Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Thoughts at KLCC

Thoughts at KLCC

I'm blogging from San Francisco Coffee at KLCC in between appointments. KLCC seems to be the favourite place for people to meet up these days, and for some reason everyone inevitably ends up at Chinoz. It is the place to avoid if you don't want to bump into anyone you know.

Sometimes I ask myself, do I really feel at home here in Malaysia? I don't know. It is difficult to be objective about your own country; we often over-romanticize our experiences foreign lands, imbuing them with virtues which they probably do not possess.

I also can't deny the fact that I always feel a surge of pride everytime I hear my Indonesian friends speak highly of Malaysia. I feel that if I do not call myself a Malaysian, I have no other identity.

Whenever I get on a MAS flight on my way back from Jakarta, I experience a sense of relief when I hear the cabin crew speaking over the PA system in "proper" Malay. Even though I've grown to love Bahasa Indonesia over the years (and have yet to get rid of my habit of using nggak, udah, kapan and bisa), it is still very much a foreign language to me.

When I hear Malay spoken with a Johor-Riau pronunciation, I feel I'm home at last. Probably it's a bit like how Enrique (Magellan's Malay slave) must have felt when he realised with relief after sailing three quarters of the globe, that the people he met in Cebu could understand his Malay tongue.

But why is it that everytime I'm home, I am eager to leave again? Is it just pure wanderlust? Or perhaps I am just fond of being alone and anonymous in some foreign land?

I looked around me at the people in KLCC and I asked myself: Do I really belong here?

And for the umpteenth time, I rechecked my AirAsia intinerary.

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