Choices, choices

Right, I’m  in a generally good mood today for several reasons but first I’ve got to get one thing off my chest. Today is the one full day I have to spend in KL without bothering myself with transport and the accompanying stress and time-vacuum effect. So this morning, with a stomach full of toast, coffee and adventurous spirit I set out to tackle the Islamic Arts Centre, Planetarium, bird park, butterfly park and surrounding attractions.

I hadn’t counted on one thing though – today just happens to be one of the biggest holidays in the Muslim calendar so pretty much everywhere except the mall at Petronas Towers (bastion of capitalism that it is) is closed. Seriously, I walked in sweltering heat and humidity, through a subway tunnel inch-deep in foul, piss-smelling liquid, only to be forced to turn back and retrace my steps after three closed doors in a row. Seriously Allah? Do I piss you off that much? Fucker…

But I’m not letting such petty concerns get me down. I’ve just restored my faith in humanity by visiting a genuine, honest-to-goodness bookstore for only the third time since arriving in Thailand, I’ve got a reasonably tasty coffee and free wireless. Time to contemplate the future.

As I mentioned before, the future lays sprawled out before me like a blank canvas (minus ten intellect points for tedious cliché), serenely awaiting whatever hellish shitstorm of paints, crayon and pink glitter I choose to inflict on it. I’m narrowing down my choices, weighing the options, but time marches relentlessly onwards like a drunk Glasgwegian towards a chip shop and the time for decisions is bearing down on me.

There are three countries/regions on the shortlist and I’d sure appreciate some  help with selecting the lucky winner (First prize – a no-expenses-paid year with a miserable Scottish cunt with a penchant for having heated arguments with inanimate objects) by sifting through the pros and cons for each. Seriously, any comments/ideas/advice would be so welcome, whether you have been there before, know someone there or have only vaguely heard the place mentioned on a Fox News story about funny-coloured people.

South America

Pros – Huge area, low cost of living, so many different ecologies to choose from (mountain, jungle, coast, city, village, drug cartel HQ), beautifully vibrant culture, easy language to learn, home of Soulfly and Michelle ‘friend from Surat’ Heinz is also looking to go there so I have a travel buddy.

Cons – Low-paying work, work seems unreliable with short contracts, will more than likely have to wait until arriving in-country to secure a job, difficult to save a significant amount of money (more so than Thailand) so no pot of gold to see my through my first months at my next position.

Bahrain

Pros – Again I have a friend there, Ange, who has already supplied me with contact info, jobs pay very well so could save a LOT, supposedly the best human rights record in the middle east, close to home and Mediterranean Europe for holidays, excellent potential for creating a network of employment contacts.

Cons – It may be the best in the middle east but that’s like saying “Well, he’s the least cunty member of the Bush family’ – doesn’t mean all that much, it’s the desert so I’ve got no real attraction to the climate, possibly limited in entertainment for the likes of me.

Japan/Taiwan/Malaysia

Pros – High levels of pay, generally including airfare/accommodation, part of the world I’m familiar with and love, close to Thailand for holidays (hooray for Air Asia), great food and culture (especially Japan), friends/acquaintances scattered around the area, climates I’m used to and enjoy

Cons – Back to places I’d planned to go with Em so possibility of bad memories for a while, some employers can work you like a dog, erm, that’s it.

As I said, time is running out and I think I need to make my damn mind up soon and start focusing my application efforts in one area. So, what do you think? The rolling wilds of South America? The general bizarreness of Bahrain? Or the money and culture of Asia? Answers on a postcard or, preferably, in the little comments box down there…

Here’s some Soulfly while you’re thinking.

One response to “Choices, choices

  1. To be honest, I think you should take a little bit of time at home to let the experience sink in before you decide (unless you have to decide soon in which case, nevermind). If I were you, this would be my ranking – 1. Latin America, 2. Asia redux, 3. Bahrain/Middle East. I would definitely recommend Central or South America if money isn’t a huge issue. I don’t think it’s as widely traveled as SE Asia is now. It would be an opportunity for new kinds of experiences, and like you mentioned, you can make new memories there. Plus Spanish would be easier (and more useful) than Thai.

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