Home Sweet Home

This lexical chain has been repeated more times than required but it does retain a very profound truth...
I'm a Malaysian born in the city of Kuching in the state of Sarawak.
I have just returned from my studies overseas in Wellington, New Zealand.

Anywhere in the world, when you meet new people... one of the top 10 questions you will be asked is "where are you from?" besides "what is your name?" & "do you have a quarter?"
In New Zealand, I sometimes feel a hint of shame to say, "I'm from Malaysia." Mostly because the enthusiasm shown by the person asking the question will drop sharply after you answer honestly. As if my country was not good enough for him/her.
Well, I do feel that my country is not good enough when comparing it to some of the Japanese & Koreans people I meet.
Even when I was studying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I experienced this...
"I like the way you look... Where are you from?"
"I'm from Kuching, Sarawak."
"Oh..."
Yeah, I do find that my city is not as glamourous or exciting like Penang or KL.

But why do I compare? Why should I let what other people think dictate my thoughts on myself? Why should I compare my nation or city with other nations or cities when they are all very very different with their own distinct characteristics & attractions? When I caught myself feeling down because of this, I stopped to think. I knew this was not a good thing. Thinking like this isn't right. Like it or not, I cannot change my origin. I can deny it & create some false identity... but deep inside of me I know the truth... I know where I am from.

Why shoud I be ashamed of something I cant change? Is it possible for me to be proud of my humble origins? Yes, Malaysia is not as advanced but we are advancing rapidly & will one day match the likes of Japan. There is hope. Yes, Kuching is not as lively or glamourous but it is clean & the food is great. There is a hope & a future for my nation & my city. I should not be depressed about a place that is filled with hope. I should be proud. I should look forward instead of the present to judge worth. Indeed when doing so, I find pride... Let me be an example. Let me show that a person with a small beginning can also be a person with a significant ending.

For those of you who dont know, I arrived in Kuching at 11:50pm on Monday, 26 Nov. Before you, my friend, start whining & complaining about how long I took to get in contact with you, I suggest you stop that pathetic whinning of yours & take a good look in the mirror. After two years of being away from your family, yes, you will miss your friends, but blood is thicker, I find myself wanting to spend more time with my family. True friends have true respect. Are you my true friend?

Of course I want to see you too! My friends are important but I cant stand it when they whine about a small little molehill. As you can see, I met a whiner recently...
Well, I'm still using my previous Digi cell phone number but I lost all my contacts.
So all my long time no see friends... do send me a text & let's meet up!
P/S: I will not publish my phone number for the whole world to see...

Finally, here are some significant points of difference I have discovered after coming back to Kuching from Wellington:

Wellington:
- cooler & dryer weather. won't feel so sticky & dirty 5 minutes after you shower.
- mosquitos are non-existant. never woke up clapping my hands & scratching like monkey.
- people people put in more effort to dress better.
- people are friendlier. they are very good in small talk.
- people drive safer. they give way more & stop often than they should.
- Multi-national. I meet people from all around the world.
- High minimum wage. At NZ$11.25 per hour, working is worth your time.

Kuching:
- food is cheap & so GOOOOOOOOOD.
- breezy, not windy. the city doesnt tweak your hairstyle every minute you are outside.
- don't have to freaking speak Cantonese all the time. but I will have to adapt to hokkien.
- my family & long-lasting friends are here. they are the backbone of my social life.
- I'm proud of what this place has become & will continue to consider it my home sweet home!

Comments

  1. Heys, I heard that you were leaving but never really got to say good bye properly. Oh well, I'm sure we will somehow meet again soon anyways since I'm planning to go back to Sabah end of next year. I might even arrange a visit to Sarawak since I've heard so much about it but haven't had the opportunity to visit.

    I can relate very well to the experiences you've had about coming from the East side or even from Malaysia. I guess some people are just ignorant about it but it doesn't mean that we are worth less than them. You should definitely be proud of where you come from (like you said). I know this is slightly hypocritical since I'm no longer a Malayian and cheesy but "Malaysia Boleh".

    It's been a pleasure knowing you briefly over the last two years and sharing the same passion in teaching. All the best in everything you set you heart to do especially in the teaching field and may it glorify God's name. Make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good to have you back! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3/12/07 22:52

    Are u back in Kuching for good? What are u going to do? I will be back during CNY. So hopefully can meet up with u. It has been really long since we last bumped at the airport. Maybe we will bump into each other again =P

    Cya folk!

    ReplyDelete
  4. some ppl might not know where Malaysia is or they haven't even heard of it. So they go "oh". Well, that's my experience :)

    welcome home.

    i miss the food back home!! ahh!

    good that you are spending time with your family and am actually making a stand for tat! hats off for that! :)

    keep growing in all aspects ya!

    it's been good knowing you, though we've only met once! :) i do learn quite a bit from you about things thru ur blog. been good :)

    blessed early christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8/12/07 13:50

    yeah, nothing beats home! and be proud of who you are. (am speaking for myself too!):)

    -tasha-

    ReplyDelete
  6. nicely written. we should always be proud of who we are.

    anyways, see u back in ipba soon!

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  7. You shouldn't feel disappointed or ashame about where you're from. It's all about perception. Who knows, the other party may not know much about your city hence not knowing how to continue or react (blank looks). Be proud of where you're from and who you are. I find that the Asians have much more of a cultural and national identity compared to some western/european countries.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i totally agree with ya. I mean, even in Malaysia, to be precise, in INTI-UC where i am attending now in nilai, people thought that i came from a place where people live on trees.

    I'm serious.

    and oh, i'm from Ipoh.

    ReplyDelete
  9. yes! Proud of you, proud that we are from the same place!! Hehe...

    ReplyDelete

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