My travails in Malaysia

A story of how Malaysia defeats technology and making life easier and simpler….

So while a lot of my Malaysia trip was loads of fun, I didn’t speak of the “horrors” of doing business there. This one experience sort of typifies the infrastructure limitations of Malaysia and how sometimes I wonder how it would ever drag itself into the modern world. Right now, it’s just a step above Philippines and Indonesia and Thailand but only because those places are just so backwards. Vietnam don’t know much about but they can’t help where they are; they can blame the US for bombing them back to the stone age during the war.

So the situation is this. I needed to receive a faxed copy of my I-130 petition from my lawyer. What should’ve taken 30 minutes turned into a 4 hour morning and early afternoon ordeal. I use jfax so that I could download it anywhere in the world and print it out. Theory is great and works fine in the US… but then there’s the Malaysia experience. Because B- stays in the Cheras neighborhood of KL, we had to find a local i-cafe. We did but it was so slow and we couldn’t actually view it or print it out. Firstly, all the internet cafe’s have pretty much disabled any pict viewers, I guess to protect against porn surfing. So there was nothing on the i-cafe machines that could read a .TIFF file. Doh. Secondly, if if I could find a viewer that could read it, I couldn’t print because internet cafe’s usually don’t have printers. Their machines are just gaming stations, who needs to print? Ipoh was slightly better. B- lives near Coffeenet which is a nice i-cafe. Just they don’t have microphones but lots of sound.

So, we’re running around in downtown KL itself, talking with the lawyer. Now, this itself was a difficulty. My lawyer couldn’t call through to our cell phones which I know exists because when I use a calling card to call Bridget from the US, I sometimes can’t get through too. The solution, buy a Malaysia calling card and call the lawyer. Simple right? Nope, not really. We bought a Flexicard from Digi Malaysia. Well, we couldn’t use that card to dial either from the public phones or the one phone we found at an i-cafe in KL near the bus station, Puduraya. Finally, getting desperate because we needed to get this out, we called on B-‘s friend who happens to work in a big company. Being the Deputy General Manager, he would have the stuff for us to print out. So yup, we gave up, called him and ended up printing out everything in his office, after 3 hours of running around town.


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