I have seen people write about Paris, Rome, Spain, and all the places in the world but none about Malaysia. I love Malaysia. I come from Malaysia. And I have been abroad only to miss Malaysia more. Even if I was not abroad, I still love Malaysia the way it is now.
The moment I came back from abroad to Malaysia, I kept silent all the way just to listen to the language. Its not entirely in Malay language, a mix, a rojak, a blend of chinese-english-indian-malay language-with a -‘LAH’.
All I did when I was waiting to be picked up is just stare around and just listen to the rhythm of the hustle bustle of people. Only to be awaken by the mere ‘Apa Khabar’ (How are you?) from the immigration. It took me a good Two minutes to finally get the words to reply with ‘Baik’ (Good). The simplest word but somehow seemed hard for me say it again after not using it for a while.
As I stepped out from the airport, I stopped and smelled – The Malaysian smell. Its hard to describe into words how they smell, but as I reach my first destination, which is the sea side for a seafood & my fave ‘tomyam’ dish, that’s another smell – the Penang smell. The smell of the pearl of orient as it is known for. (Though we don’t have pearls in our island), I knew I smell ‘Home’.
And the traffic, is how I remember Malaysia most, it may take a while to arrive but its what gives me time to sleep in the middle of the traffic jam at the back of the car as my father drives me home. I can easily know which turn I am now even when I was lying at the back of the car, I knew well that after this bump, there will be another bump, and after this turn, I know I am reaching home without even looking out the window.
Fortunately when I am in my university, I get to mix with the Sabah & Sarawakian, at first I find it hard to differentiate them because some of them don’t look that Sabah/Sarawak to me, they look just like me, speaks like me, and sometimes better than me. But once you mix with them long enough, you can tell the difference between a Sabah and Sarawak apart from the ‘Bah’ and ‘Kitak’
Being friends with them makes me understand that they want just the same thing as we want, to be better in studies and treated as equal. To be friends and be friends with you if you find the right friends to mix with. And they some time make better friends because they will accept you the way you are without discriminating you with any race or religion.
Food, are always the best way to know a culture and love it. You can have at least 7 types of Laksa cooked in their own respective states in Malaysia. Laksa Sarawak,Laksa Kedah, Laksa Penang,Laksa Johor, Laksa Kuala Perlis,Laksa Buyung, ‘Laksam’ (ok technically not Laksa)
And the Mamak culture, before my eyes, I saw a chinese guy, whopping on a 2 plates high of rice, 3-4 types of curry, chicken, fish, meat, vegetables on one plate! And it is not common to see people from various race sitting on one table drinking their Teh Tarik and Roti Canai. Mamak is actually a ‘club’ where people actually socialize , just wait for football season and you will see a whole range of colour on their T-shirt supporting their own team. I’ve only managed to watch football match twice in the last Euro Cup, I was watching Spain and Germany, both at different mamak resto, and both have different environment.
One thing I notice, whether its true or not, fans associate themselves with idols that is close to their own personality. And I find that German fans that day, was so uptight, and so German lol! They wouldn’t even talk in the middle of the game except during commercial, they were focused perhaps too focused on the match
There’s no way you can win Italy with that Robotic team says my dad, Italians are a natural when it comes to having fun and yet still wins the game. Germans, no offence, are so used to their routine and calculative like its well know engineering, that if the balls goes off and they had to change formation, they will not do it unless they have a specific calculation on how to shoot the ball *haters gonna hate*
What my dad probably means, is that they need to relax, and try to enjoy the game, and when I looked back at the reruns, I find it somewhat true because I was actually cursing inside that they had to hesitate so much whenever they get the ball when they can just shoot it anyway regardless if it can go in or not, they wasted a lot of opportunity whenever they got the ball. That was their weakness, in such game where 1 second makes a lot of difference, you should never think before you kick, just kick for God sake!
Learn something from the Italians, better yet Spain, which now make sense why the Germans did not win last time against Spain. Spain have very much the same attitude like the Italians, they Salsa, Flamenco, Rumba, Mambo all around the ball. But one thing that makes the Italians and Spain different is that they want to stay as Campeónes and Italy perhaps are already satisfied that they have won against the German (And maybe because Ballack & Kahn is no longer in the team hehe, I used to be a fan of those two player back then) But my heart belongs to España siempre… =P
Anyway, coming back, the time when I was watching Spain in their finals, I realize they are as warm and friendly as the Spanish I met. They may boo you, but that is as much as you can get because in the end it was just a game (or maybe because Spain won so they didn’t make a scene haha) But it was a very warm and friendly environment, they cheered together, and congratulate the other team for the good game they show. But that was perhaps the only time I watch a game in mamak, its too late to stay awake, I missed the quarter & semi final because we were too sleepy by 12 o clock to stay awake until 2.45am onwards. so we just watch the final instead.
I know that it was not all rosy and beautiful over here, we do have our fights,and if there is one thing interesting about the Malaysian, is that they really get worked up when it comes to Politics (and urgh..Gossip). I gotta say that the only time America ever did get excited over a Presidential election was because they were anticipating if a not-so-black candidate can become a President, and how long he can stay as President. I reserve my comments on Obama because I don’t know much about him as much as the fact Palestine is still under threat of Israel,and Iraq, Afghanistan still have their soldiers and all that. Its just that no President in America have actually show the least care over the muslims and tied behind their own policy with Israel. But, I don’t expect anything, most people are more concerned of saving endangered species and human rights when they forgot that the muslims are humans too.
Right, that was quite a lot, I am not sure how to sum this up already. But I hope you get what I mean.