After much debating with myself, I was ultimately convinced that a short 3 weeks trip back to Malaysia before the summer holiday ends is worth it. I wouldn’t say I was homesick or anything, but the main reason was that there were cheap return flight tickets, equivalent to my 3 weeks rental here in the UK. Moreover, I feel like a trip back will be the perfect finale to my summer escapade by seeing my beloved family and friends whilst devouring sufficient Malaysian food to last me for another year in the UK (figuratively, not literally).
I am by no means exaggerating when I say most of my activities revolve around food. Meeting family and friends at my favourite restaurant, for good food. Travelling to my hometown to visit my grandparents, while eating good food. Going on a short 2 days trip to Ipoh with a group of friends to spend time together again, and also to try different local delicacies. I am blessed to have families and friends who would go out of their way and drive me around to satisfy my food cravings. Despite picking up numerous Malaysian recipes whilst in the UK, nothing beats eating the real thing in the typical Malaysian hot weather, I swear I almost cried when I had my first bite of claypot chicken rice upon touch down.
Disclaimer: Amazingly delicious-looking Malaysian food photos will be bombarded in 3.. 2.. 1…
(Warning: Salivating excessively is a major side effect)
On a serious note, other than food, there is so much more of Malaysia to appreciate, something I began to realize after a year abroad.
As much as I am still constantly in awe with European architectures, while taking the LRT (equivalent to DLR in London) to KLCC (The Twin Towers), I realise I have taken for granted the beauty of Islamic architecture which is seen throughout Kuala Lumpur. Magnificent Chinese and Indian temples can also be easily spotted. The mix of architectural styles is uniquely Malaysian.
- Countryside scenery
Whenever I’m in Europe, I love taking the train because it is extremely peaceful to listen to some music whilst taking in the picturesque window view. In contrast, Malaysia’s countryside is a lot more rustic where there’s more motorcyclists, more tropical trees like coconut trees.. .I don’t know how to describe it but the rusticness of a Malaysian kampung (village/small town) exudes a certain warmth that draws you in and leaves you all fuzzy inside.
- Tropical rain
Everyone knows that a typical British weather includes gloomy skies with intermittent drizzles. But I realise I eventually miss the occasional heavy downpour in Malaysia. I love listening to the sound the rain makes when it falls on the tiled rooftop while taking an afternoon nap, because that’s when the weather is most cooling.
All in all, I am glad that this trip made me notice things that I have always took for granted and made my love for Malaysia grow. On the other hand, I also realised how short my 2 years of study in UK was and there’s a lot of more things I want to see and experience. One thing I know for sure is when I have to return to Malaysia for good next year, I will definitely miss UK, too.