Thursday, April 16, 2009

The simple life

I wish I were less complicated. One of those easily pleased people whose needs are simple. Undemanding. Light. Unfortunately (for me), I am everything but.

I was driving through a palm oil estate earlier, and I saw some kids run by the side of the road laughing and I felt a twinge of wistfulness. When was the last time I felt that carefree? Then I saw a lady drying her clothes on a wire outside her house. And I wondered what her problems might be. Children. Husband. Dinner. I’m just guessing.

I asked myself if I could live here. Like this. In an estate, surrounded by palm oil trees, the nearest town perhaps a 30km drive, and far away from civilization. My version of civilization that is; in the likes of high rise offices, heavy traffic, oversized shopping malls,each new one larger than the last and clubs that stay open till 5am. My automatic response was no way.

But when I think about it, I wonder why not? Is it because I’d actually miss the shopping malls which I can’t stand going to on the weekends because they get just so offensively crowded? Or would I miss being stuck in the horrendous traffic at any given hour in KL? Perhaps I’d miss out on the rat race - the thrill of working in an office from sunrise to dusk, doing a job that brings so little meaning to anyones life least alone mine, dealing with irksome demands by the bosses and incessant deadlines which if you miss, spells the end of the world. But hey, if I pull out now – whose going to pay for my car or the new service residence I want to buy? And what about the weekend parties… the all night clubbing and drinking till dawn, celebrating the end of a tiresome, seemingly endless week?

I guess, I have been programmed to fit this lifestyle regardless how unhappy it might be making me. I’m stuck with a bunch of financial commitments including a loan that paid for my education which led to my line of work, which got me caught up in the rat race that fed a greedy dream to be successful. And along the way bought some bullshit on how living this life, wearing these shoes, driving this car, carrying this handbag and living in this condo is the definition of success.

What a fucking joke.


Toni said...

I know exactly what you mean. I am a city boy, (love KL by the way - spent 8 years in Bangkok and 4 years in Medan). Everytime I was walking through some airport, (KLIA is the most soulless), I wondered if I would be happier somewhere else. Unlike you I don't have any school loans to pay off. I left school when I was sixteen, got lucky and became a trader in London. In Sumatra I spent a while in the jungle and then went to one of the islands, (probably wiped out in the tsunami), and I got bored. I am just not able to live the simple life. So what to do, I hate my current lifestyle but I also hate the alternative?

little miss angry said...

hey, didn't realise you posted a comment here. glad you commented, its one of my favorite posts cause its so close to home. but that's not a good thing i guess.

it's refreshing to see someone who's actually experienced the other side and not just harping about wanting to experience it (like moi..) but i really don't know what we can do if the grass is not greener.. it just sounds well pretty hopeless.

ps - i agree. klia is souless. but then again, i generally dislike aiports, gets me all sentimental and nostalgic for god knows what reason.

Toni said...

Your blog is a lot of fun to read and I think I understand a little of where your coming from. Malaysia has experienced such rapid growth and really is a first world country now but still has that rural side. I remember going on train rides from Bangkok to Butterworth and seeing the kids in the plantations waving as we went past. Some people love the simple life and a lot of westerners loafing around the beaches of Langkawi or Thailand get that whole "The Beach" thing going, but the truth is they can always go home. I am a city boy and have the occasional urge to go to the wilds of Scotland and live there, usually after I have watched Local Hero with a bottle of good Scotch, but deep down I know I never will.

I have mixed feelings about airports, someone said that nothing that happens in airports is meaningless, that every good-bye is an event every welcome is heartfelt. I feel like that as well but I have also spent so much time in airports when no one was there to say good bye and no one was there to meet me at arrivals, then airports can be the loneliest of places. Even in somewhere like KLIA, which is just too empty for such a big airport, you can stop for a second, catch your breath and look around. See the stories of people around you. Some full of hope, some so sad. I look forward to a post from you as to why you dislike airports.

little miss angry said...

thanks toni.

and yes, the contrast between the rural parts of malaysia and the cities are very obvious. this includes the liestyles. there's a huge difference between the foreigners who are here on holiday and the locals who live there. and it is painfully obvious in these tourist dominated places like penang, langkawi, the east coast beaches. but i digress. the simple life i believe is something people like me (and maybe you) wistfully wish for sometimes when life gets a little complicated where we are at.

and i WILL probably post something about airports soon too.. thanks to you ;)