I'm starting a weekly newsletter, From the Edge of Asia: an American Reports from Malaysia, to help carry me over for the next few months until my new position as an ESL teacher begins at UCSI in Kuala Lumpur. Help a starving writer! I am asking for a love offering of $50 or more.
By helping support me through this rocky transitional time, you will receive weekly reports from the other side of the world about a life that is guaranteed to be quite different from yours, at least up until I start teaching, and perhaps even longer if time allows.
I will write about building sea altars, messages from the Earth, observations of a tribe of spider monkeys, descriptions of colorful local characters, musings on poverty, politics, and a wide range of topics... you should always find something in every newsletter that makes you more aware of things you haven't given much thought to before, or that shifts your point of view.
Money can be sent through Paypal or you can contact me by my private email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about my Wells Fargo account in the U.S.
Here is a sample of the kind of thing you might read about in this report:
So I have a few irons in the fire, but everything is going very slowly and in the meantime I went on a visa run to Singapore last week to get a 90-day renewal on my tourist visa. I've been sick ever since with a virulent flu virus, you don't want to know the details. Moan-groan-stench!
So I've decided to offer a weekly newsletter to anyone who wants to support a struggling writer/misfit/failed entrepreneur/out-of-work ESL teacher. I've been feeling so isolated, for a lot of reasons. Usually, I enjoy my own company quite well, but enough is enough. So you will get something for your money, a look into my world, which I can guarantee you, doesn't look like yours.
The local band of spider monkeys has taken pity on my isolation and befriended me. I'll be writing about my interactions with them. I make sea altars on the beach with shells and stones, driftwood, and bones, whatever I find, and commune with the spirits of the the hill, the trees, the sea and the wind. Sometimes I get telepathic messages from the earth. I'll share those.
Mostly I'll share my observations, and whatever I'm thinking about when I sit down to write the newsletter, about the people here, such as the village idiot who has four wives (because Muslims are allowed that many) who empties the trash and burns it in fires, big and small. His wives all work as maids here and sometimes they empty the trash, also. I see the children working, too. He's been a nuisance for me as he's also something of a peeping tom.
Today he did the stupidest thing. There was a gas tanker parked at the short dirt road that leads to the beach behind our resort. Unfortunately, it was parked right next to the place where he burns trash. He never put two and two together, such as that was a really bad idea, and built a heaping fire.
I just happened to go out at that time, and was alarmed by what I saw. A young man who works here was coming to the same conclusion as I was about the danger and idiocy of a raging fire next to a fuel tanker. He took quick action, and carrying water in a small tub, put out the fire. It was right behind my beach hut. I would have lost everything I owned if that tanker had blown, and there probably wouldn't have been much left of the resort either.
There's another American woman here, although you'd never guess her nationality by her humble and modest, almost pious demeanor, or by the Muslim long-sleeved long dresses and head-scarves she wears. She manages the family tourist shop and runs a library and ticket agency as well. Although she graduated with three majors(!), this is the life she has chosen for herself, raising six children with the youngest still a newborn.
I've had several visitors through the night in my bathroom, a large centipede, a sinuous dull green snake that disappeared with a flick of his tale into a part of the door frame that had rotted, a large bug about two inches long which was totally new to me, and today a lizard that ran into the room up the wall as soon as I opened the door, as though he'd been waiting to get in. What is this? Is my humble beach hut suddenly the Mecca for critturs?