Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wednesday, August 24th 2011

I guess I never took account on how difficult it would be leaving this place. A year and a half here flew by like they were only weeks but at the same time it dragged on endlessly. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it’s as if time went really fast and really slow at the same time. This would be your typical ‘leaving-a-phase-of-life’ post and if you are sick and tired of those already, you’re welcome to close the blog now.

Back to what I was saying; time flew by. When I first got here, I thought I’d kill myself (well not literally, I’ve gone down that road before, so I’m not doing it again) because of how isolated this place is. And then I met a bunch of people that I felt made my stay here worthwhile. At least for a while they did. But then after a year, you start to learn how hypocritical, judgmental and ugly a lot of people are…especially within their own race. It is a shame really because we could all have accomplished something big together. A lot of things happened while I was here. They are memories of moments kept locked inside the vault in my mind of the bad, the good and the wonderful things that has happened to me (to us) here.

Coming here, I had an impression in my mind; one that has been etched there thanks to the stigmas I’ve heard about going to a remote place to study and people’s expectations of kids studying foundation (especially for science and law foundation students). I was never really smart, in fact I was a below average student and when it came to social life, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I had none, but I’m not really that cool either so I guess I had quite a few assumptions coming here to complete my foundation in law at an isolated campus, 400 kilometers away from home. I thought the people were going to be divided into ‘weird rednecks’, ‘religious folks’, ‘the cool people’, ‘the brick behind the wall kids’ and then the rest of us; who don’t really fit anywhere but somehow just exist. Which I was not completely wrong about by the way, they were all divided into exactly those groups of people but what hadn’t expected was that they would all merge into one and be one big, ball of shallow, narrow minded human beings hating on people of their own race.

I can’t recall how many times people here have mocked us Malays that use English as the main medium for communication. The typical snarly comments like ‘Bajet mat salleh la tu speaking’, ‘aku Melayu, tak reti cakap bahasa Inggeris’, ‘Tak reti cakap Melayu dah ke?’, ‘Lupa la tu bontot sama hitam macam aku tapi bukan main lagi speaking dia’ and my personal favourite when I start conversing in English; ‘Oh, kan kau dari KL’.

At first, their words did get to me. I kept thinking that I must have made the worst first impression in the world, that everyone must have thought that I am some city slicker who refuses to speak in my mother tongue just because I feel like I am better than them and that made me so inferior for a while. It’s not like I didn’t know how to speak in Malay, I just feel more comfortable speaking in a language that helps me describe what I want to say more accurately.

Bukan tak boleh aku nak cakap bahasa Melayu. Mungkin tak sefasih korang semua kat luar sana, tapi hakikatnya, aku tetap anak Malaysia, aku tetap berdarah Melayu, mustahil lah kalau aku tak reti cakap Melayu, cuma, apa yang susah sangat nak terima apabila orang Melayu fasih berbahasa Inggeris dan memilih bahasa tu untuk jadi bahasa utama bila berkomunikasi. Apa yang susahkan korang sangat kalau orang tu reti cakap bahasa Inggeris pun. Aku mengaku, kalau ada unsur unsur bangga diri bila aku ‘speaking’ then it’s just how I speak, I swear, if I am an arrogant person, it wouldn’t be because I can speak fluent English.

Jujurnya aku menyesal sebab at first I conformed to the peer pressure here… Pressured into suppressing what I have always done all my life; communicating in English. I could speak fluently in English, but I wasn’t as good as I’d like to be, I needed to learn and expand my English but coming here stumped that process. Sekarang, it’s like I’m back in primary school… Basic English pun boleh salah, grammar tunggang langgang, vocab dah tak kuat, susunan ayat dah lari kemana entah. Sedih, sebab takut sangat orang ingat aku ni berlagak sampai sanggup memundurkan diri sendiri.

Anyways, it’s 2.01 am and I’d love to go on tapi I’ve class in the morning tomorrow and I have a feeling y’all are also sick of reading. InsyaAllah, I will be continuing this long rant in my next post. Until then, take care.

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