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Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 7:40:47 AM
by christina low
AS much as I love Malaysia, I cannot deny I have thought of leaving the country far too often.
Among other reasons to move overseas include finding a new job, getting married, buying a house facing the beach and soaking in the different seasons (My father constantly reminds me that if I put my air-cond temperature at 16 degrees every night, I should just move to a cold country instead).
It gets worse when you realise the closest people you used to call for a quick cup of coffee are no longer living anywhere near.
In fact, calling them would mean making an international phone call and meeting would necessitate hopping on a bus or catching a cheap flight out.
Whenever that happens, I burn a hole in my pocket, thanks to the escalating exchange rates.
My sister has been living in Singapore for more than a decade and does not complain much, except occasionally, about her long working hours and how costly it is to watch cable television.
At the end of every complaint she sends me via Whatsapp, she would also share her latest splurge on the latest electronic gadget or new pair of shoes.
That is when I get seriously jealous and wish I could do the same.
For instance, if I were to purchase the same camera or phone that she has just bought, I would have to save twice the amount (in Malaysian ringgit) before I can grab hold of it.
It is painful sometimes and I know some of my friends feel the same way.
Last week, I told her to look for a turquoise Nike Flyknit shoe that I had been eyeing and she replied, “It is just SGD200 (RM516) here, do you want me to get it for you? By the way, everyone is wearing it”.
Oh yeah, she is right, everyone is wearing it there but not everyone can afford it here.
A handful of my university classmates have also worked in Singapore so they can save more money in a shorter period of time.
Last month, my former classmate Lit Han, who was working on the island, left his job to go on his second six-month backpacking trip starting in Kuala Lumpur and ending in Istanbul, Turkey early next year.
He gleefully told a group of us that he had saved enough money for the trip as well as purchase a house in Johor, something he said would have taken him a longer time to achieve if he had worked in Malaysia.
He sounded like a “salesman” and asked my friends to do the same, and some were tempted.
I guess it is not such a bad idea to save up while you can.
As for me, there are other perks to living and working overseas. Being an avid runner, I can foresee an endless number of interesting running events that I will be able to participate in.
If I was living in the United States, I wouldn’t have to spend so much travelling to the Krispy Kreme Challenge or fly Down Under for the Glow Run next year.
I would also be able to catch major sporting events, concerts and still have money in the bank at the end of the month.
For now, Malaysia is my home and Petaling Jaya is where my heart is. I get to happily freeload thanks to my parents (whenever possible) and frequently take over my sister’s hand-me-down gadgets.
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