I’ve Been in Thailand for 28 hrs and These are the Things I’ve Already Over Paid For

I’ve been in Thailand for 28 hrs and these are the things I’ve already over paid for:

  • Taxi ride from the airport: when the driver says “highway? No traffic! You pay tolls!” And then refuses to say anything else because “sorry, English bad” you know you’re stuck (but, not in traffic).
  • Spring Rolls: when you’re hungry and you agree to buy spring rolls at what you think is an exorbitant price, but what do you know – you just got out of an expensive taxi cab – and then about two blocks down the same tourist congested, alcohol induced road you find springs rolls for a third of the price.
  • Scorpions: when you negotiated because you just realized you over paid for spring rolls, but probably didn’t negotiate enough because the vendor agreed to the price with the same eagerness as a bunch of kids who just heard, “who wants ice cream?”
  • Dessert “tacos”: cause who wants to learn from yesterday’s lesson and not agree to pay the first price. 

I am SO out of practice. 

But, at least I learned one thing: fried scorpions are pretty tasty, they just taste like “crunch”

Malaysia: It’s Been Sweaty, Salty and Sweet

As I get ready to say goodbye to Malaysia by eating my last Chicken Rendang at the airport, I can’t help but think, “I’ve gotten used to being here.”

When I first arrived, six weeks ago, I wore a dark dress. Within a few hours it had batiked itself into a dark dress with white lines streaking across in various directions – all the salt was pouring out of my body at a rate that should be studied by a highschool science class, “look at the body’s cooling mechanism in action, in about an hour she will shrivel up and die from dehyradation”. Six weeks later, I probably sweat the same amount, but I have learned not to wear that dress. 

I’ve learned to drink tea with condensed milk, eat curry for breakfast, ditch a knife in favour of spoon and fork – or just use fingers, constantly stop for fruit juice, buy drinking water, eat less vegetables, eat more carbs, eat lots of fried things, and carry around toilet paper, mosquito repellent and hand sanitizer. It sounds like I’ve learned to live as a five year old, or the mother of a five year old. 

Malaysia is the perfect place for a solo traveller: the people are friendly, but not too friendly, the intra-peninsular bus system is amazing, the food is incredible – and table for one is totally acceptable, it’s safe, it’s exciting, old school and cosmopolitan. It has rainforests, beaches, mountains, cities, temples fancy coffee shops and hawker stalls – pretty much something for every occasion. 

As long as you protect yourself from too many leeches (cause a couple are a good novelty story) and wear sunscreen, you’ll come out happy, healthy, relaxed and with a strange desire to see karaoke wherever you go – and if desire to climb Mt. Kinabalu and you do it in a group, you’ll come out with a group of life long friends. 

A Red Tailed Monkey says hi

Tips For Surviving the Apocalypse from People Who Live in Rainforest

These tips come from the Batek tribe that lives in the Taman Negara forest, Malaysia. A tribe of about 2000 people, spread out in villages throughout the forest, they stay away from as much of modern life as possible and live off the land. 

(Tips could also be used as plot points in The Walking Dead) 

  • If you need to start a fire and don’t have any dry kindling, use your hair* (cut it off your head first, you’re not making a torch)
  • Hunting using poisoned tip dart is very effective, aim for the legs so the poison can’t spread far, but if the meat turns blue, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
  • Move around a lot, if you’re nomadic the zombies are less likely to find you, and you won’t deplete your food source 
  • Weddings are unnecessary for procreation, you can declare a marriage after spending the night together, you don’t need to choose a colour scheme or table settings first. Also, don’t marry someone from the same village, eventually the genes catch up to you.
  • Have a lot of babies, not very useful when young, but the more people to fight the aliens, the better 

    *Does not work if you are Bruce Willis 

    Live by a river source: water and escape route
    Blow darting in action
    Making fire – with dry stuff, no hair was harmed