We are now pretty sure that our driver screwed us yesterday by driving us to Kota Damansara the long way, via highway, when it could have been done much faster. Kota Damansara is right next to Damansara Heights. Argh. This is one thing that we will not miss–not knowing what’s going on.
Besides that, we can only think of one other thing that we will actually not miss. The smog and diesel fumes, maybe? Nope, that’s part of the fun. Negotiating in bureaucrats in strange languages? No again, that’s part of the fun. The one thing that we will really not miss is line behavior. Let us explain. We are unabashedly culturally relativistic in our view that standing in line is a fundamental social convention. When we are in line, we demand that people who arrive in the line after us stand behind us. Here, that convention is broken on a fairly regular basis. JM gets it worse than I do. The other day she was standing in line at the bank, the next up for the teller. When the person in front of her walked away, she was plowed over by some guy who just walked right through her to get to the free teller. JM heroically pushed back and maintained her place in line, but the whole premise of the interaction is almost unthinkable to us. In the US, that would have raised stares. As George Costanza said once, "we’re living in a society here!" We are like intrepid Danes travelling to the Italian Riviera, wondering why everyone insists on waving their hands when they talk; or like Asians visiting the US, perplexed that someone would wear shoes inside somebody’s private residence. We have gotten used to a lot of things, but we are too American to have lost this.
These are the things that go through our heads as we spend these days packing, shopping, and eating. Besides, of course, simple incredulity that we managed to accumulate so much junk in the space of 11 months.
Any last requests for Asian packaged goods? Our last day at the grocery store is tomorrow, so let us know.
Arvind P November 18, 2005
Actually, Kota Damansara is about a 30-minute drive from Damansara Heights. You would have to take the LDP Highway past the Kiara turnoff, the Eastin hotel, the Taman Tun turnoff, One Utama shopping centre, IKEA and then you’ll probably arrive…
Or there’s the NKVE highway, where it’s just 15 minutes away but a higher toll amount.
Hope Malaysia wasn’t too bad… you know what we say, if you can survive here, you can survive ANYWHERE!