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HOME >> Product 0430 >> THE CASTAWAY'S DIARY>>

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THE CASTAWAY'S DIARY

Braid Anderson

In 1996 I took a long lease, with option, on a 2-storey building in Johor Baru, just across the Causeway from Singapore. I then spent most of my remaining money on fixing it up as the Restorant Eurasia, in anticipation of my Eurasian wife’s return from America. She had gone there on a ridiculously cheap ticket, courtesy of a nephew who worked for Singapore Airlines. Unfortunately she had no insurance cover. One day while walking down a street in Florida, she suffered a stroke, and subsequent complete coma, at the age of 38. I tried to run the restaurant as well as I could, but she was the one with restaurant experience, having managed a successful Thai restaurant in Singapore, with her magic touch.

$4.99

When the Gods frown, they do so in earnest. After a couple of months, the owner of the building, having seen what I’d done with it, and heard about my wife, decided he wanted it back.

Being a proper Malaysian gentleman, and a Haji (done his trip to Mecca) to boot, he didn’t come and discuss it with me. Instead, he went to see his friends at Immigration, who then started making problems for me, over my lack of a work permit to run the restaurant. I argued – with the help of my friend at Immigration – that, as the Managing Director of the owning company, I was entitled to direct the management of the restaurant.

Eventually my Immigration friend was suddenly posted out, and I was informed that my current visa would not be renewed. Fortunately, at the time of taking the lease on the building, I had also pre-paid a two-year lease on a charming brand new 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom terrace house in Taman Johor Jaya. I had to give up the restaurant, then rent out my house, and flee to Thailand on the last day of my visa. This is the story of my subsequent 9 months living in a cheap village house in a Malay kampong not too far from the Thai border.

 

eBOOK STATS:

   

Length:

80621 Words

Price:

$5.99

Sale Price:

$4.99

Published:

06-2017

Cover Art:

T.L. Davison

Editor:

W. Richard St. James

Copyright:

Braid Anderson

ISBN Number:

978-1-77217-065-8

Available Formats:

PDF; HTML; Microsoft Reader(LIT); Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Kindle (MOBI);

 

EXCERPT

   

SUNGAI GOLOK IS in southern Thailand, on the border with Malaysia, and about sixty kilometres inland from the South China Sea. It is linked to Rantau Panjang in Malaysia by the Golok Bridge, built jointly by the two countries. The bridge was my entry point to Thailand. It was six o'clock in the morning when I dumped my bags off the bus from Johor Bahru. The overnight trip had taken ten and a half hours; the last six and a half with no stops for toilet, food, cigarette or anything else. I was feeling stiff and uncomfortable, having slept not a wink on the way. The young Thai man in the adjacent seat had the distressing habit of spreading his legs in all directions, like a reject from some cheap Chinese bordello.

Malaysian Immigration had been on my case, telling me 'writing books is not a good enough reason to go on living in Malaysia." I then treated the Deputy Director to a hotel lunch in exchange for his advice and assistance. I had purchased a Malaysian shelf company and taken over a two-storey air conditioned restaurant in Johor Bahru for my wife to manage. This should entitle me to a "Key Man" Permit, as the indispensable Managing Director of the company, but the formalities were dragging on and on.

Having visited his office six times in as many weeks, I was finally ready to submit my application, before my many-times-extended visa expired for good. Meanwhile I was leaving home at 6:15am and returning any time between 10:30 pm and 12:30 am. The intervening hours were spent running the restaurant, and desperately casting around for a Malaysian partner—preferably one with cash to inject. My cash reserves had dwindled alarmingly, and I'm no restaurateur.

I was a construction Project Manager for many years in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. But I always wanted to write books, and Project Management is a very full time occupation, allowing no time for such things. So I decided to "retire" for a couple of years, and gamble on producing books which people might buy and read.

Of course, I was so busy writing the books that I neglected to research how I was actually going to sell them. Four books finished, another two under way, and not a buyer in sight. But all is not yet lost. My The Writer’s Handbook finally arrived after a four month wait—the week after I gave up the restaurant.

 

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 Singapore, Eurasian, wife, restaurant, Thailand, stroke, coma, Malaysian, Haji, immigration, visa,kampong, village, friend, Gods,

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