Why am I working in UK?
I’ve been asked that question a lot in my life since I finished my course almost two years ago. Although I have no intention to stay in UK forever or any longer than 3 years from now, I usually wouldn’t bother myself with replying with a long answer. And I never really have to sit down in a corner thinking about what am I doing here, in this country ever so dull and grey. I know why.
I know I got a lot of comfort back home. Without sounding so full of myself, my parents own an architectural practice with offices in Johor and K.L. Although medium sized, I could’ve easily gone back and practically have my own company, be my own boss, never have to do sinfully boring tasks like door schedules for three weeks and end up having a face like a door myself for doing too much of it. I can do my own design, choose my own project and have a partner status at the age of 25. Wow, how freakin’ great is that?
I have Kak Nira at home, who is my maid since I was 12, literally my second mother because oh man, she spoilt me good. The best moment in Kajang was that I would wake up as late as I can and drive two miles without brushing my teeth first, with whatever I have on as my sleep ware and she will follow me just for the sake of getting out of the car to get the nasi lemak or roti canai. I am that lazy. She will make me the best Milo Ais no mamak can top and I’ll have my 11 o’clock breakfast in front of TV. Afterwards, she’ll ask me what I want to have for lunch or dinner and it will be like giving my “orders” to the best cook in the world. Ikan Keli masak Cili, Asam Pedas, Laksa, Soto, just say the words – she’ll make it happen. And for afternoon tea, she’ll make my favourite Kuih Koci or Bubur Pulut Hitam. Not mentioning my laundry being washed and pressed, she would even wait for me to get home at 2 am when sometimes I got carried away with my friends. Geez, can life be any better?
No – it doesn’t get any better than that.
Here? Student years meant having to do labour work at M&S 16 hours a week and juggle it with whatever little remaining time left you had on your projects, having to extend your degree course for another year due to under performance. You worked hard because you’re not a sponsored student neither from government or your parents, not because they didn’t want to send you money – it was your conscious choice to refuse any. Life means having to pay £500 that you never really have and jump on a 13 hours flight for Kak Nira’s Soto, your Asam Pedas comes out of a Brahim’s packet and your laksa made out from sardines in can. Your food comes from M&S rejects, bargain bought from “Staff Waste Sale” on food running out expiry dates. Your walks to the shops are alone and cold, your emotional talks with true friends is 15p per minute and your Aidilfitri doesn’t differ from any other normal days. Ikan Keli masak Cili and folded clean clothes in your wardrobe? Dream on.
So what am I doing here? After mentioning all that, it sounds like I probably have to reconsider sitting on that corner rethinking again of my reasons being in this foreign land, but no.
I am here because I don’t want to get stuck in my comfort zone. I’m not saying I’m an adventurous kind, I wouldn’t drink mint tea or ever repeat my painful journey to the Sahara Desert in Morocco again. I hate Spanish tapas and sushi but that’s all they come with for a sit with my local friends. I want my life to mean something more than it did one month ago, or maybe five years ago when I first left home. I want to be able to grow old and not regret any moment passed where I could’ve done things in life differently. It would feel so easy there, almost effortless and even when there are any obstacles, life will be like ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ song, where troubles melt like a lemon drops and high above the chimney top that’s where you’ll find me.
With all this hardship and sorrow in this difficult life, every sugar tastes sweeter because you’ve tasted black thick tea your English friend usually makes for you, every tears are harder to cry because it won’t be as sad when saw your manly fiancé cried when his father passed away and not being able to be back home as a son. Every one new friend that envy you won’t be as annoying because you’ve been back-stabbed harder by another before, every cheap things are so expensive because there is nothing like saving up for 3 months to buy your £35 second hand camera.
Life’s too short. How do you want to remember it?