Malaysia, Stamps and Food Halls

Youll be pleased to know I am not one of the tourists which has been arrested this week for exposing themselves on the top of a mountain! They’ve been released now, here’s the article.

We arrived in Malaysia yesterday after enduring a 400 mile, 12 hour bus/ferry journey. We left our hotel in Samui and headed for the 7am ferry to mainland Thailand. During the 1:30 hour crossing Beth and I enjoyed a Thai leg massage, feeling a bit like Bambi following it. It was exciting to gain some more ink for my passport on the border, however finding out we had another 3:30 hours to our hotel was not so. Arriving in Penang around 8:30.  

 After checking in to our hotel we ventured to a local food market, a bizarre of around 60 hawker stalls selling meals for 5MYR each (£1). We were careful how we pointed at what we wanted to order, as Malaysians find it offence if you extend a finger to point. Instead you have to place your thumb over a fist and point with that. The smell of fried meats was mixed with the pungent smell was met with the smell of Durian, a smelly fruit which is banned in some places indoors, including our hotel. Beth and I experimented with a number of different dishes and racked up a bill of about £5.

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Elephants, Back Cracks and Boxing

Wednesday was classed as our ‘free day’ on Koh Samui and the group could do whatever they wanted. We opted for a welcomed lie in and got up about 9.

We headed to the strip with its array of souvenirs, fake branded clothing, massage parlours and bars, shopping on the way down. I had the trouser fitting for my suit – 14 hours after processing the order, watching a man draw all over them with chalk.

We’d booked an elephant treck for the afternoon, with our transfer to the Elephant sanctuary arriving in Thai time – 25 minutes late.  We arrived safely after near misses with scooters and wandering dogs.

We were welcomed by the Giants that are well respected in Thailand, plodding along in the afternoon sunshine. We were offered the options of getting a card framed photo or asking our Mahout (elephant trainer) to take them for a tip, picking the latter.

After 10 minutes the Mahout jumped down and invited me to take his spot on the head of the elephant. He then proceeded to take about 20 photos with various poses. After our ride he let us feed her with bananas, with it being cute watching the elephant search for the bananas with its trunk before shovelling it into its mouth.

  

In the evening we had a girls and lads night with both parties going out separately. The males headed for a Thai body massage followed by pizza and Muay Thai Boxing at the local arena.

Four out of the six left the ring on stretchers which showed the sheer brutality of the boxing. A number of champions from all over Thailand had ventured to the island to compete, with the Bangkok, Southern and Koh Samui champions all taking to the ring. The main fight was between the German champion and the Thai champion which finished in a draw, as the Thai champ sent the German crippling to the floor after a knee to a banned area!  

    

ARTICLE – Balloon Kenya: Student Set to Help Business ‘Balloon’ in Kenya – Sheffield Hallam University Article

A Sheffield Hallam University student will join a team of young business moguls from across the world to help budding entrepreneurs in Kenya turn their ideas into reality.

Third-year business undergraduate, Dan Garlick, will fly to Nakuru in August after being specially chosen to be part of the ‘Balloon Kenya’ scheme by its organisers. Once there, he will join 24 other students in their quest to fight poverty by helping to introduce new business ventures.

Dan, 21, and his international team will spend six weeks working with local Kenyans to inspire, encourage and support them in developing their own business ideas that will help to lift their local economy.

They will complete an intensive one week entrepreneurship and social innovation programme followed by five weeks collaborating with groups of young Kenyans to devise, develop and finally, launch new businesses.

Dan, originally from Sileby near Loughborough, is currently on work placement with Bosch. After completing a lengthy application form followed by an interview which assessed his ability to handle potentially difficult situations, he was chosen to be a part of this year’s cohort.

He said: “I was keen on travelling this summer after my placement and I had initially looked at going to Thailand for a month, but after I saw this programme I changed my mind. As Balloon Kenya has a direct correlation to my course I thought that it’d be another chance to build on my CV and help other people in the process.

“The graduate market is getting increasingly competitive and hopefully this will benefit my final year studies. I think it’ll open my eyes too as the culture will be totally different to here.This is a really exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to go.”