Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Transport in Cameron Highlands

I must be the biggest chicken on earth. At least in Singapore.

A few weeks ago, Mr Chua sent me an email asking me to call Mr K to ask him to recommend a transport driver. I thought, omg this is so scary and how am I to communicate effectively, etc.

In the end, I waited till 1 week before I arrive to call.

I was on 96, going to school and decided to call. Phone rang. Oh crap, somebody picked up. Silence. Hello hello hello? silence. Then somebody spoke, "Hello" and monkey went hello is this Mr K? Silence. Hello hello hello?

Sigh, Monkey decided to hang up. I started smsing which I should have done long ago (why didn't I think of it!)

Then suddenly my SMS got interrupted by phone ringing. Eek! Mr K called back!

Ok anyways, the next 5 minutes was the shortest and most delirious moment of my week.

Mr K doesn't speak great English but I said I need a driver and he said when? next week? ok.

Poor monkey still struggling to catch up and essentially, he is going to recommend me a driver. Who? himself!

ahaha I should have called long ago. It was that easy. Will negotiate price when I'm in Cameron so I better bring lots of money. *sigh*

Speaking with a senior who worked in Thailand, S$50/day for car and driver seem to be my best budget for local transport. Oh god, I need funding! I think I will simply have to be subsidized by my stipend. 3 month's stipend will be $4500 and including my $3400 from the faculty and department, I should be able to survive with $7900. But that just means I will not be able to save a single penny for the holidays. I just hope that I can maintain my current savings without going lower than the current. Guess I will wait to change money for my trips after 18 May when I get paid. Hopefully NHB job money will eventually come in. That way it will contribute to my savings. Also, my RA job should give me some pittance of an allowance to work with. Thank goodness my conference funding will cover my philippines trip. Still there is a certain element of payment upfront which makes me uncomfortable.

Managing a research project does allow one to acquire budget management skills.

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