The grass is always green on the other side

Whenever I meet someone new, they often tell me about their dreams to leave their home country to experience living in a foreign country. Well, it’s always about moving to US, Canada or even Australia. Some even want to start their life in Japan or China. Pretty interesting and I can quite understand why. Most people want a change in their environment. The so called Gen-Y does not like to stay in a place for long and often long for changes or challenges, as we call it!

Since I fall in the Gen-Y group, I too long for challenges. I seek for interesting challenges to keep me going and that brought me to Germany. Before I arrived in Germany, I heard about the top notch safety and quality in everything which Germans emphasize so often – the opposite of my home country. Now that I am finally here, I experience it all myself. Even though it has not been long, I can imagine myself complaining about the punctuality of public transports, the manners of most Malaysians and the heat! Don’t misunderstand and think that I have forgotten my roots but let me tell you, it is different here and I appreciate it.

What made me think further was the many questions I was asked about my country – Malaysia. If Malaysia was beautiful, if Malaysia is worth visiting and WHY did I leave my home country? The most interesting question was, When will I return to Malaysia for good? I find all these questions so hard to answer. Of course, I miss my family, my friends and the food. It’s not nice to go all the way to the city centre when most shops are closed and finally turn to McDonald’s for dinner – ALONE! Nothing beats home but, the possibilities that the people I love visiting me here or even plan their path to settle down here with me or even in any other countries do not give me a reason to plan to return for good. My thoughts may change in the future, I don’t know.

Anyway, I was not able to say anything nice about my country besides the food. Some pointed out that Malaysia have beautiful temples and mosques. Frankly speaking, I did not realise the beauty of the temples and mosques. They were all…just there. Some said the weather is amazing. Oh well, I bet the Malaysians will fully disagree because living with such a weather for 365 a year is really no fun. When it’s warm, it’s REALLY WARM and when it’s wet, it’s like the whole sky is falling down. So tell me, what can I say good about Malaysia? THE FOOD! However, it is only the Malaysians who really know how to appreciate food. Trust me….Malaysians are the only people who will travel hours for food.

Recently, I was told by a German girl that she fell in love with Malaysia and is considering to live/ work in Malaysia. It took me days to reply her. I found it sooooo funny/ weird. Why Malaysia of all places? Why? Didn’t she read about the safety in Malaysia? Why would she want to risk herself to a man on motorcycle who will pour acid on women by the roadside? Haven’t she read about all the interesting or barbaric topics in the Malaysian newspaper? I shared my thoughts with my friends. In fact, I did not need to say much and before I could say anything, they asked me the same question – Why Malaysia? Ask her to go somewhere else!

This a sad fact. I mentioned earlier that I wanted interesting challenges but my parents were the ones who gave me the real idea – to leave home. No parents would want their children away from them, especially my parents. My teacher once said that my mother took care of me so well that no mosquitoes were able to bite me. My mom was so strict that no one believed that I was leaving Malaysia but I did it, with a heavy heart.

I hope I can talk more fondly about Malaysia. Everybody knows the tagline, ‘Malaysia truly Asia’ and when I explain that there are 3 main races in Malaysia, they found it so interesting….and they asked, “So, everybody live in harmony???”. I can just smile and nod because, once again….I do not know how to answer. I mean, there is no war…..so it’s harmony, no? When I tell them that I am Chinese, I am questioned, “Why do I call myself a Chinese when I am actually a Malaysian?” because to them, Chinese come from China. Although my ancestors were from “some area in China”, I am a true Malaysian. How can I even fit in China when my Chinese language is not even fluent?

When someone comes up to me to say that they love Malaysia, I just wonder why. But perhaps, I have really overlooked the pros and only concentrated on the cons? Have been complaining so much? There are really pros and cons to everything. Germany is not perfect, if you want to know. There were a few foreigners who tried to hit my back as I was walking near the Main Train Station. I’ve never gotten that in Malaysia, only some wolf whistles. Perhaps we should see things like a foreigner?

Just for your information, there is an organization out there protecting the old building in KL from being demolished for urbanization and as a Malaysian, I was not aware of it until my German Teacher told me about it. So much of being a Malaysian eh……so, really…what have we done?