The beginning is always the hardest
It has been two intense first weeks for Maggan, 10-12h working days topped up with 4-5h sleep every night so it has been tough to keep the spirits up. Work wise it is so much I need to learn and understand, and since my Boss left me alone in the chaos here it has gone from bad to worse, so to be honest so far I have not been able to walk on the sunny side of the street. I have basically cried myself to sleep every night and am super emotional all the time. Missing home so much and the strongest feeling I have right now is: I don´t want to be here. I do not belong here. But I knew it was going to be like this, so not to worry: The beginning is always the hardest.
The culture differences are huge, this is Asia and on top of that muslim country. Every day I more and more see myself in my own cultural context, how extremely European I am. And to be honest I have never been attracted to Asia, so I have never been travelling here or been specially interested in the culture or politics of this area so I am totally off. I realise how deeply culturally shaped from Europe I am, how I look at everything here through my euro-glasses and how therefor everything seems so strange and scary to me. In the end of the day that is a deeply human behaviour to be scared of what we do not understand, so thats where I am right now.
On the other hand that is also a good thing, the reason we get scared is linked to our urge to survive and the fact is that this is not a safe city. You need to be very careful with everything you do, once again here I see how European I am. Im so used to able to walk as I want, to just wave down a taxi on the street and everything is more or less safe. Thats not how they roll here, you need to know where to go and what hours of the day it is safe to be there. You cannot just take a taxi from the street you need to order and pay by an app to make it safe. In addition to getting to know all of this add that I am unable to read the culture here. What I mean is in BCN if I turn a corner I can quickly read if it is a "safe" street or not, cause I recognise certain factors that rings an alarm (or not) in me. Here I can´t - I don´t recognise the signals and that makes everything become suspicious and scary in my eyes. And I hate the feeling of not being safe, and above all of not being free.
What I do like about being here and all the cultural differences is that I would really love for all the muslim-scared people from Europe to come here and be in minority for once. To live in a muslim county and to see and meet all this nice, cool and just perfectly normal people who live here. I understand that in a Swedish context their way of being and dressing seems strange and as mentioned before, we tend to be afraid of what we perceive as different or unknown. However here they are the norm and then all of the sudden you are the strange one, a good lesson to learn.
In regards to the question in my last post: No, I will probably never ever to be able to love Kuala Lumpur, but I will survive. And I will be fine, after all everything is not painted black, there is great beauty here and the I am sure that in just a week I will be more positive.
Some pics from my first weeks here:
Breakfast, the best moment of the day
Jungle in the middle of city centre
Fresh fruit cheaper than you can ever imagine
View from the pool side
My beloved pool at night, this is magic
Traffic jam, but painted beautifully in red