Friday, October 24, 2008

Homestay in Alor Star..

In the last couple of years, we've seen a proliferation of homestays in Alor Star. Homestay is the cheaper version of hotel stay...like what Air Asia is to Malaysian Airlines System. It provides cheap lodging to people who want a place to stay. In Alor Star, some guy started the idea of homestay back in the 90s and his business thrived. Within a short time, others learned that it was lucrative and started their own homestays.

But it has deviated from its original concept. By right homestay means renting a room in a local home so that the boarder can enjoy and experience the local culture. Also it is a way of promoting tourism and allowing those families who extend their homes into homestays to earn a little extra income.
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But the whole concept is now skewed in Alor Star...I suspect it's the same too in other places. Whole houses are being converted into mini hotels these days to cater for the demand.
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Tucked away in housing estates such as the above, they blend into the surroundings, providing the kind of anonymity that some seek. They provide the 3Cs - clean, cheap and convenient. Located near makan stalls, it cuts down the roaming around to search for food, especially at night.

Like most I didn't think too much about it..you know...it's just a business thingy ....that sort of thinking. Well, I've changed my mind. Apart from providing lodging to legit boarders, these have also become that sort of seedy joints where sexual romps take place. RM20 for a two hour stay - that sort of service is not available at hotels where you have to pay the full rate - lunch and dinner breaks are turning into not quite that sort of breaks that we are so accustomed to. And the owners continue to rake in the profits without thinking much of the consequences ... the authorities are probably aware but are closing one eye to it. Right now, these temp boarders are made up of mostly those looking for a fling - paid and unpaid... In this state where religious piety is unquestioned, I think we'd be surprised at the type of people and number of immoral flings that are taking place right in these homestays.

But think further...at RM20 for a couple of hours...it's kinda affordable, don't you think? Such are the stuff happening right under our noses..... parents need to be a lot more vigilant than they think. 8(

And the issue of safety...imagine such places being used to monitor the neighbours' every move. It kinda makes things a little scarier, right? My imagination runs wilder the more I think.

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