Being a Foreigner in my Homeland

Two days ago, I embarked on my journey from Germany back to Malaysia. I hadn’t been back for 2 years. I was quite excited about the journey and felt like it was time to visit home. 

Coming back from Germany, I couldn’t help but notice the differences between Germany and Malaysia. When I left Germany, everything was gray and white (though it was quite romantic to me). On the other hand, Malaysia is covered in greenery and the sun shines bright. As soon as I got to the airport, I also noticed how friendly and joyful Malaysian people are. Quite a difference compared to German culture. 

When I landed, I felt like I experienced a culture shock in my homeland. First of all, I have forgotten almost all of the Malay I know. Walking around the airport, people were speaking to me in Malay and all I could do was give them a blank stare (I was also exhausted from my flights). Thank God Malaysians speak very good English. Also, seeing so many hijab-wearing Muslims around, reminded me I hadn’t been back for way too long. This all feels so foreign to me now.

My home is located in the southern tip of Malaysia, right next to Singapore. Before Corona time, I would fly directly to Singapore and take a car back home which is about a 40-min drive. But now the pandemic has made me take a little detour. I needed to fly into Kuala Lumpur and take a domestic flight back to my hometown.

The pandemic measures in Malaysia are quite strict compared to most countries.

Lucky me, the government approved my home quarantine application. I got to do my 7-day quarantine from home. 

I am not sure if it’s jet lag or that my soul hasn’t caught up to my body, I haven’t been able to center myself yet. Most of my days are spent taking naps, on YouTube, reading books, and sleeping when the sun comes up. I haven’t been able to gather the focus or creativity for the projects that I wanted to do. I was planning on being productive during my quarantine but now I’d be glad if I could just get some good night’s sleep.

My quarantine bracelet. They take quarantine seriously here.

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