KL: My Empire State of Mind

Hanee and I are still amazed, sometimes, by then fact that we are living in KL. It is surprising that it is that easy for me to get used to this city – mind you, years ago I swear I have sworn that I hate KL and will avoid living in it, at all cost.

But hey, now at 25, I am here, living at 51000 and working at 50350. How does that sound?

It is not hard to ‘fall in like’ with this place.

I am born and bred in rural places; and I love these places to bits: they offer me things you can’t get anywhere in KL.

I was born in the very house where my mother was born, at 01000, that’s up north, not in a hospital. I don’t know what’s on my mother’s mind at that time not delivering in a hospital, but I’m glad she did that because now I can pride that there’s a room where I was exactly delivered to this world.

Then my father was transferred to Pahang, way south to 26400 – and there I was trapped between palm oil trees for 15 years. Now you understand my liking and tendency to the company I am working for. And  it does hurt when these environmentalists start yelling about oil palm plantation being not green and all regardless of me being one too. OK, that’s not the point here, but 15 years – I am so accustomed to fresh air coming into my lungs.

Well, the final five years was spent more in a small city in a boarding school, but I rarely went out to town, so the ‘city effect’ was yet to interfere.

Then I spent two years in Banting, Selangor doing my foundation studies, again, surrounded by the plain palm oil estate view. I seldom went out. Be it to Banting the nearest (cowboy) town, or Klang (the town filled foreigners), Seremban (which sight has been fed to me since I was 9 and the next four consecutive years), or even KL; I have no temptation whatsoever.

So that says it all. 20 years of quiet life.

But after three months into my career life, KL seems normal.

And here’s the shocking revelation: I don’t think I would be able to live in some other places happily.

Not that I have become ‘urbanised’ that easily. It is just that having lived in Manchester for four years, I am used to having everything I need within my reach.

I did not realised that until I was forced to spent my idle days waiting for my career life to commence – in Perlis. That is not the fairest comparison, of course, and a huge contrast if put against Manchester, but it’s true, only then I knew that regardless of how much I love a quiet life in a suburb, or even rural places, there are things that are a part of me that can only be found in the city.

That is why when my elder colleague asked me whether I’d prefer living in suburb, green neighbourhood like in Genting where the metropolitan is less than an hour away, I confidently said no. A dip in the greenery once in a while would not hurt, and might as well be essential, but that is all, for the time being I reckon.

The activist side of me needs some excitement, which is yet to be found in a state like Perlis.
Neither is there any attractive intellectual and religious activities that can fulfill my inner needs.
And the bookstores when I need them around.

And forgive me, I need theatres and all, as lame as it sounds.

So it is true, I am converted when it comes to this matter.

I am indeed an apostate.



  1. Afni (sepupu Hapih),

    Hows life? I was searching your blog again after I came across blogspot.com, hows KL life after all?

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