elb's hovel of thoughts

Monday, January 22, 2007

Culture Shock & Observations II

This post documents the reverse culture shock that I have experienced during my trip back home to Malaysia.


In the UK, I would be doing the speed limit (70 miles an hour, roughly 112 km an hour) on the motorway, and I would be one of the slowest cars; elderly gentlemen would be overtaking with ease. In Malaysia, if I did the speed limit on the highway, I would be one of the fastest cars on the road. If there is something that MUST be done and hasn’t been implemented yet, it has to be a minimum speed limit for every driver. When I took my UK driving lessons, my instructor told me that anyone driving too slowly would be failed.

I’m sick and tired of roadblocks. I got caught in no less than 5 roadblocks during my brief trip home; one of them had the policeman stick his head in front of my face and engaging me in conversation in his vain attempt to smell the alcohol from my cocktail. The worst was around USJ where you had RELA members pretending to be cool and hiding behind trees. What did they catch there? Two secondary school students, who had changed their motorcycle cosmetically. All the roadblocks are useless and a waste of time and taxpayer money; they should be patrolling the streets instead.

To the ah beng who so casually crossed the road in front of my car, coolly sticking your hand out with your palm open, it was a pity you didn’t see me giving you the finger, or hear the Aussie at the back give a snigger. If I wasn’t feeling so benevolent, I would have stuck the pedal to the floor.

And fuck you to the asshole who was trying to cut into my lane at the traffic light. I realized that I should be heading on straight along the main road instead of waiting at the traffic light trying to turn right. So, when I tried to turn, I realized that you had conveniently parked your car to my side, trying to get in. I gave you a honk, and gestured at you to please move forward a little and cut in at the car in front. But you wouldn’t budge. So for 15 minutes I was there, pressing the horn for the majority of the time, but no, you were too brainless to move just a couple of meters in front so that my car could get on its way. You have no idea how much restraint I put myself into limiting my pissed-off-ness into just a barely-satisfying honk as I overtook your car when the traffic policeman finally allowed the cars to enter the turning. Ah, fuck you and your tudung buddies. Actually, fuck all of you who on purpose try to cut lanes at the last second.

And to the old Chinese uncle who conveniently climbed down from your lorry without looking back at the incoming traffic (i.e. my car, accelerating as it was squeezing between a parked car and said lorry, which was being unloaded, and almost hitting you as you climbed down), sigh. I was going to say something (more of letting off steam thanks to the queue-cutting idiots) as I lowered the window. But somehow I found myself at loss for words, and I merely shook my head and closed the window and moved on.

I still cannot fathom why people insist on wearing fading clothes (say, old Mickey Mouse t-shirt and shorts probably bought five years ago in some night market) in public. If that really is all you have to spare, fine. But, looking at the way they are groomed, it is obvious that many could (and definitely have) better clothes in the cupboard, but for some reason are not wearing them. Please, just dress a bit more better. And presentably, too. I would never ever dream of stepping into the streets of London wearing what you wear, and I bet you wouldn't either.

And please, please dress for the occasion. If it’s fine dining, then please at least go dressed in casual formal clothes. It should be made compulsory; well-used golf shirts don’t seem to quite fit in the bill. No, you don’t have to be decked in the latest Armani or Prada. There are many nice clothes available for much cheaper.

Speaking of designer goods, it seems that at every turn, I would inevitably spot a lady clutching either a LV or Gucci bag. God knows why anyone would choose either of those hideous bags, and it is probably beyond God himself as to why anyone would even bother to buy fakes of those eyesores. If you can’t afford it, get something cheaper, and nicer, instead of cheapening, and cheating, yourself. If you can, please go and choose something better. Don’t even get me started on the ah bengs and ah lians.

End of part 2. We’ll see if I can remember enough incidents to warrant a part 3....

Part 1 is here.

Update: I have appeared to ruffled the feathers of some anonymous people. Well, just for the record, there are still many things that I do miss about Malaysia. I just haven't blogged about them yet. Tsk tsk, jumping ahead of yourselves, aren't you. And rest assured, there are many things that I do not like about the UK, namely yob & hoodie culture, the perennial gloom that is the sky, the overcrowded trains/ Underground, etc etc. I will talk about them another day.

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3 Comments:

  • I believe Malaysians has to be told that Gucci isn't as 'in' as they think it was. Nobody uses Gucci here except Oriental tourists and students, or chavettes.

    By Blogger Jon, at Tuesday, January 23, 2007 3:12:00 am  

  • grow up yourself and get a life........
    be moderate and enjoy life better......
    if u don't like it outside stay indoor and be a monk.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, January 23, 2007 9:25:00 am  

  • jon: *shrugs*

    anonymous: I do enjoy life. thank you very much. Metrosexuals would agree with my views on the clothing bit, and with regards to the driving, you very well know that Malaysian driving habits are disgusting.

    By Blogger elb, at Tuesday, January 23, 2007 1:45:00 pm  

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