In February, we met up with Roth Mikoungui, a support engineer from Congo, in Nu Sentral. It took us a while to find a quiet-ish place to record and we finally settled at The Gravy Factory, which had an open-air area with a great view and was relatively quiet.
Being on the fifth floor and nestled between buildings, there wasn’t any noise from the roads and there were only two other people there outside. Initially.
We ordered some drinks and got down to recording, and that’s when some of the other guests who had been seated inside decided to come out for a photo shoot outside while screaming what sounded like a family discussion across the space.
The final sound quality isn’t the best we’ve recorded recently, with all the background noise, but it was still an interesting conversation with Roth, who talked through all the ruckus.
Here’s some of the stuff we talked about:
1.34: Roth is the first Congolese we’ve met so far! Apparently, the Congolese community in Malaysia is very small because many of them who leave the country prefer to go to China, Europe, and the US
7.26: Apparently, Guineans have a big community in Malaysia. We haven’t ever met anyone from there. Or maybe we have and didn’t know.
9.53: Some foreigners (or just people who’ve never been at before decided now was the best time to crowd around the people recording and take pictures. That’s all the discussions you hear in the background for the next few minutes.
13.00: “Before I used to be very sexy with a six-pack, but now I have a family pack, so…”
14.23: “They are black like me and they have jobs, is there any magic involved? No. If they can do it, so can I.
14.32: When you try your best, you never know when the door is going to open.
21.22: It’s better to see something that you failed at because you know that at least you tried.
25.17: If you see it in that perspective that they are exploiting you, they are using you, you will quit your job. You will not work. But on the other hand, you can see it as a chance to gain experience and learn while looking for better opportunities, and build your career.
The Other Expats’ sound design is by the Big Mean Sound Machine and the intro was created by the Small Room Production.