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Staying in Malaysia


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Karel’s letters written during travelling

Karel Kosman photoHere in Malaysia I'm told I can rent a room somewhere for about 65$ a month, so I can do that if nothing else is reasonable. Or I was told that it is really cheap in the Philippines. Wanna settle down and build up my reserves before I start roaming around. Was thinking of bicycle with small solar pack. Would be a cool way to see all of Asia. Can take with me on train occasionally, or even buses, combine with tent, occasionally stay in a hotel if I want to, or settle down somewhere for a month or something and pay rent in some house or whatever. Hope this rainforest project will be interesting and reasonable, and will go there tomorrow. Already have a few friends here in Georgetown, Malaysia, which is supposed to be the best part of the country, with delicious food.

Got 3 month visa and get two month free extension every time I cross the border. I think also easy in the Philippines. Don't like how they make it difficult to stay in Thailand and want to settle down somewhere first, without stress, before I make other plans. Running low on cash and wanna build up my reserves again. Definitely don't wanna have to sell my gold, which is super emergency backup, or until it will be time to sell, which I don't think will be anytime soon, since both Europe and the US are set to print more bs money, so gold will have to keep rising. Or maybe this second crash will hit and all that.

Malaysia photo

This place is so cool, I think I can stay here a real long time. Totally feel like part of the family already, in the middle of nowhere. Internet is absolutely too slow to do any work whatsoever. So am gonna try to experiment (based solely on my suggestion) with setting up a WiFi relay station, comprised basically of a satellite dish attached to a tree on the hill blocking our direct line to a hotel about 7 km away. It will have small solar panel with battery etc. to fire the USB stick, or whatever system we will set up.

Malaysia photo

Anyway, tomorrow morning we're gonna boat out to the hotel so I can have fast internet and study what is required. If it works, as I assume it should, we'll have 3G highspeed right here in the middle of this 75 km long lake. Absolutely hilarious. Will keep you up with the progress, and happy reading. Speaking of which, the first part is probably crappier and I've tried much harder since I hit Asia. More interesting in the respect that every day something interesting happens, while in Europe it was more like chapters that streamed out of my head and covered a much longer period. Anyway, I think I am writing from my own experience and true to my guts, but any input would be appreciated. Don't want to make it unnecessarily flowery and fake, but would like to colour it up with better language or something. Just dont wanna overdo it. Will have to take lots of pics while here. Right now the diesel generator is running for a few hours and charging everything up. The head dude is already converting all the lights from energy savers to LED, so he certainly appreciates all my caravan experience. Funny that I moved out of the truck and thought I was scaling down to a backpack, but now I've actually scaled up to a larger version, except I got my own room and it’s on a floating house!

Malaysia photo

Well, back again, cause obviously I could not send the email cause there's impossible internet here for me. Anyway, we're all sleeping here on the houseboat, in like the captain's section, while the staff (cooks/workers and maid) would sleep on the other end and eat and spend their time not among us. I can handle all that but just now something settled in my mind. You have to go through one room to get to two other rooms in the captain's section, and he chose that walk-through room for him and his wife, giving the individual rooms for me and this other girl here. He expects more volunteers in the future. Anyway, I feel rather uncomfortable about this. I guess it's a Chinese thing (they are Chinese, as there are a lot of them throughout Malaysia) to be humble and modest, and they are indeed, but this is too much. Plus I often have to get up and pee at crazy hours, or generally I sleep a lot less, and will ask them to give me that room. Or I can take one of the chalets, but they deserve that, the nice elderly couple they are, and the fact this is their entire operations. I'll just need a place I feel comfortable with regarding where to hide my little backpack of gold and important electronics, during the daytime when I will be building treehouses or whatever...

Malaysia photo

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Just had to chuckle about the place I have found myself and your fear for my safety. I can't imagine stumbling on a safer place than this. Sure, it's possible, but this is pretty near the top: on an island in the middle of a 75km long reservoir, located in the middle of an undeveloped rainforest. This guy wants to develop it, but in a nice way, for eco-tourists. He has a plan to import houseboats from the US and says he can have a hundred of them here, no problem, in the many inlets, and none of them would ever see each other. Has convinced the government to invest and get high speed internet here, for such people. He could help arrange the purchase of these houseboats, make a bit of money off that, and then extra for regular maintenance, like picking up their poopoo every day and renting the place out when they are not there.

