Sunday, October 11, 2015

Farewell, my Malaysia

My flight out departs in a few hours. And truth be told, I miss my wife and kids terribly, and a large part of me can't wait to see them.
Another part will miss what will always be one of my homes- Malaysia.
And I find myself doing what I usually do in the days preceding my departure. I try to capture as much as I can, to bring the memories back with me. This usually means my shooting of random pictures.

Such as the beautiful chaos of the pasar malam. 

Or how motorcycles snake in and out of traffic, often carrying little kids, or sometimes even 3!

I'll miss the KL skyline. Even if it was haze and smog-covered this trip. But thankfully, this night when I was up there for dinner, it cleared up enough for me to snap this picture.

My mom found it amusing when she saw me take this picture. It was just a reminder of simpler times. And it was something I wanted to show my family- they are so used to getting coconut milk from packs that one never wonders about how we get the milk. The girls have never seen a machine like this.

Yes, it's all random stuff. But it's the weird, simple, random stuff that makes Malaysia truly Malaysia. I've had a busy week- giving lectures to 3 groups in 3 different states (all pro bono, mind you). The last group I met with were medical students early in their careers. Asking me the age-old question- should I go overseas to study/specialize?
Well, it's a difficult, subjective question to answer. There will be goods and bads. But the one bad will be, you will be leaving a culture, a people, a language, a cuisine, a climate that is so familiar and near and dear to you, to live in a foreign land. No doubt with time, that land becomes home as it has for me, but some things will always remain foreign. And so, you will make sacrifices, and when it's your time, you may find yourself doing as I do- taking pictures of quaint coconut graters because it reminds you of your childhood.
Farewell, Malaysia. You have not lost your charm, though many of us abroad worry about your future. Here's to hoping that the Rakyat will rise up above the disease and rot emanating from her politicians and bigots, and bring her glory days of peace and harmony and muhibbah back.