Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wake Me Up When December Ends


The 18th of December, 2005. That will be the day, pending completion of paperwork; I’ll leave home for what will be my longest stint away from home in my life.

I have mixed feelings about it.

I’ve expected it for years now, since I signed up for my Advanced Diploma course, I knew that I’ll be in Melbourne one day. But it’s not since now that I’ve paid the deposit, enrolled and bought a plane ticket, that it all suddenly seems so real.

I once saw it like any other excursion overseas, like my 6 months in NZ. Then life happened. College, friends, love lost and love found… My current abundance of free time, which has allowed me to ponder my place in the grand scheme of things.

I love this cozy corner of the world. I feel safe here, not only in the sense of physical security, but knowing this land with intimacy, all it’s places and wonderful people, friends, family, all that is familiar… all the wonderful memories… It imparts a strong sense of belonging.

I would be happy to leave for a while, go complete my BA, meet old friends and find new ones; to fill my life with more memories and experiences… If I could know for sure that one day I would return to a life here… But I can’t. The future is so uncertain.

As it is, those who can in my extended family have left or are leaving to seek greener pastures. I know first hand that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Here is my home, here is my heart. But sadly, my place here is slowly corroding. Bit by bit, the dream I grew up with is rusting away. I used to be so certain that it’s within redemption, that things will turn around. But as the dream fades, so does my hope for it. There is only so much whitewash can do when the inside is falling apart.

No point keeping it in, no point being politically correct. I hate the fact that here, in my own country, I cannot be simply Malaysian. That in my own home, I am a 2nd class citizen; that because of my great-great-grandfathers origins, I am discriminated against. That here in the land I love, I can’t unconditionally love whoever my heart desires. I grew up with a sense of love for this place, enough love that should push come to shove, I would be willing to lay my life to defend her. But I’m not sure anymore.

Treason is the most heinous of crime; it is a transgression with the most dire of implications. What is treason? It is the betrayal by a citizen upon his country. So then what is it when the roles reverse and the traitor is ones own country? I feel betrayed.

But as much as I feel wronged, my hope for this place is not yet dead. My only wish is that when it comes time to decide between home and being an immigrant, the 18th of December won’t be a date I will remember with despair, but with hope.

6 Comments:

Blogger Tracy said...

Ahhh how long will you be gone for? =(

It does suck how it seems like there is no hope for most of us to come back to work in Msia. We're better off being in some other country where we are at least treated better.

But.. good luck anyway for your BA! I'll probably be able to see you before you leave

Sunday, October 23, 2005 4:55:00 AM  
Blogger The Unladen Swallow said...

Will it be permanent? Let me know when you arrive.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

Tracy: My BA course is 2 semesters (~ 8 months). After that, i don't know.

Patrick: I don't know. But i'll be sure to look you up when i get there. :D

Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

Malaysia rawks man!

Do come back and set camp here.

For all its corruption and weird stories and tales of unfair treatment, its where the challenge is.

Honestly overseas, well melbourne (for me). Its so friggin laid back and easy that its,... boring.

Everything is so set in place, people go home at 5, drink beer, lay their wives and go to sleep.

Overseas you still get corruption and even MORE discrimination. Just that its harder to see cos' ppl are kinda smarter at hiding stuff there.

So no matter how bad things are here,.. come back but bring a mop with you! Its time to clean house! Bwahahaha.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger Naoko said...

I'm not giving up on this country.

But then again, I have some of the priviledges of a first-class citizen, so to say.

You bring the mop, I'll bring the soapwater, and Ivan can bring the fire for all the stubborn politicians, I mean rubbish bags.

Heh.

Monday, October 24, 2005 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous cel said...

wei wei wei
come pay me a visit ok?

xmas or summer sumtin
or else when u settle down, n since i have free time in summer i'll go find u in melb. cheaper plane ticket then to msia anyway

Monday, October 24, 2005 9:02:00 PM  

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