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Settling in – To work in Penang

I have now been in Penang, Malaysia for a few days and I’ve already had my fair share of new experiences both during and outside work.

Every morning I get picked up at my hotel and every afternoon I am driven home. It is chaos with cars weawing in and out and motos (Mopeds – small motorbikes) are everywhere left and right and infront of you. I understand why you don’t just drive a car here but prefer a driver. They also drive in the left side of the road, courtesy of the commonwealth influence.

We are about 2000 employees at the factory but only about 10 of us are socalled ASIC design engineers. We have our own room and as such the only contact i get with the remaining 1990 people is when I walk through the production offices to get to the toilet, wait for the lift, or eat in the cantina. I have a great interest in local life and what other work is being done at the factory and hopefully I’ll be able to get a tour of the remaining facility.

Naturally, everything is very different from Denmark. First of all it’s a factory with people everywhere doing completely other stuff than what I do; In Denmark we are only 30 people and we are all (almost) doing the same. Then there are the toilets – they are squatting toilets

Squat toilet

To many danes, this is a nightmare and most have never seen one before in their lives. Being a guy, pee’ing is easy – doing number 2 takes some getting used to though. I’ve learned that the best way is simply taking off your pants and hanging them on the designated hanger space (which is in every single toilet so far), so as to not get them… dirty. On a sidenote – there is a hose in every toilet aswell good for easy cleaning whether you are part of the cleaning crew or just feel the need to clean before (or after) you need to go the toilet.

For lunch we usually go out to eat which gives me a chance to both experience the heat, the world outside and the delicious Penang food. There are many chinese and Indian people here so the food varies alot and you have the option to try much different food. There is also a bunch of western food shops but they are extremely expensive compared to street food (5-10x more expensive). A local dish is about 5 Ringgit (9DKK/$1,5USD) while at TGI Fridays its more like 50 ringgits for a burger.

The work itself that I do is very interesting. Both because it’s new people and a whole new environment, so in many ways it’s like starting a new job, but also because I am the only *digital* designer meaning that I get all the responsibility for that side of the chip we are making, which is both exciting but all in some ways scary. If I don’t do good, the project will be delayed (or will have errors) and noone is there to pick up the slack.

Yesterday (friday) we went to the cantina instead as it was raining (and parking is hard to get so people park far away). Also, when it rains it pours – it’s usually not raining but then in short bursts it’s raining alot. Alot; So it’s best to stay inside. One anecdote of one of the other guys at the factory was that he left his car at a new parking lot and when he came back to it the car was flooded (everything was wet inside). That parking lot is now closed until they figure out how to deal with the rain 🙂

Flooded "inside" because it rains
Flooded “inside” because it rains

Stay tuned for the next episode where I’ll try to get into life after work 🙂

First day in Penang, Malaysia

First day in Penang

… which means that once again I’m on an adventure and the reason behind this trip is work. 2 weeks in Malaysia, 1 week in Denmark, and 2 months in Malaysia. This post will be short as I’m tired (jetlagged).

I left Denmark yesterday morning (local time) and arrived safely today also in the morning. I got picked up in the airport by a chaueffeur that had a tag with my name on it. This is a first for me. It is also the first time for me in south-east asia so everything is very exciting.

I checked in to my 2 story suite and promptly fell asleep. I needed the sleep as I had only slept for about 3-4 hours scattered across various timezones  and planes. I woke up about two hours later, took a shower and ventured out to see the local malaysian life.

Everything was very quiet. Maybe it’s because it was 3pm and everyone was working, or maybe it’s because it’s a muslim country and Ramadan is happening. I don’t know. What I do know is that I got a very delicious course that Emily, the waitress, suggested. Forgive my ignorance but i think what I got was Pho phan (which translates into pho noodles, where pho is a river) which is called that because the dish looks like a river 🙂 I also recieved very fresh double orange juice. All for the total of 8 ringgit, or about $2. Come to think of it, she just asked for $1?

I managed quite well with spoon and chopsticks. Apparently you just put the spoon under the chopsticks so as to both being able to stuff food into your mouth really quickly but also so that any spill from the chopsticks doesn’t fall back into the soup and splatters your clothes. It really helped learning that and my clothes are clean 🙂  I also came to learn the story of how she was a student in structural engineering for 2 years in Malaysia when she was young and was supposed to go to England to finish her degree but because her mother got sick they couldn’t afford it. 6 months later her mother died and she has been working in a restaurant ever since. She is over 70 now although she looks much younger.

I also learned from the security guard at the hotel that food is “puta” or something like that. Nice to know 🙂

Now it’s 6pm and I have to prepare for first day at work in Malaysia tomorrow.



North Vietnam Roadtrip April 2017

What is this!?

I’m on another trip to north vietnam! This time together with Amy!

It will be around 2 weeks and will be to many of the same spots but also some new ones. Since it’s shorter we’ll probably skip the left part of the north and focus on cao bang and hi giang.

Day 1

 Day 2


 Day 3


 Day 4


 Day 5


 Day 6


 Day 7

Day 7 was spent just hiking around Dong Van!

 Day 8


 Day 9

For some reason this is creating trouble to plot but we went all the way from Dong Van to Ha Giang City. A 150km long, very mountainous ride!!

 Day 10

 Day 11

 Day 12

 Day 13

 Day 14