Against all odds, I actually managed to wake up on time. What happened the day before seemed like a blur as I went outside my room to find that I was the only one awake. I got ready and got a call from Adrian saying he was waiting downstairs. Just as I was about to leave, another EP called Salman had just woken up and we said a quick goodbye as I left. Getting out of the building, however, was easier said than done since one needed a key card to exit, and this was something I didn't have. And so I walked all over the building, dragging my heavy suitcase behind me, trying to "break out" of the building. Eventually, I went up again to the 5th floor to get the key when Salman told me that there was a button right next to the door that opens it, and feeling somewhat foolish, I went down again. It would be quite some time before I would see any of these EPs again.

Having finally gotten out of the building, Adrian and I loaded up my luggage and set off for the office. On the way, I started to think about my job in question. I had no clear idea what kind of work I would be doing since the job description just said web developer and nothing much besides. Like it had been all along in this trip, everything was an unknown. Around an hour later, we arrived, and it was then that I noted this was Adrian's first time going to the office as well. He didn't know where exactly the office was, and we were parked in a residential area where the address that he was given pointed to. I was feeling quite tense since I didn't know what I would be doing or where I would be staying, and for all I know, I might just be abandoned somewhere.

After a while, he did manage to contact one of the guys at the office who gave us directions to drive up the block to the white house that was the office.

It was then I met Iman, my "boss" who I would be working with for the next 2 months. I already talked to him and one of the co-founders, Daniel during a Skype interview a few weeks ago when they asked me to join them. Right now though, he welcomed us into the office and gave us a quick tour around, through the rooms that were shared by another company, the unlimited supply of Pepsi and chips in the back and the room I would be spending most of my time for the next few months. He then told us about the company itself, what their vision was, the projects they were working on, and so on. It was only then that I started to get a clear idea of what the company was but still had no idea of the work I would be doing. A few minutes later, Adrian left, and It was only me and Iman in the office.

Iman started typing away at his machine, and I asked him what I should do, when he replied that he's typing out a sort of FAQ (Frequently asked questions), to answer many of the questions that I might have. Not knowing what to do, I was feeling slightly awkward as we sat in the silence as Iman typed away. It was like yesterday where after Adrian left, I kind of felt abandoned. That would all change soon, but right now it was around 11, and I still hadn't got breakfast yet, so I asked him whether there were any food shops nearby. He gave me some directions, and I set off out of the office. It was the first time I was going anywhere alone in public since I got here, but I didn't think much of it at the time because I was very sleep-deprived and hungry.

Following his directions, I came to a block of buildings where there were around 6 restaurants all next to each other. Picking one of them at random, I walked in to find a buffet of various curries similar to what I was used to back home. The only difference was I had no idea what any of the food was, so I took a bit of everything just to see what it was like and fell in love with what I later learned was called Mee-goreng (A kind of fried noodles).

By the time I got back to the office after "breakfast," Iman had finished typing out the FAQ email. He also explained to me that I would be working on the profile page portion of the site and that the designing work had already been done. I basically had to "bring the page to life" by coding both the client and server portions which is the hard part. He then left for lunch, and when asked whether I would join him, I politely declined since I just had "breakfast." And so I spent the rest of the day, setting up my computer to start coding on the website and trying to understand the existing code of the website.

At around 4:30, We were done with work for the day, and that was also when I learned that I would be staying with Iman during my stay here. But first, before leaving the office...

Because of my luggage, we took an "Uber" to the station. This was the first of many Uber rides during my stay in Malaysia, and I was fascinated and scared at the same time at the concept of being in a random stranger's car during the journey. Once at the station, I was introduced to the "modern" railway system in Malaysia. Basically, there were none of the small cardboard tickets that I was used to, and instead, there were these machines that looked like vending machines into which you entered where you wanted to go through a touch screen, and it gave you this blue coin which you had to put into the gates going into the station. I also learned that this particular type of train was called the LRT, one I would use many times in the weeks to come.

It was on this LRT ride that I met Rojin, Iman's wife. She got on several stops after the station at which we got on, and several stops after that, we got off the LRT, at the station in "Jelatek." All this time, I had been pulling my luggage along behind me, up escalators and along roads, and its wheels decided that it was time to add to my existing struggle and broke. Iman noticed my "struggle," and so the two of us ended up carrying it several hundred meters to the apartment building where they lived. The place that would be my home for the next two months.

After they showed me my room, I spent a few minutes poking around all the drawers and unpacking a few things out of my bag. A quick wash and change later, I stepped out of my room into the living room. Iman was seated on the sofa and we talked for several minutes. I told him a bit about myself, mostly about how things go wrong whenever I had to present something to a large audience (Anyone who was at Google I/O extended 2015 would know ;) ). It was also then Iman told me a bit about his "very interesting," slightly terrifying history and how he and Rojin migrated to Malaysia 4 years ago from Iran.

It was now dinner time, and after helping Iman and Rojin a bit with the preparation, we had dinner over light conversation about our different cultures. It was still quite early after dinner, but since I hadn't slept properly in several days, I decided to turn in for the night. Bidding Good night to Iman and Rojin, I went to bed. The day before felt like a dream even then since the two days were so different, and in my mind, I kept thinking how someday I would be going back home. But this was still day 2, and I had 2 entire months left. Who knows what could happen :D

Prabashwara Seneviratne

Written by

Prabashwara Seneviratne