It was raining this evening.
I was in my room, doing homework, waiting to go to dinner in an hour, and it was gray and rainy outside.
And for a moment there, I felt like I was at home again. (I don’t mean ‘home’ in the general sense, like I feel at home in this big ol’ place, but ‘home’ as in my house in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. I’d never consider anything else Home.)
Like seriously, I felt like I was in my own room, with my pink walls and messy bedside table and books lying all over, doing homework during one of those rainy days.
Then suddenly some weird Americans started talking super loudly and jolted me back 13 hours away from That Place Called Home.
13 hours. That’s actually halfway round the world.
I was reading this blog whose Malaysian author has also just begun college in the US (you’ve probably read it too, it’s pretty well-known), and lucky for her she has a Chinatown near her college, so that she can at least buy stuff to remind herself of home.
Not to mention the Malaysians who are in college with her.
This is horrible.
I mean, you wouldn’t think that being the only Malaysian in a school an hour away from the nearest city would be such a bad thing. No big deal what, you’re going to leave home anyway, got Malaysian or not, live in city or not, not much difference also, still going to be tough la.
But when you see the international students have people from their own country with whom they can get together with and speak their own native language to, (and obviously the Americans have themselves), and when the ISO start handing out forms for the International Food Bazaar where two chefs (head and assistant) cook food from their own country and you realize you have no one else to cook Malaysian food (best food on the planet) with, and when on a cold morning you seriously crave a hot cup of Milo and all you have is the cold chocolate milk from the dining hall, you wish you weren’t so far away from home.
I am so far from home.
The initial plan was for me to go back two years later. My brother came home only after his second year in US.
I don’t think I can tahan that long.
I get super jealous when my roommate talk about booking tickets to go home during fall break, thanksgiving, and winter. I get super super jealous when some of my international friends have their parents come over to the college while on a business trip to the US.
I get to the highest level of jealousy anyone can get when my international friends talk about going home this December. I cannot imagine staying in this place during the winter, where the temperature drops to -20 degrees Celsius, celebrating Christmas alone (or with people I don’t know well because damnit almost all my friends are lucky enough to go home), for an entire month.
An entire month!
And worst still, I cannot imagine celebrating my birthday alone. College starts late January, after my birthday, so not only will I not be in Malaysia to celebrate it, my friends here wouldn’t be in college yet either.
So you guys, while you enjoy yourselves eating roast turkey, singing Christmas carols, having huge gatherings, camwhoring, and just plain having fun with family and friends, please please please don’t forget about me okay! Ber-Skype with me! Send me e-cards! I dun wanna feel friendless ah.
Aihh, why am I so emotional all of a sudden.
Definitely, I’ve been listening to the wrong sort of songs.
During this time, I’d give anything, anything, for a piece of home. Just a tiny piece to remind me home isn’t that far away.
A few days ago during lunch, this American guy was saying that he managed to convince a person from his high school to apply to Grinnell. He was like, “I’m the first person from my high school to come here.”
Then my Indian friend went, “Yeah, even XXX and I are the only ones to come to Grinnell.” (At least they have each other right?)
And all the while I was thinking, “WTF I am the one and ONLY person in my COUNTRY to come here within the last four years okay!”
My friend who works at the admissions office says so far there is a Malaysian who is interested in applying.
I hope hope HOPE that person applies, get accepted and eventually attends. Goodness knows this place, amazing though as it is, needs more Malaysians. A lot a lot more.