06/07/2001

A long time away from the diary. Only because I've been terribly busy. Perhaps it's time I let in on what it is I do here in Malaysia.

Well, most of what I do is CD-ROM based digital media. My employer's main client is the state owned petroleum company, Petronas. This behemoth of a corporation in fact, consists of 120 subsidiary companies. A small handful of those are in our clientele. The companies themselves are quite varied, ranging from marketing divisions, through to fertilizer producers, even Malaysia's Philarmonic Orchestra (I didn't even know this country had an orchestra). Most of what I do is promotional CDs, which are handed out to their clients at presentations. It's nothing special really, but at least it has proved to be a pleasant diversion from previous jobs, where I only had one site or project to be responsible for.

However, the work is hard. My spirits were raised considerably by my first foreign paypacket. Me and Nuni were scraping our last pennies together before its arrival in my hand. Phew! Now we can settle the $400 phone bill, and various other handouts betrothed to us since our arrival here last March.

2 good things about work: 1) I get in early, and can have breakfast, in the form of roti cannai (flour like pancakes served with fish curry and vegetable dahl) and a nice kopi tarik (frothy local coffee). I'm assured the froth is not due to the man in the shop spitting in it, simply pouring the mixture from one cup to another. Very nice, and great for people who are already tired by the time they arrive at work. Like me.

I fear my transport is on the verge of a breakdown. The driver's seat is currently being propped up by a bucket, wedged up against the rear passenger seat. The car itself really needs an overhaul. My brother inlaw is good at maintaining it, but requires a lot of money to perform major repairs, such as a new head gasket. The smell of petrol takes your breath away. And considering that KL and the Klang Valley is in the midst of some smog blown over from Sumatran forest fires (blast those loggers), that makes air even less breathable.

I have to face facts. Malaysia is a real dive of a place. When you find the decent scenery, the place is beautiful. But rampant development projects are making such areas harder to find. To prove how mad things are here in the capital, let me tell you that the government here decided to move parlaiment from the capital, to a new purpose built city - Putrajaya - 40km away. Just to avoid the traffic probably. A typical approach to the problems faced here. Rather than tackle it head on, they go completely the wrong way about it.

End of my ranting. Not really what a diary is supposed to be is it? One day, I'll get used to it. Whether Nuni will get used to it, time will surely tell...
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