September 4, 2015

Reverse culture shock

It's been more than two weeks since I've returned to the land of the hot and humid. Almost immediately, I've settled back in the house I call home and got accustomed to not having to cook or clean. Not that hard, really.

Things have changed over the past few years. For one, espresso bars have popped up everywhere. Heck, some even offer hand-brewed coffees that I thought I would miss dearly after having left the UK. Unfortunately, it's priced way beyond something that could be consumed regularly. That pretty much sums up the "reverse culture shock" I've been observing: everything is bloody expensive, and I don't understand how Malaysians can afford them.

It seems to me that Malaysians love to consume imported goods in the manner in which people from countries where the goods are being imported from are consuming. Say for instance a fresh graduate with a salary of £2000 spends £2.50 on a cup of flat white, whereas the fresh grads here with a salary of RM3000 spends RM10 on the same thing. Of course there are the lot that do not go for such luxuries, but take a trip to such places you'd see young people enjoy these cups of heaven that I wish I could have every day ...

Eating out becomes ridiculously expensive as well. The difference is that there are cheaper alternatives here, whereas the cheaper alternatives in the UK aren't that far off. A cheap meal here costs RM10, whereas it could easily go up to RM50 and above if you go for something slightly better. In the UK, a cheap meal would probably cost £5, but a lobster is just £20. I guess I'm just trying to make fair comparisons in my head, but it's really hard.

Take electronics for example. It seems that we Malaysians spend a significantly larger proportion of our income on the latest flagship smartphone whereas in Western countries, it seems much more affordable considering the money they make.

If I did Economics, I would probably do my dissertation on the comparison of consumption patterns. Of course it would be extremely challenging, but I no one's going to hold my word against me on it so it doesn't really matter.

It's great that I have a blog that virtually no one reads, so I have a place to write down my unsubstantiated observations and thoughts.

It seems like a good decision to take a break before getting a job. I'm slowly recalibrating my brain into the right state of mind. I'm so whiny I annoy myself sometimes. I'm glad my dad's there to listen to all my whining.

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