A lot of people have asked why we came home, after so long in the UK - if you count the years of studying it would be more than 13 years for hubby, and about 10 for me. We got so used to the lifestyle there, but we did talk about coming home, especially once Hubby got his FRCS Part 2. There were no more exams to do. He had to decide whether he wanted to apply for registrarship or go home, or go to Dubai to earn loads of mulah like some of his friends were doing.
The first option would involve another 6 years, and applying for the right job.
The second was a great option only it involved getting a massive pay cut. I mean, inthe UK you get paid the same but you can buy a lot for your money. One pound can get you milk, bread and etc etc. I used to get a huge trolley full at Sainsbury with just 50 quid. My expensive shoes from Clarks cost 30 quid. And that is expensive ok. Over in Malaysia RM50 dapat apa...satu plastik bag kot.
Going to Dubai was not really an idea supported by hubby, despite stories of earning USD 50,000 per month lah, etc (ye ke!!!???) It would be a totally unknown lifestyle, education wise etc.
In the end one thing decided it for us- the kids.
We wanted the kids to have a Malaysian upbringing. We wanted them to have their opah, their aunties, their grandaunties, their uncles, their cousins, their extended family. We wanted them to use water instead of tissue paper in the loo, eat with their hands, pepper everyword with "lah". being muslims, we wanted them to to mengaji lessons, too! We wanted them to be -Malaysian.
Also, we got a bit tired of not being settled, always being the outsider, always suspecting that hubby did not get whatever job he applied for because he was not white. His other doctor friends from Asia got consultant posts in areas where there were many asians, which limits one's options a bit. It would be nice if we can go to somewhere we call OUR COUNTRY. You know?
Don't get me wrong, no one was openly racist. The UK has very strict anti racism laws and its splashed everywhere. But, racism still happen and we felt that however comfy it was, it was still not our home.
So last-last we decided to up and leave. Mak oi, the packing was HELL. Selling our car, selling our TV and stuff, getting a container to ship things home. It was such a hectic time.
Do I regret coming back? No, of course not. I do miss being able to buy fresh milk for less than one pound, I miss car boot sales , and I miss the public facilities there- I miss the libraries! I miss the scenery- when the weather is just right it was very beautiful. I miss the tabloids. I miss the B&B. I miss Sainsbury/Safeway. I miss fresh fruits at very cheap price. I miss the privacy ! Believe it or not, Hubby misses wearing jumpers. Ada ke.
I do NOT miss having mat salleh ask me about Malaysia, Islam and our food and say "How interesting!" in the way you would say when you see an interesting specimen at the zoo. Would you go to America / UK and say to them, "you speak very good english!" ?. whatelse- I do not miss the cold in the thick of winter . I do NOT miss the lack of SUN! I do not miss the high cost of utilities. mak oi, heating bills....!!
Say what you want about Malaysia,there is so much warmth here. No where in the world 3 major races live in harmony - really, we do, forget about the policies our govt think up for us ,as a group of people we get along great!( This Monday we are going for Divali open house (god there goes the diet).) And everything is about family and friends. We went to a friend's wedding in the Midlands and was shocked to find out that she did not invite the next door neighbour! I told her if it was in Malaysia the entire village would be there.
If I were to leave and go migrate somewhere I would miss the "suratkabarlama" chant, the azan, the kedai mamak, the kipas angin(fan)- and the family. And there is so much opportunity for hubby to progress.
We left just the 2 of us, and came back with 3 kids!Of course we suffered because of the pay cut. And we had no savings from the UK! But I'm glad we got to "build" our family there and learnt to live life the hard way (ie no help!).
I have a few friends and family still there. My brother for one. I say, finish your training, make your money, and in the end, come home. Home is still the best place.
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