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.