What can I say about Malaysia? This should have been an easy question to answer as I have talked a lot about the city and my experience here many times with my family during my three years here.
I have also thought about it and observed it a lot, at least during the first few months of working here because my family back home had so many questions for me. But it is surprisingly difficult to say now when I am asked to put it down in writing. I think that there is so much to say about this country although I have not seen much of it outside of my hostel and work.
The city, with its tall buildings and modern transportation is obviously different from what we have back in Nepal. It is amazing. I knew what to expect because I had seen pictures of Kuala Lumpur before coming here, but nothing really prepares you for the amazing sights, sound and smell of the place.
Then there is the heat that comes down without mercy, but I really like the fact that there are trees everywhere which makes the daily walk to work a lot more bearable. I really enjoy how green Kuala Lumpur is.
The work is hard we eventually got used to it. Missing my family was never easy, but I too got used to it. As humans, we get used to many things. The city moves forward at its own pace and we all get down to its rhythm.
The food is very good too and the variety is amazing. It is very easy to get food that we are familiar with back home and plenty of other food that I have not seen. We usually cook to save some money, but there is a weekly pasar malam on the way to the work place and that is where we splurge a little on delicious food. It is always a highlight for the week.
The best of it all, the people. People we meet here are very friendly and treat us with respect. I think we are very lucky to be posted to this work place. Residents also frequently buy food for us and it is nice to know that we are not just faceless guards who people ignore.
The yearly haze has been quite a problem for us considering how much time we spend working outdoors. The thick burning smell hanging in the air can be intolerable, but some residents bought us face mask to wear for our protection. This is something they did not have to do but I am glad that they did. I know there are fellow countrymen who have been less lucky and had to deal with unfriendly people.
I have heard that people living in big cities are always rushing about and the city tends to swallow up its inhabitants, but this was not what I experienced. Kuala Lumpur is a city with its heart in the right place.
Seeing the different races living and working together is amazing. It is not something we see a lot back in Nepal and I find it interesting how people who are so different can come together in this city. I am not saying that there is perfect harmony, far from it. There are still different strata within the society and some level of discrimination, but I think it is very well controlled when compared to other places I have heard and seen.
To be honest, I don’t know what is the best of me, but I know that this is the city and its people that I have come to love. If there is one thing that I will take home with me during my time here in Malaysia, it must be all the interaction I had with everyone I have met during my time here.
It is the place that I called home for three years and I will miss her greatly when I go home to my family. I hope to return here again in the future, this time with my family so that they can get to see this place. Although deep down, I know that I will probably never see this city again once I return home.
Perhaps they can know this city through me as it has become a part of me. Kuala Lumpur, the city that rubs off on you in more ways than one.