Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why we came home.

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.


wanshana said...

Yes. Whatever said, Malaysia is the best place to raise our children.

And also - got so many public holidays compared to the UK looorrrr :)

Anonymous said...

true that shila ! home is best. UK so overrated. i amazes me how so many people who have not been there wanna come here for the knonye 'English' lifestlye ! I find is so silly.

but its officially recession now and to get milk, bread and eggs is £5 now.

The weather today is bad no sun winds are about 40 MPH. I have the heating on. I dont want to leave the house today at all !

I miss wearing my shorts n slipers n going out so much so when i come home i wear only shorts because due t the poor summers my legs never see the light of day.

But i love being here because its equal something that my country can give me but can give the indonesians.

on and i miss the eating culture ALOT !!!!i will be home because its where the heart belongs.

MrsNordin said...

Well said, Shila! And this is a lovely posting...

No matter what people say about living abroad, I'd still prefer it here. Well, maybe I can do it for 3-5 years the most; at the end of the day, I still wanna come back here to M'sia because this is where I belong.

Happy Diwali!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shila,

It was nice running into u earlier today. Yes, its so true... I wanted my kids to have the family ties which they would surely miss is they are in the UK or anywhere else.

I would gladly opt to migrate provided I can lug my WHOLE family along ehhehehehe


shah said...

yela yela along..tak lama lagi orang balik laa .dah ponek dah eden dok jopun nih.

nak rendang,pisang goreng,karipap,roti jala..

Lan0stZz said...

balik shah balikkk :P

tireless mom said...

Hi Shila

Although you can get a Ferrari at GBP40K and only a Saga at RM40K, Malaysia is the place we call home. Whatever instability which the country is facing now, I still think that we are blessed.

Madam Tai Tai said...


I'm glad you came home because only then we got to become friends. And you are such a lovely friend, my dear.

mamasita said...

Hai most loving moments with my husband was when we were in the UK about 26 years ago.He was doing his Masters in Uni. of Manchester while I was doing the cooking and cleaning.We now have 7 children.My eldest graduated 4yrs. ago frm Manchester Uni. and skarang dah kerja kat Bank Negara.My 2nd,is working in Liverpool.
For me,UK was where I had the closest and the most beautiful relationship with my husband.
Tapi where else can we anchor ourselves but our home country right?I will never ever forget my 'love story'in the UK.Its true theres no place like home but somehow I left our 'loving movie roll'there..unforgettable betul!

Kak Teh said...

Salam, I think you did the right thing going home when the children were still small. Once they are at college and uni, its mots difficult and like us - we feel trapped. Now, after more than 28 years, we find it difficult to uproot them, but Alhamdulillah, the older they are, the closer they feel to Malaysia and things Malaysian.
Its the choice we make, rightly ir wrongly and we have to make the best of that choice.

Superwomanwannabe said...

Hi Wanshana-- hehe is it true abt the public hols? I remember the loads of Bank holidays they have kan? I used to think, malasnye banks kat sini! hehehe

Superwomanwannabe said...

Hi Anon- I did love my time there too - would not have done it differently...hey , when next you comeback, do get intouch ok!

Superwomanwannabe said...

mrsNordin- the Paycut hurts though!! :-)

Superwomanwannabe said...

Hi Aida! It was SO nice to meet you in person- what a lovely lady you are and your daughter is soo cute. Anyway yes, the family ties is the most persuasive argument for us..the opahs, the aunties the uncles etc

Superwomanwannabe said...

Shah - yelah tunggu apa ....bawak minah jepun sorang k..hehehehe

Superwomanwannabe said...

TirelessMom- you said it, but boy how best would it be if masserati 40000 ringgit kan....:-)

Superwomanwannabe said...

Hi madam tai glad we got to know each other...confession- you always look so "elegant" gitu so I segan gak nak kawan dengan you dulu hehehehehe

Superwomanwannabe said...

wow Mamasita! 7 kids eh? bestnye! My idola !

I know what you mean, We were very close as a family then,sebab takda orang lain nak tolong kalau susah...(where we lived lah)

Superwomanwannabe said...

Kak Teh,

Im sure you thought long and hard to make that choice...just like us, to go home was not that easy. Dah rasa so familiar with the UK, the system, the post, the transport etc. Tinggal lagi that time we were at a cross road because my eldest was 4 and if we had stayed on, she would be 10 by the end of his training and I dont know if it would be easy then!

Ni pun tengah pikir macamana nak reactivate PR for the kids' education
Eh eh panjang lak! Thanks for dropping by Kak Teh!

Winter Sonata sure is different at 49 years old!

Believe it or not I am rewatching Winter Sonata.. ee geram betul I dengan si Yujin tu lah... she really was a wutz wasn't she? and...