Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adaptation: My Journey to Living A New Life in Malaysia

It's been about four months since I relocated myself permanently to Malaysia. A lot of people, especially my close friends in Singapore and Indonesia, ask me how I am getting on in Malaysia so far. Have I already adapted to the life here?

My answer is, yes. I think I have gradually adjusted myself to my new free and easy life rhythm in Malaysia. No regret of moving here because I can't bear the thought of being separated from my better half ever again.

In my first couple of weeks living in Malaysia, I kind of missed going to the office and taking MRT. Sound absurd I know but I really did. If you ask me do I miss going to office and riding MRT now, I think I don't miss them anymore. But one thing that never changes, I missed my friends in Singapore and I still terribly do.

Me and my nieces back in April: I am still healthy, happy and cranky.

My life is kind of routine now, nevertheless, it is still okay and bearable. Here are some details. On weekdays, after breakfast, I'd do my work. By lunch time, I'd eat home-cooked three-course Chinese meal or find food outside with my husband if my Mom-in-Law doesn't cook. Then back to home again, do my own work again until evening. Then dinner, shower, enjoy an hour or two DVD's time with my husband then I turn to bed. I help with the minor household chores anytime during the day. My occasional entertainments on weekdays are definitely supermarkets although at times, both husband and I don't really need to buy some groceries! I am so familiar with Tesco, Carrefour, Jusco, 家家 Family Store and Giant now.

On weekends, my activities are pretty much the same as my weekdays except that I delete 'the work' part, do everything late and join my husband playing with my nieces and nephews when they come over. I stop working on weekends and do something else. By the way, doing nothing is also considered a weekend activity here.

If I don't know the tricks to beat this routine life, maybe I'd die because of boredom by now. Therefore, I always try do some things to break my routines like by taking a walk in the park with husband after office-hours or on Sunday morning (sometimes he runs but I always slow walk and rest), going for swim or badminton with my husband in the evening (I suck at sports and am very lazy doing any kind of sports as usual but once in a blue moon after tons of nagging from my husband, I still go), going to local Pasar Malam on Thursday night, nurturing my hobbies like befriending with my plants or trying new cake recipes from the internet, posting random things on my blog, dating my husband and his friends somewhere (though most of the time I keep myself busy with my phone since I am always lost in translation), trying to visit some local getaways for sightseeing on weekends when time permits and so on.

In addition, my new life has indeed changed my habits too. To my astonishment, I can survive without doing the things that I loved or used to do. I could gradually stop having the things that I thought I couldn't live without. For example, planned or impulsive shopping. Back in Singapore, I always hit Orchard road or any other malls to shop clothes or cosmetics. I did it solo or with my 'shopping' buddies at least once a month. Now, I barely add new inventory to my wardrobe and I am okay with that. Then, I hardly missed new movies in cinemas in Singapore. I had my 'movie' buddies whom I always tagged along to watch any blockbuster, cartoon or even crappy new movies on weekly basis. Any movies would do. Now, I think I go to cinema only once every three months and I have no problem with that.

My adaptation to life in Malaysia may look so smooth from the outer but actually it's never a smooth and straight road, especially for my husband. There are dramas involved. Lots of them and I am the leading actress here. My husband is the one who has to deal with bumps in the road during my new life adjustments in Malaysia. There are times when I am choleric and always so angry with everything. For one thing, I get really fussy in eating meals and become an angry child when I can't eat what I want. Yes, I am going to be 27 years old this year, a married woman, yet I do act like a 7-year-old brat who is so picky in eating food. I tell my husband that I am bored with this dish or that dish. I frown when I smell curry. I ask him to feed me with rice because I have eaten vermicelli or noodles too often in a particular week. I make him to bring me to Thai, Japanese, Italian, Western, Malay or any other restaurants other than Chinese restaurants in town simply because I never ate so much Chinese food in my lifetime before I lived in Malaysia and I tell him that I need a diet change. I just always crave for something. Annoying, demanding and frustrating? You bet!

I am so fortunate and forever grateful to have a mega patient and understanding husband who is willing to fulfill all my gastronomical requests and other silly demands. Not to mention, that I still cannot drive a car until now! I still got no guts to drive alone and definitely am a far cry from being left alone in a street driving a vehicle on my own. I cold sweat and my heart beats faster than usual whenever I am behind the wheel. I am still very much dependent to my husband. It's already ten years since I first started driving a car but there is still no progress on this one, just yet.

In conclusion, at some point I have adjusted my city life to the suburb lifestyle in Malaysia but there are things that I am still adjusting too. I thought I am grown up. Still, I seemingly need to GROW UP more and do lots of homework on being more mature and independent individual in Malaysia namely by doing more serious practice in driving cars, trying to stop being selfish, ripping my fussy-eater status, doing more sports to balance my husband's hobbies, polishing my Mandarin/Malay so I can communicate better with the locals here and many more. Things are not 100% fine now and there is no guarantee that I can completely stop being fussy and more understanding with everything but at least in terms of my food and personal hobbies in Malaysia, my husband now knows better on what I like and what I don't. Moving on, hopefully it's easier for him to get along with me.

Life. Not so easy, eh?


  1. changing environment is one of the challenging things to do.. but you'll get used to it :)

  2. Hi Ken,

    I agree. Adaptation is never easy but yes, we do adapt. :D


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