Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life as a Migrant Worker

In my post, Sightseeing, I mentioned that I traveled to the Grand Canyon, but spent less than two hours there. You may think that I was such a stupid guy. Well, among Malaysian contract engineers who worked in the US, I was actually one who knew how to enjoy life.

America is a land of automobiles. With the exception of a few cities such as New York and Portland, Oregon, one basically cannot go anywhere without a private vehicle. (By the way, SUV, pickup trunk and minivan are not considered cars.) I rented a car from Hertz. Ng, another Malaysian, wanted to save money and never bothered to rent one. He always asked an English guy to give him a lift. Two other Malaysians did rent a car, and they drove to the Universal Studio near Los Angeles. However, they were reluctant to pay the entrance ticket.

As for myself, I had been to San Diego Sea World and San Diego Zoo, aside from Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. As mentioned in my earlier post, I went to the Sin City and the nature’s wonder with Wilson, my co-worker from China. I didn’t pay a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, though, despite the fact that it was merely a few blocks from my hotel in Garden Grove. I wasn’t stingy, but I couldn’t get anyone to go with me. Everybody was thinking, “Disneyland is for kids.”

I was sent to the Northwest for five weeks with Rogelio, a Filipino. In Seattle, we booked a tour to see killer whales off San Juan Island. Prior to that, I had already watched killer whale show in San Diego Sea World, but watching them in open sea would be a new experience to me. Unfortunately, the tour was canceled due to engine breakdown of the boat. The following week we traveled to Portland, Oregon, and then to Spokane in Eastern Washington. By the time we returned to Seattle, the whale-spotting season was over. What a missed opportunity

Singh, an Indian engineer, brought me to Ecstasy! (No, this was not a drug.) I was kind of sinful there. At the other extreme, I also strived to be a holy man in Wat Metta, a Buddhist monastery in the forest of San Diego County.

Patrick, my soft-spoken American colleague, invited me to the Mexican border town of Tijuana. He was joined by a few other guys. One guy showed off a photo of a Mexican lady and told me, “For $50, you can own her.” Unfortunately, my visa was of single-entry type. If I followed them to Tijuana, I would not be able to return to the United States.

Before I left America, I paid a visit to Hollywood.

Unlike other Malaysian contract engineers, I didn’t go to America just to make money. I had lived a meaning life during my stay there.

Killer whales off San Juan Island - a missed opportunity!

(Picture by www.seattletravel.com)

P/S Are you aware that my co-workers formed a mini United Nations? This is the magic of globalization.

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  1. Yes, we shd enjoy our life!!!

    When we come, we brought nothing, when we leave, we bring nothing too...

  2. I find it great that you visited. In my opinion, it's too bad to just stay where you work and not see the world...

    When I was in Beijing this summer, I expected to see quite a few 白鬼子 (I can say it, I'm one! ;-)) because of the Olympics. In fact, I didn't see many, except at the Silk Market. From what I understood, a lot of foreigners just stuck around the Olympic Village and didn't bother going out. Seriously... what a waste!

  3. Wah so happy in the US. I no money go ler...

  4. kikey
    Yeah, we enjoy life. But don't over-spend. Hard time is coming...

    I guess they were sports fans with didn't bother about anything else. But what a waste!

    I also had little money. I was there to work.

  5. Disneyland is not just for kids!!!

    It's where adults get to re-experience their childhood too! :)

    zhu: Hehehehe...very brave of yourself to refer to yourself as 白鬼子. You're funny. :P

    You're all so well-traveled!

  6. 宝茹
    You are also well-traveled. You've been to many places in China.

  7. Yup,I support you!
    Jonathan was in Norway 2years ago, he spend thousand just for the train ride, but it worth! He was in Houston last year, he went for sky diving but regret to not pay the money for video graphing. Now he is there again, no sky dive for 2nd time, but will stop by L.A for 10days, including visiting Grand Canyon..

    We never know that when are you going back again or when the beautiful scene will be destroy.


    Mini UN.. good!

  8. pingping
    A few years ago I went to Ho Chi Minh City with my supervisor. In the evening I asked him to try Central Vietnamese food in a restaurant which I went to in a previous trip. But he only wanted to buy souvenirs for his wife. After the job was done, I visited to Mekong Delta but he flew back immediately to rejoin his wife.

    You hubby is so much different, hehe...

  9. Nice to go to those places. For me, I've yet to step on US soil. Maybe one day. At the moment, prefer to visit my neighbouring countries first.

  10. For sure if I were u, I would do the same too! Having travelled all the way there and not taking some time off to explore the region would be a huge waste!

    And speaking of the States, only several sites have managed to captre my fascination: NYC, Mt. St. Helens, Alaska, Yellowstone Nat Park, New Orleans, Florida and the Giant Redwoods. Others I'm not interested. :P

  11. kyh
    Those Malaysians who worked in the States earned dollar, but they still 'operated in ringgit mode'. That's why they didn't want to spend much.

  12. i have heard of some ppl who dont want to 'enjoy' when they are overseas because they want to save. i still dont quite understand that. a bit wont hurt, huh? :) glad u enjoyed yr trip :)

  13. quachee
    Saving is one factor, but it was different in the case of my ex-supervisor. He only wanted to enjoy together with his wife...