and yours oh dear reader is that I have slightly better scenery. Other than that, heartbreak and trouble still find you out here in paradise no matter how hard you try to hide from them. Oh yeah.....happy new year!!! LOL