Malaysia photo

We are living on a houseboat now, and there is absolutely nothing else around. There is a very small village about 7km away which we have to powerboat to in order to get to his truck and drive away to the rest of society. There are elephants, tigers, pythons, wild birds and all sorts, but they are rarely seen, although he hopes to feed them a bit so that they will expose themselves more often to tourists. Only very small animals on the island itself and I certainly do not intend to ever venture into the jungle. Internet here totally sucks and I cannot effectively use it for work. I can boat it to the village and get internet from one of two hotels up above, but my solution was to, at least until the government builds its internet infrastructure next year, was to get some sort of satellite dish and stick it to a tree on the lump of an island between us and the hotel. He is convinced that there is a direct line of site between that tree and the hotel, and we can easily see it from here. It will act as a relay, getting the 3G internet to us. It will be quite an interesting project for me, as I understand something like this is easily possible. Here is his website: http://www.belumecoresort.com.my Seems like an absolutely perfect place for me. I crossed the border and they gave me 90 days for free. Apparently I just have to cross the border again and they'll give me 60 days for free each time, so a lot less stressful than timeland concerning visa extension. I get a free room/chalet and three square meals a day in exchange for a few hours, so I hope to build up my reserves here again. I expect to stay at least a couple of months. So far I suggested I could build some treehouses, which would be totally cool, but he needs my IT skills more at the moment, and after that helping to find more customers through search engine optimisation and web promotion, so certainly interesting times ahead!

Malaysia photo

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It would be absolutely so cool if I could make a substantial enough income out of this, for it would motivate me to live even a zanier life, and that would be utterly cool. One of the big problems about Europe was that I lost almost all my Czech clients because they believe it is impossible to do my job while on the road. So I was super dirt poor and could not drive around freely as I wanted to. Nevertheless, I still survived, in the most expensive continent in the world, so this could actually become part of an interesting story over the long run. Would definitely go back to all that previous text and polish it up, which I had always expected would be the case.

Malaysia photo

Today I will take a second crack at resolving the internet issue, for the internet on this island is an absolute joke. Simply too slow to actually use, or it times out at some very early point and everything is lost. Or you might wait 5 minutes for your gmail account to finally load the first page. Simply beyond possible. But once I get my relay thing going, I could milk off one of (possibly both at the same time, with the proper software, as one IT guru once pointed out to me) two hotels with 3G internet, so we'd kick into lightning speed. He already has two satellite dishes of sufficient size, so not much else to buy. The difficult thing will be to climb up the tree and install it. The trees here are wide and very long before the branches start, so you need special shoes and special system to get way up there. It will be at LEAST a four hour operation. I will have to pull up my laptop as well to test the connection too. You can bet I will be photographing absolutely everything about this. Must be one of the most fascinating projects I have ever embarked on.

Meanwhile, just to spice up everything, I caught a lethal computer virus - too long to explain to you now but will definitely blob it.

Malaysia photo

So the owner has let me use his boat each day to get the 7km to the hotel and fast internet to sort all this out, including downloading all the reading material. Quite a hilarious predicament at the moment I must say. Meanwhile, he got a bunch of guests recently, and I joined them to check out the tower on the obstructing island, scanning it out with binoculars for tall trees. They were all clambering up the muddy slopes with their little support cane/sticks, occasionally stepping aside so that I could dart up past them in my barefeet. So their eyes were practically popping out and I must be giving a funny impression. They were even asking me to give them kayaking instructions, assuming I was a master even though I didn't say anything. Which brings me to another funny thing - I suggested the owner could create a corporate teambuilding thing as a means to bring in more guests. He said, "who else other than you could do this? Asians in general will believe anything a caucasion will say." So that is yet another project, and seems possible that I could be here for longer than I originally expected!

Malaysia photo

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How about this for a nice twist of events. From the start about the only thing I liked about translating is that it offered me an escape from the 9-5, from a regimented work life, and then the ability to travel. But I've mostly despised it, and for the past several years have been praying heavily to get away from it and interact with people more.

