21.05.2010 30 °C
So, my threat of violence won the day and allowed me to buy a new improved motorbike. Turns out the flip side of not being able to find any size 12 shoes is that I am bigger than everybody else and Crocodile Dundee gave us Aussies a formidable reputation. So my new aquisition is older, but it looks better, runs better and is much bigger. It is actually an old police bike, hence the name porky, and makes me feel very Blues Bros. Too hot to wear a suit.
So with my new found wheels comes some new found friends. My rush to stereotype Malaysians as non-drinking, non-partying, bike thieving, study crazy rip-off merchants may have been a little ill-founded. A group of students discovered that I had been a little lonely lately (I think I started that rumour) and started inviting me to eat with them, party with them and drink with them. I even took a day off to go to a brewery in Singapore for a day. And after 3 months of barely drinking, I am now a two pot screamer. But it is a huge relief to find some students in my year level that actually aren't all that different to me. On the way back at 7pm I witnessed firsthand the massive amount of peak hour traffic trying to squeeze its way through customs and over the bridge back into Malaysia. The motorbike lane was incredible, like watching a swarm of bees all trying to squeeze through a keyhole. 1000s of bikes as far as the eye could see. I couldn't get a real good photo, but I definitely will not be riding my bike back from Singapore during peak hour, ever. I am sure David won't mind that I have put a photo of him on my blog, afterall he has been the main catalyst in my change of fortune. This one was taken at Brewerks in Singapore. Almost as good as the Grand Ridge Brewery Nick.
There are still a lot of things that take me by suprise in this country even though I have been here for over 4 months. There are a bunch of guys that work in the shop around the corner (the one where I fell in the drain) who are really friendly and seem to be in the shop all day. One of them invited me out the back to have dinner with them one evening and seemed particularly proud to show me around his home. Their home consists of three bunk beds in a room smaller than my bedroom (which is actually quite small itself), a toilet and a stove stuck inbetween somwhere. That is it. The shop's storeroom is about 3 times bigger than what is left over for their living quarters. I am not sure who owns the shop or how much these guys get paid, but it makes the complaints about my apartment and my money seem so ridiculous. The problem is that the people ripping me off are driving Mercs and living in mansions while these guys in the shop return the extra 2 ringgit I keep giving them because I can't count in Malaysian. That part of the story is very familiar.
I also discovered a new job while attending a birthday party yesterday. At one stage there was a mad rush to close all the doors and windows along with calls of "they're fogging, they're fogging". Fogging? I just stood in the middle of the room while everyone ran around me closing things. Then I heard the noise. I thought it was a helicopter on its way to drop agent orange all over us, or maybe a crop duster with some experimental pesticide. But no, it was this man:
No face mask, no goggles, just some superhero mosquito busting smoke. And it stank like kerosene. It is the Malaysian's fight against dengue fever and it is apparently harmless as they even use it in schools. Still, I am pretty certain Super Smokeman's life expectancy will be considerably reduced.
So it is nice to be invited to a few more things and to know that some people may actually enjoy my company. Oscar the girl is remarkably still alive and I bought a new pushbike. I am also enjoying the new paediatric rotation at the hopital a lot more than the first 12 weeks of psychiatry. The kids are fun and the teachers are fantastic. Next week I have a four day long weekend. I know some people from KL read this blog, so if anyone has a room to offer, please let me know. I will be up for a big weekend.
Reading my blogs might give the impression that I am bipolar, but living overseas tends to have that effect. I have been told by more than one person that I look like I have lost weight and my pants continually falling down seems to support this theory. Only it can't be a result of my food intake because I have been eating huge amounts of food since I arrived here. So it must be what is leaving my body. And before you all jump to disgusting conclusions, I am talking about the copious volumes of sweat. The heat and humidity here is relentless. That is one thing I am looking forward to escaping when I return home for the holidays. Oh yeah, I will be home on the 26th of June for 2 weeks. Maybe I will see some of you then. Thanks for reading, Sam.