Over the course of a year, I was directly engaged in a project in Malaysia. I learned first of all about the reality of politics in the company I was working for at the time. As in there was a strong dislike of anything that came out of the regional HQ located in Singapore. The team from Malaysia reached out to me, and without my knowing that put me in the middle of a fairly large political battle. In dealing with the regional team, I learned why pretty quickly. The regional folks were, well not in tune.
The team in Malaysia, on the other hand, remains to this day one of my all-time favorite teams. We spent hours pouring through information and ended up finding a phenomenal partner from Vietnam to help us succeed. I don’t often talk about my love of Cuban Cigars, but I do love them. There is just something about the Cuban Tabaco that makes a cigar just that much better. Malaysia was (and is) one of the few pro-Castro countries in the world. That means there were opportunities for cheaper Cuban cigars while there!
The other thing I enjoyed about KL was the opportunity I had to learn and work with people that were from a different culture, although similar part of the world than I was used to. I spent more than a year in Thailand when I was young, so the concepts of a Buddhist culture were something I understood. Being in the similar geography, similar climate to Thailand in Malaysia I was now an introduction to a predominantly Muslim culture. I found the reality to be; people are people. I was amazed by the wonder and joy of the culture around the religion and the people. I guess it confirmed my long-held belief that you could share a meal with anyone and learn who they are. When you do you come to appreciate that person as a person. Malaysia helped me see the world as a place you can always explore!