Over the years I had many overseas trips. The ones I remember the most are the ones that took me places I had not been before. My first trip to Malaysia was such a trip. In part, because Malaysia sits at the other end of the long strip of land between it and Thailand. In part because my father had been many years before (to KL) and spoke highly of it. I guess I didn’t think about the project I was to be a part of, as much, as by then we had done that particular project a couple of times. It was less new and more we’ve been there done that.
KL is an interesting city. I have many stories of my time there (and many pictures to share as well). I think the thing I remember first was landing at the airport. I spent a couple of days in Singapore talking to the regional folks about the customer and their goals. Their goals weren’t the customer’s goals; I learned that very quickly. I also learned that they saw me as a way they could control the team in Malaysia, sending in an American to fix the project. It didn’t work out that way, nor would I have allowed the manipulation of the project by Singapore. I have ethical rules about the way you treat people.
That first landing at the KL airport flew us over two things I had never seen from above before; a track built wholly for Formula One racing and grove after grove of Palm trees (mainly to harvest Palm Oil). I had never seen that many palm trees in one place. The formula One track was also amazing (I still pay attention to the F1 race in KL). I got into a car and headed to the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel I was to stay at my first two weeks in KL. I would come back two more times past the first visit. The initial visit was to see where the project was and how could I fit in and help them solve the customer’s problem.