Thursday, June 25, 2009

Learning from Experience

You could have read every single last source that has ever been published on either Southeast Asia or Malaysia and you would still be surprised when your plane lands for the first time. There is truly something to be said for learning from experience. This goes beyond enjoying the local cuisine or learning the customs (although both are important). The very dynamic of Malaysia is such that it is difficult to capture in words. It manifests itself in the conversations shared with coworkers at my internship, arguments during a session in parliament and in traffic jams that seem to go on for kilometers. The people here are calm yet hard-working. The political system is neither completely open nor completely closed. These inherent contradictions are a part of what gives Malaysia its unique character and makes it a fascinating place to study.

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