In Asia I was a bit scared to dive into the unknown, and didn't want to worry about hotel costs and all that, so I utilised some volunteer sites to work for a few hours a day in exchange for food and room. Eventually made my way towards this island in a long lake reservoir in one of Asia's last few virgin rainforests: www.belumecoresort.com.my and originally the idea was to build treehouses.

Malaysia photo

Still on the table, but the boss is having me do most of the work on the computer, helping him get customers and hooking up internet to his remote island through some fancy (my suggestion) string of satellite dishes and WiFi routers to relay it from the closest thing resembling civilisation.

Along the way I suggested that teambuilding could be a good way to bring in guests, and he said no other better person than me, since Asians tend to believe anything white people say. Now I'm researching how to do that and Keta suggests a much higher price than I was willing to charge.

Malaysia photo

Even at a hundred bucks a day and no costs all month, I won't complain! Keta is also convinced that I could make at least a thousand bucks a month writing about my travels. Perhaps in the slow months I'll fulfil another idea I've been toying with: bicycling around Asia with a small solar pack and tent. Life is getting increasingly interesting! Varvara was nice but this place is approaching paradise! Now just to see one of those elephants...

Malaysia photo



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Travel Tour Guide in Europe

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See Karel Kosman's Articles at TranslationDirectory.com:
Karel’s letters written during travelling
47. Making preparations for the big bike trip
46. The ONLY Thai girl I am attracted to
45. Miscellaneous letters
44. I have always felt I will be a writer one day...
43. About freelancing and travelling
42. Thai girls are like demon possessed little witches
41. Living on a mystical island of Koh Phangan in Thailand
40. From Malaysia to Thailand
39. From Laos back to Thailand
38. How to publish a book
37. Back in Thailand
36. Feeling increasingly uncomfortable here on the island in Malaysia
35. My belongings
34. Staying in Malaysia
33. About running a blog
32. A short travel update
31. Planning to publish a book about my travels
30. In Thailand, God’s hand
29. Getting ready to go to Asia. In the airport
28. Escaping from Galia’s place
27. About Bulgarians, earnings, plans
26. Starting to earn more after approaching thousands of translation agencies
25. About writing and publishing content online
24. How to find really cheap plane tickets
23. The girlfriend: would like to find THE ONE
22. Still staying in Bulgaria but planning to go to Thailand
21. Travel outline
20. About translation industry
19. About female friends
18. About computer, online marketing, translation, CAT tool
17. About blabber - waste of time. About wanting to be a writer.
16. About God
15. More about software sales
14. More travel updates
13. Staying at a pension
12. About borders etc.
11. Software sales
10. Travel update
09. Translation job industry
08. Partying is a waste of time
07. How much they pay etc.
06. Translator charges, programming etc.
05. Working as a translator and travelling
04. Travel life
03. Why NOT to cheat Google...
02. About opportunities for working as a freelancer
01. About advantages of working as a freelancer
Working While Travelling
26. Gone treeplanting (September 8, 2008)
25. First friends visiting me to Cyprus (February 29, 2008)
24. Staying in Cyprus (December 09, 2007)
23. Escaping the Cyprus heat (February 8, 2007)
22. Escape from boredom (February 8, 2007)
21. Barelling to Bodrum (November 20, 2006)
20. Staying in Stoliv, Montenegro (October 2, 2006)
19. Arriving to Montenegro (August 22, 2006)
18. Traveling through Croatia (August 9, 2006)
17. The trip begins - off to Croatia! (2006)
16. How to Live in a Caravan
15. How to Connect to Internet While Traveling
14. How to construct a caravan - Beautification
13. How to use solar panels to electrify your caravan
12. How to construct a caravan
11. Designing the caravan
10. Back to Czech - buying a travel van (April 10, 2004)
9. Mexico Trip - Off to Yosemite and Beyond (December, 2003)
8. Mexico Trip - Getting a Driver’s License (December, 2003)
7. How to Buy a Used Car (December, 2003)
6. Mexico Trip (December 14, 2003)
5. Traveling through Bulgaria (July 20 - Aug. 4, 2002)
4. Czech Republic: My Reflections
3. My life in Prague
2. My flat in Prague
1. Dream of working while travelling




Published - August 2013









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