I recently discovered that blogging is actually an extremely useful past time where as other potentially self indulgent obsessive behaviours are not. Like hair pulling. Unlike blogging, hair pulling is done in vain and leads to balding. Which is why, after so many years of poo pooing bloggers and blogging, I have decided to trade hair pulling and a whole host of other frustratingly pointless bad habits like bitching, whining, gossiping and complaining for this new somewhat socially acceptable form of expression. I learned that, especially in Malaysia, where I now live, where censorship of the press is condoned, where freedom of the press is taken for granted ie not many people seem to be bothered that their media is blatantly controlled or even consider that it matters, blogging can be and is quickly becoming a means of resistance, especially here.
Now I hate politics and politicians and since coming to KL I have been able to opt out and have avoided engaging with much political dialogue. Except for my own baggage brought here with me from the UK (I lived in Scotland for ten years), which I have almost manged to shed, fear of political debate has waned and pretty much disappeared. And I thank the lord sometimes for that breath of fresh air. And yet I find myself balding to the extent I have a small naked patch on the crown of my head. I have pulled my own hairs out until a noticible patch has formed. Why?
I have friends whom I talk to on msn every once in a while (thank god for msn) and I try to explain to them what the hell I’m doing in KL. Besides the fact that my family live in Sabah and Sarawak and it’s soooo much warmer here than in Scotland (understatment of the millenium) – why on earth would I drop everything to start yet again, for all intents and purposes, in a foreign country. Why risk the alienation, the isolation, the discrimmination and the chance of unemployment? Why indeed?
Actually it’s quite an enigma. I can’t explain it myself. Three years and just as many jobs and more, lack of a secure and stable lifestyle and all of the aforementioned issues, I am still here, albeit balding, but still here none the less and without a plan to leave any time soon.
I’m a tourist. I always will be. I guess I have to come to terms with that. At nearly 30 years of age, I have managed to avoid paying taxes, getting married, paying mortgages and taking out car loans for most of my adult life in what would seem like a downright irresponsible pursuit of happyness. I’m not doing it on pupose! I’m not trying to stick it to the man or anything. Some may see my life as freedom. Sometimes it’s a burden. Freedom is choice. Freedom is control of your own choices. Freedom is your choice. And no matter where you run to for whatever reasons, tourist or permanent resident, I think we always seek to find our own space – our own freedom to live as we might please. But if you don’t engage with your community, self created or not you will never get what you want or rather, what you need. And being a tourist is all well and good, but eventually you will have to start choosing. That’s life. Life is a commitment to you and others and it has to be worked at. No man is an island.
And you can’t live outside the system for very long. Not only is it incredibly inconvenient but it’s also unethical. Again, what is a person without his community? You want something from life you have to give, contribute and opt in. Simple as that. And the point is – kudos to those bloggers who are giving this country a run for its money. Self indulget as this blog may be, it’s a free space from which I can respond to and engage in and therefore contribute to the community I have chosen to live in. Let’s hope I stop pulling my hair out.