Journal 22: Day 1: Thailand and Malaysia


Journal 22: Malaysia; Day One:

Tomorrow I will be leaving on a sneak-op to Singapore.  I have gotten two job offers at two very good, very prestigious schools and during this trip I will be thinking about which one I will be taking.  I will also be extending what is supposed to be a simple “visa run.”

I just finished out my “thirty days” at the company in the south of Thailand so that I could move to Bangkok and finish taking my master’s classes and to earn a little more money to make life a little more comfortable while doing so.  So this trip not only symbolizes the celebration of one year of living here in Southeast Asia, but it also fills the gap between my jobs in order to clear the way for a fresh start at a new job and in a new town.  And let’s not forget the wonderful photo-opportunity that this gives me.  I plan on taking my new D700 for a nice ride through some jungles: urban and fauna-filled.

I might even be able to add some images to my soon-to-be-published Religions of Asia book.  We will have to see how things pan out.  I feel bad choosing my master’s classes over being able to put money toward the publishing of the books that I have produced to date.  But I believe in timing of things and I can see this as an opportunity that simply was not visible when I dedicated myself to my book production.  And in that, I find solace as a non-slacker.  The books will simply have to be postponed, bulked up and published with all new content from this region.  Already I see some good content for my On the Road in Southeast Asia title.

At any rate, this is my fourth trip to Malaysia.  And as for what’s happening in the world outside of Malaysia – and what’s being blasted all over the news – is that Suu Kyi has finally been released from her house arrest.  She is considered the latest in revolutionary femmes to dazzle the world with her staunch but peaceful resistance to tyranny.  A Burmese woman and innovatory freedom fighter has been seeking democratic solutions to the government’s history of abuse, slavery, war and genocide for many years.  And it was her latest letter that covered the entire “columns” section of The Nation. Her letter, translated into English, was a call for a peaceful resolution for the continuing growth of her country.  It will be great in a year or so to find out what progress she has made in shaping the country’s views toward a national program for freedom.  And since I plan on being there about this time next year, I will be able to report a personal account of just that.

I hope to be going back to the U.S. in April for a visit to friends and family.  I plan on that trip being very nice and I want to spend quality time with my family whom I have not seen in at least three years, now.  I would also like this April trip to be very thoroughgoing because after that, the way things are looking, I might not see anyone for a good many years as I make my way farther into the reaches of our world.

But I am no longer talking about Malaysia or my trip.  Sorry I trailed off there.  These are the things that I think about when I am lying awake in my sleeper car aboard a rickety train headed toward new and foreign places [still transcribing from my notes, I promise].

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