Malaysia - Day -1 wrapping up
Mo's asleep and Day (-1) is ending. TechEd Malaysia starts tommorow, and I've got a talk on WSE - Web Services Enhancements at 4:30pm and God willing it won't suck.
Speaking to a non-U.S. crowd is an art, and it's not easy. If you present to a crowd that is part Muslim, part Hindu, part Christian, part Buddist, part Chinese, part Indian, part Bumiputra, part Tamil-speaking, part Bahasa Malaysia-speaking, and part Mandarian-speaking (not to mention other languages) like they are all from Ohio, you are bound to miss the mark. I want to present a face of respect to everyone in this very diverse country and it takes research to understand where folks are coming from. Mo and I have been spending the last few days totally with local friends, exploring the non-tourist places, eating at street vendors and learning as much Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia as possible. It might sound silly to do this in order to better present sessions on ASP.NET and Web Services, but I believe it's the right thing to do and I can't imagine not putting this kind of effort into it. Maybe I'm naive, perhaps ignorant, or just an idealist. Diversity is glorious and to be respected, but I must aim to understand (truly grok) first. I believe to successfully teach someone of a specific culture (be that culture of Malaysia or of Brooklyn) one must be a student of that culture.
There are some 'ugly Americans' in KL (you can hear them in the cafes, they're hard to miss) and I've wished I had this T-shirt a few times.
Lots of interesting stuff today. We ate breakfast overlooking the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers. Went out to the rural areas and visited a Chinese village, went to a Taoist Temple, and Mo ate Durian (the King of Fruits). We also went up to the "First World Hotel" at the top of the world in the Genting Highlands.
I added a new photo slide show at http://www.hanselman.com/MalaysiaDay3. I tell ya, the Casio Exilim EX-Z3 is schweet.
Tommorow I'll blog about more details of the conference and the technical things and cultural snafus that arise.