After eight years in the UK, we packed our bags and moved back to Malaysia. It has been slightly more than a month now and our years in the UK already feels like a dream.
Our first priority was to find a place to live. The first few weeks were pretty hectic. We were in my in-laws and lived out of our suitcases until we finally found a house to rent nearby after looking at several condominiums and houses. The agents wanted to know all kind of personal information, namely our ethnicity, our occupation, number of kids, etc., etc. Apparently, several landlords will not rent out their places to people of a particular ethnicity. This was something shocking as we did expect this in multi-ethnic Malaysia. We did not have this kind of issues a few years ago. Maybe an area of research interest for my sociologist friends. Compared with our small house back in Coventry, the house is massive and some rooms are still empty. Unlike other Malaysians, we did not bring back furniture and have to buy everything new.
Skyscrapers have come up everywhere. New highways and flyovers as well. I now need a sat-nav while driving as I am not familiar with some of the roads any more. Some of our favourite hang-out places have disappeared or have moved while others have not changed at all.
Talking about driving, it may be my imagination and years of driving in the UK but the drivers now seem to be more aggressive here and will break the traffic rules if they can get away with it. I have a huge issue with people who simply do not use their side indications while changing lanes or cutting into your lanes. One of my friends told me that a lot of drivers are so selfish that they speed up when you indicate to change lanes or move in from a side road. I do a lot of defensive driving now and will give way to other drivers, sometimes annoying my wife a lot. May be I am more mature now and I just want to take it easy and get to my destination and home safe.
Noticed a lot of foreign auto brands on the roads - I may be mistaken but seems to be more Toyotas and Hondas on the roads as compared to Proton cars now. And every 2nd car is a Perodua Myvi - the most popular model for now. Also seems like there are a lot of luxury brands - mostly older model Mercedes. But the fact is that there are lot of cars on the roads. I noticed that some houses have 5 cars parked out in the front. We have 2 in front of ours - my dad's car which I am using and my wife's new car, which we just got day-before-yesterday. Until the public transport improves, I guess more and more people will be using their own cars. A trip from my in-laws house to our house just 7 minutes away, can sometimes take up to half-an-hour. Definitely cannot rely on the estimated times given by my sat-nav.
Anyway, that was in brief about the housing and driving issues we faced. I will be blogging more about life here in Malaysia.