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February 10, 2016

On The Road Again….

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching Malaysian Borneo – We are moving. Yes, indeed out of here! Our dissatisfaction started when the pool was closed for six months, then a year. Then the weight room fell apart all at once. I think it was because the security guards let their kids play in there. In fact, I know so.


We have two crocodiles that have moved in under the building. I don't care how friendly they are. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the land lord raised the rent. Yup, said the pool wasn't his fault. I said we rent here because of the pool and security guards. He still said it wasn't his fault even though he serves on the committee that takes care of the building. There is no sense in trying to reason with him, even though we have been excellent tenants, paid every month and took very good care of the place.


I know it's because the dollar is up against the Malaysian currency. For every dollar, when we first got here, we received about 3.30 local money. Then it dropped to 2.90. Then suddenly is soared to 4.50 local money to the dollar. This because (read between the lines) the prime minister was given a donation of $700,000,000 (seven hundred million dollars) or 2.6 billon local money. This reward was given by a Saudi prince as a reward for fighting ISIS. And, if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you.


So, the international markets didn't believe any of that either, so it sold the Malaysian money and caused it to fall against the dollar to 4.50. Now, the Americans, Brits, Swiss and a lot of other countries are trying to untangle the Malaysian Malady and have brought inquiries into the problem.


Oh, the local attorney general and the deputy prime minister didn't believe it either, so they were sacked. Another guy was found in a cement mixer.


The problem is I am white. And American. And, therefore, very rich. When I walk into the store, the price of something immediately doubles. I usually take off 2/3 of the price, and we go from there. For example, if something costs $100, I will start the bargaining at $33. Then. I will stop at $50 knowing that is the correct price. If he won't come down, I will walk out. Usually, they will think about it for about 10 seconds and come after me.


I finally got smart and used my wife to buy things, but she goes on about how she is married to an American, and the shopkeeper sees dollar signs, and we end up paying more.


I decided to shop around for a moving company. After all, we only had to go up the road a couple of kilometers. I asked my wife to find a company. I am used to a guy coming in and estimating the price for the entire contents.


Well, here, they charge by the load because, well, just because. I don't have any idea about the size of the truck or anything else, so we found the cheapest per load person we could find. I will let you know how it goes.


Oh, by the way, Happy New Year everyone! The Year of the Monkey!


...Life is good. . . . .


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