As the preparations for the long awaited trip to Southampton, UK begins, one cannot help but wonder the illustrious things we have come to take as granted in Malaysia and how much we would miss them.
a) The food
The variety of tantalizing foodstuff I have learnt to sacrifice in pursuit of cheaper alternatives due to the university student’s innate need to save money is simply astounding. However, the encounters with Malaysia’s rich food heritage was both unavoidable and welcome. I would most certainly miss the satays, laksas, roti canais and thosais. But perhaps most of all, I would miss the lesser known (but infamous among USMC students) Bai Xiang, which has become a staple food for students and lecturers alike.
b) The streets
Despite not being a large fan of driving in general, it is rather tear-jerking when recalling that we may very well not experience roads like the ones leading to USMC. This of course, is referring to its emptiness and it scenic surroundings. Only here, can one have a leisurely drive, soaking in the scorching Malaysian sun, occasionally encountering another fellow driver and eventually having that particular driver invoke unspeakable rage with his masterful skills. Malaysian drivers, amirite?
c) The people
Malaysia is a country where the people are comprised of a multitude of religions with their own restrictions, yet be able to coexist harmoniously due to some strange reason. However, this peace and civility gets lobbed out the window when it comes to discussing whose food is the best. These disputes often arise from the fact that no one Malaysian has truly sampled the entire spectrum of food available, and those who have must have “ate it wrong”.
Malaysians unbeknownst to many, are frighteningly efficient with the use of language as a medium to achieve the everyday goals of the average man. Every language, be it Malay, English, Mandarin or Tamil, is heavily modified with local slang in order to convey emotions, effectively reducing the need for many regular utility words. This blatant cannibalism of languages may potentially drive any linguist mad with anguish, but to us Malaysians, it is an endearing trait that brings the people close. I, for one do not look forward to leaving my “lah”s and “leh”s behind, but it would be that or the weird looks from non-Malaysians in the foreign lands.
e) The sun
Southampton is looking to be a lot chillier than Malaysia the whole year around, one could only wonder how a body acclimatized to the Malaysian weather since birth would react. My guess is “badly”. Malaysians, as is tradition, would never under any circumstances stop complaining about the weather. We blame all our sicknesses on it, and we curse it should the need to step outdoors arises. This is largely due to Malaysia’s weather having 2 presets – “Hell on Earth” or “Hell on Earth: Rainy Edition”. However, now that my time together with the dreadful Malaysian sun grows ever shorter, it has grown to be all the more endearing. After all, many a childhood have been had under the golden rays of Malaysia.
picture courtesy of www.life.edu.my