Daily Diaries

Getting used to home

The other day I had lunch with a good friend who’s back in the city. L and I used to be in the same classes in college and because of our shared interests i.e. bags and shoes, we grew close. After the both of us graduated from our pre-u programme, she left the country with her family, since her dad was expanding his business overseas.

Since L moved, I’d only seen her 3 times, but we never lost touch, saying hello to each other and making calls every now and then. I still don’t know how we manage to still be good after so many years, with so little hanging out IRL.

She’s back for a couple of months now and supposed to be back for good, but she’s having second thoughts since she’s having trouble getting used to life here.

So she shared the things that she’s concerned with, like how it’s the culture here to arrange for meet-ups and then back out and issue a raincheck at the last minute (something I’m also guilty of). Or not show up at all. Or how people can’t be direct with each other and berdolak-dalik instead. Or how it feels less safe here.

(Strangely it’s the same rants I’ve heard from a friend who’d studied in the US for 4 years.)

Understandable kot, after close to a decade of growing up in your 20s abroad, the place where you used to call home can feel so foreign. You go to another country you go through culture shock, you come back to your country after that pun, you go through culture shock.

That’s how it was for Reza, who took a while to get used to how it is here after being abroad for a few years in Japan, where it was relatively more safe, secure, civil and punctual.

I’ve seen people who couldn’t get used to the being back in Malaysia after going abroad for a long time, some end up hating the country and the people -_-

Well, I suppose it’s good that L’s consciously trying to open her mind and to be more accepting of how things work here, although I can imagine how hard it’d be.

I just told her to give it more time.

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    jenny
    January 30, 2015 at 12:44 AM

    Hi.
    i think mostly cannot fit in malaysia, due to they live in more advance city or i call it first world country. I once live in east africa, where mostly the road there is only 30% is “tar road”.. if not main road.. jln merah or jln batu2 kecil mcm vibrate all the way.. so when i’m back in kl.. mcm nak scream tgk hgway 4 lane.. it is all down how the way u mind is.. if u r open minded.. u can live anywhere n can adapt quickly. Imagine all those matsalleh backpacking.. they look so relax and calm n just enjoy what ever country they are in 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Farhanah Diman
    February 1, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Before I came back for good, all of my friends who were already home kept on telling me I’ll feel weird abt it and just want to return. True enough. For me, I get much less independence here and forever restricted to do things that I want, or go out of the city (not to mention, out of the country) with friends. Transition period is quite hard. 😐

  • Avatar
    Reply
    JH
    February 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Honestly, tak perlu lah meratib-kan hujan emas negeri orang. But, kalau tak puas hati, there’s always the choice to uproot and settle where the soil is more fertile and sesuai dengan jiwa.

    Living away from “home” and then returning “home” is not an open license for the said person to slam the so-called inadequacy of the said home. It’s akin to sh*tting where you eat.

    Not happy, go. Can’t go, stay and suck it up.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Nadia AR
    February 4, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    I can relate to this post. I think when we express how hard this “transition period” is, it’s not about putting another place on a pedestal/purposely criticizing home. It’s more of a struggle to adapt and cope with change.

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