Posted by: facetothewind | July 17, 2014

I made it to KL

Hey all – just before I went to bed last night the emails starting coming in about MH17. What a terrible disaster and another blow to Malaysia Airlines which seems to have a curse on it. I feel sick about it. Obviously I wasn’t on it. But just so you know, I always research my airlines in advance of booking a flight. It’s not to say things won’t unexpectedly happen in even the most well laid plans, but Malaysia Airlines has had a terrible crash record even before MH370. Even though they often have the cheapest flight on a route, I’ve avoided them. I chose to fly here on Qatar Air through Doha which was fantastic and was bumped up to business class so I arrived fresh and pampered. I couldn’t believe the food and service. But I don’t want to gloat about it at this moment.

Thanks for your concern, those of you who wrote. It’s sobering.

As far as life here – well, I just spent my first day apartment hunting and I have to say it was disheartening. No one wants to rent an apartment short term. If they do, they jack the prices up by 3 times. In addition it’s customary here to pay 3.5 times the rent for security + the first month’s rent. So to find a place that is suitable for me it would cost me $4,500 for move in costs.

So I’m having to scramble to find something possibly as a shared space, in addition to all the other issues of arrival in a new country: jetlag, cultural shock, disorientation in all things from why my phone service doesn’t seem to work downtown to sugar content in yogurt. It’s a complete start over of one’s life. I know I signed on for it and I’ll probably pull it together and just need some time to adjust. But I’m at the moment overwhelmed by the task.

For now I’ve been spared the fate of MH17 and for that I’m grateful.



  1. Thank god, David. So glad you’re safe.

    Thank you for letting us know.


  2. A definite advantage of not tuning into the news – I didn’t realize that another plane had gone down and that you might have been on it, David. Those poor people who were…

    Puts your current plight into perspective, but still…Keep us posted, and feel free to call upon Saint Mildred, the Patron Saint of Perfect Placement.

  3. Thank you for letting us know, I was freaking out…sorry for the folks on board, so grateful you are OK!

  4. Glad you’re safe David, and nice to have you back in our neck of the woods. Good luck with the house-hunting and remember you can always pop over to Pai if you need a break or a rethink 🙂 Otherwise I look forward to seeing you there at the end of next month.

  5. Hi David,

    I’m so glad you had a good trip. Not such good news about difficulties in KL. Have you gotten your phone problem resolved? The housing problem? As I recall, KL is hotter than Pai and Chiang-Mai. Do you have your prickly heat powder?

    All is well here. Beautiful rainy season. If you decide to visit here in near future, I just read the following on ThaiVisa Forum about recent visa changes:

    *Longer visa exemption extensions begin August 29, 2014*

    *BANGKOK: — The Immigration Bureau has announced that of August 29. 2014 you will be able to extend your visa exemption period whilst you’re in Thailand by 30 days, instead of the current 7 days, giving a total visa-exemption stay of 60 days. The fee for extension of stay is 1,900 Baht (unchanged).*

    Currently, a visa exemption entry can be extended by 7 days at your nearest Immigration office. From August 29th, it can be extended by 30 days. In effect, you can be in the country without a visa for 60 days.

    Also – the Commander of Immigration has removed the proposed lifetime ban for overstaying 10 years. Thaivisa will publish the new, more lenient rules shortly.

    The Immigration Commander has also stated that immigration are working to ensure that the new rules are being standardized at both immigration checkpoints and immigration offices nationwide.

    If you are traveling on visa-exempt or with a tourist visa, bring these documents for your extension:

    1. Your onward flight ticket or eTicket out of Thailand within the 30 days

    2. Minimum 10,000 Baht, or rather 20,000 Baht

    3. Hotel booking confirmation – and if you have it, your itinerary

    4. One photo, passport sized.

    5. Application fee, 1,900 Baht

    It is not clear whether after 29th August this will still be an automatic refusal stamp with 30 days to leave, or whether the procedure will be changed and you will instead be granted an extension of 30 days.

    Thaivisa News thanks the Immigration HQ in Bangkok for these updates. We are expecting more updates in the coming days and weeks. Thaivisa News is due to meet up with the Immigration Commander and his staff next week for a longer interview. Watch this space and *subscribe to our newsletter *for the latest Immigration updates.

    In addition to Thaivisa was able to get this info confirmed direct with the Immigration Bureau, we also thank Thaivisa member and freelance journalist Scott Mallon in Bangkok for supplying us with this video explaining the news in Youtube video format:



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