Life in TransitA Digital Nomad in Asia

Kuala Lumpur, Khao San, KO

People walk around the Golden Mount in Bangkok in prayer for Sangha Day.

I apologize for the slideshow breaking, but we are transitioning to a new theme and the slides show will be back asap

My great Malaysia backpacking trip hit a bit of a snag.

While walking to catch my bus to Kuala Lumpur 1, a flash thunderstorm caught and soaked me thoroughly in the two minutes that I was in the rain. On the bus, while I would welcome the cold air conditioner any other day, the soaking wet conditions didn’t help. Add to that the three or four days with four or less hours of sleep and my immune system was at a low point.

In Kuala Lumpur, I was walking around looking for a hostel when I a lady approached and asked me if I was looking for a place to live. This was at 2300h and I was still cold and wet. The offer was for a guest house of course.

Safety is important, but I am also not one to pass up on some form of adventure. I took the offer and decided to scout out the guest house. If it looked shady, I wouldn’t go in.

Well, everywhere looked kinda shady anyway.

So I ended up in this guest house where the air conditioning was spewing out black stuff. With a suppressed immune system, I ended up catching something and got a sore throat for the first time in over ten years. A bit of qigong cured the sore throat though, but the lungs were not so lucky.

Within two days, I had booked a really cheap flight to Bangkok via Singapore to meet a friend there. SGD152 round trip, so I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. I had to kill a week before meeting with my relatives in Melaka.

While in Bangkok, the sore throat turned into a cough and I ended up with a fever. I think nightly Chang beer towers and shisha didn’t help too much either. Trying to force myself to sleep off a day cured the fever. The cough lingered though.

Still, I made the best of Bangkok. I got a Thai and a foot massage every other day, for less than CAD 3 for an hour. Ploy, who worked for the Ministry of Culture, got tickets to a Thai rock concert. We also met Shuko and Chi-chan with whom we spent the evenings downing Chang beer towers and smoking shisha.

Street eats were great too. I enjoyed the banana crepe, mango stick rice, pad thai and spicy tom yum soup.

Khao San road is hardly representative of Thai culture. In fact, it is tourist and backpacker central. Yet, the all night parties every day have a certain draw. I also love languages and that is one place I can hang out and practice Japanese, Thai, and other languages.

When I got back to Singapore, I was still coughing and decided to pass on the road trip with my relatives to Meleka. Instead, I ended up sleeping for eight hours a night for four days in a row. I think that is the first time I got eight hours of sleep more than two days in a row in about five years. Well, it feels I’m finally on “vacation”.

The result: I am still on this tiny island. I was planning to leave for Malaysia again soon after I got better. However, there are always things to do and people to see on this island nation so I’ll just linger a while more.

One of the hardest things I have come to realize about this blog, and being a photojournalist, is that I find it hard to blog when I do not have a complete, solid visual story to display.Most travel bloggers take a few snapshots when they play and that is what they post about. I do enjoy the same fun, and take my fun pictures.

Photography is a fun job.

But when you are having fun, you don’t want a job.

When I sit down to edit my work for this site, I realize that I am missing pictures that illustrate important aspects of my story. That is, the photo story is incomplete.

I look at the one off shots that I am proud of and realize I didn’t try to take one in every situation. I don’t have a complete visual story with every highlighted event in my text illustrated with a great picture.

Furthermore, I have been shooting video with my awesome Canon S100 point and shoot 2, but it takes a while to edit. Sometimes, after shooting a video and leaving the scene, I realize I forgot  to take a picture.

That is why I have not blogged in a long while. So sorry about this.

I should stop thinking like a photojournalist … at least for my blog.

There are proper documentaries that I am shooting along the way, but maybe for this blog, I should stop fretting about the perfect photo documentary work.

Thanks for your continued support. I promise more frequent updates!

1 Bus to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore leaves at 1530h from Golden Mile Complex and is only SGD 12!

2 Read my post about using SLRs vs Point and Shoots.


Tagged: bangkok, Thailand
Posted in: Features