About me

My Photo
Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let's Be Honest: Raining Gold And Stones.. The Story Of A Repentant Sabahan

Hello there,
I remember when I was just turning 8 years old my eldest sister was offered a scholarship to study in one of the oldest universities in the country which was over the seas in West Malaysia. Towards the end of her study years she started to work part time and every time she came back she  would bring presents that seemed too fantastic for words. Things that wasn't available in Sabah at that time. Since then, I was obsessed about going to Kuala Lumpur (KL).

The Dream City

I managed to go vacationing in KL a few times throughout the years. However it was only when I was offered a job in the Government after completing my uni years that I finally was able to actually work (and obviously, live) in/near KL, not just visit it. Oh, I was dazzled at first. My dream was finally coming true for the first time after all.

Although it wasn't my first time going to KL, I marveled at the tall buildings (new ones keep popping up), the high end shopping malls, the crazy roads that seemed to be one on top of the other, etc. The excitement of it all stayed with me for months and I never gave any thought to my homeland.

Then a funny thing happened. After a while I began to feel numb to the tall buildings, the 'multi-layered' roads, the shopping complexes and the glitz. I began to miss my home state. I miss the beaches, the greenery, the food and the word 'Bah' being said properly. The majestic buildings in Putrajaya felt 2D to me, as if I was living in a gigantic postcard. It had no dept at all.

My beloved Land Below The Wind

I started to listen to Kadazan songs with Clarice John Matha's 'Adaa' and 'Rumandawi' being the song of choice, even learning them by heart. I would be able to distinguish a Sabahan from miles away (okay, that's being too dramatic but I really could distinguish a Sabahan face in a crowd) and would shamelessly strike up a conversation with them just to be able to 'speak Sabahan'. Basically, I was homesick.

My loyal companion during bouts of homesickness

Nine months later I managed to get transferred back to Sabah in a district that was relatively close to Kota Kinabalu (KK). Yup, after achieving my 'lifelong' dream to live in KL I decided to come home. When I landed at KKIA T2, I felt like going on all fours and kissing the ground. From then on I never had even the remotest feeling of longing to live in KL again.

The motive of me telling this long-winded story? It's to say that I really believe in the Malay saying 'Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri. Lebih baik negeri sendiri' which loosely means 'no matter how much better other places (tidak kira lah kampung kah, negeri kah ataupun negara) seem to be, and no matter how unattractive our own place (ditto) might be, our own place is still the best one to live in'.

I am a Sabahan and I am PROUD to be a Sabahan. For me, KL is a nice and exciting place to visit but definitely not a place to stay. I'm content with Sabah and I accept it with warts and all including the crappy public transportation system that decades of Independence seem unable to fix. Ahem.

This is all for now peeps. Cheers and wassalam.

P/S: Don't ask me where all this patriotism came from. Haha..

P/P/S: All pictures from Google Search.