Is this Paradise?
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Malaysia Journal

Things I like about this place:

The food.
The people are friendly.
The price of food.
The pace of life seems to be a better pace than in the United States
Seafood, and the variety of it all.
I got a big bag of laundry washed and folded for six ringits (about $2)
The weather is warm, and it doesn't freeze

Things which are annoying.

It's hot and humid. I go outside and seem to sweat.
The air seems thick and sticky.
The air is polluted, the cars, trucks and motorcycles spew smoke.
Cars fill the road, you can see the smoke coming from the exhaust.
I don't speak Bahasa, or Cantonese. Or even mandarin that well, it would help.
Work can be frustrating, the work seems indefinite,
Communicating back to home is difficult at times.

Taxi drivers -

This isn't paradise, if that's what you're searching for.

Oh and about the taxi drivers. This time I haven't had this crazy experience yet, but if I catch a cab from the hotel, I seem to get charged double. The problem is so bad, that many places have implemented a coupon system, where tell the coupon counter where you're going, you pay the fare, and then you give the coupon to the taxi driver, and he takes you where you want to go. No negotiating with the driver, and if he takes the long way, and drives you around, well he's not getting any larger a fare for it.

Getting cabs has been much less work this time, and I've become a lot less frustrated with it. Perhaps even generous to some degree. I guess it's good. It means I'm a lot less uptight.

updated October 1, 2004