Wednesday, November 09, 2005


It feels great to be home. The contrast couldn't be any more different. Things are just inherently different. You would think that I would have had a great culture shock, but the truth is I have had 2 weeks of practice of the Malaysian mentality before I left.

I had a rather.....dissapointing (for the lack of a better word) experience with a particular shipping company that I used to ship my stuffs back to Malaysia. This particular forwarding company is a Malaysian company based in Manchester and was the cheapest among all that I checked. In fact, they were MUCH cheaper compared to the other forwarding companies.

And so, compromising efficiency and reliability for the cheap rates, I settled for the Malaysian company. To cut a long story short, I waited about a week longer than the originaly agreed date for the boxes to arrive and they only picked the boxes up the day before I left. That, and the added bonus of having to 'settle' things the Malaysian way over some very dubious yet necessary kopi money, left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

That same night, my very last night in the UK, while complaining about my predicament of reaccustomising myself back to the Malaysian style, the Malaysian way of doing things, George had an interesting story to share...

I was studying at the University of Nottingham (in case you didn't know). George is doing his PhD. He related the happenings of that morning. Some delegates from UNiM (University of Nottingham in Malaysia) visited the UK branch and had a chat with some of the engineering postgraduates as well as the lecturers. They were trying to get some British guys to go to Malaysia to help set up the new campus.

In his speech, the head of the UNiM delegation apparently warned the British guys of the culture shock that they would face. By best recollection, George quoted him, "This isn't an attempt to discredit the Malaysians, but more of a warning to the potential culture shock that you might face. Here at UNiM, we have a motto amongst as Brits...TIMTAD"

"....This Is Malaysia. Things Are Different..."

True that.

Not better than the UK, not worse. Just different.

I have spent the last few days ripping my CV apart, ammending it to suit the Malaysian style. In the UK, they have strict anti-discrimination laws and hence you don't need to state your sex, ethnic background and even your age when you apply for a job. Compare it to Malaysia, where you have to submit a photo of yourself along with your CV (don't you just pity the lepers?).

I sighed in great disbelieve as I read through the classifieds saying that you have to state in your cover letter your expected pay package. Have fresh grads become so increasingly arrogant that the companies have to weed them out this way?

As I glanced at my newly revamped CV, realisation hit me...


TIMTAD indeed......

Not good, not bad. Just different.


I sighed in great disbelieve.. blah blah blah

shouldn't it be disbelief? haha


yes I made a typo. Or it could be that my spelling sucks. Either way, would you like to sue me for it?

Saying things are different is just a polite way of saying 'this place sucks compared to home'.
Two brits from my uk class are here for their 3rd year,when asked about conditions here they paused,trying hard not to be impolite and replied 'it's different here'..


Hell knows that we will also said "it's different here" when we study oversea . Well , it's different in good way mostly .

gavin : If you think about the lion pretenders like Rabbit who complained about how everything in the UK is 'different', you see a similarity.

yungjie : It's different. Good, yes. Bad as well though.Its a two way street you know.


So that's what the TIMTAD shit is.. i was wondering what it was...

Yeah keep consoling yourself, not bad, just different.


i guarantee u, u live a fwe more years here there's worse to come. by then i hope u'd get used to it.

but it doesn't mean we should acept it.


Being on a different level of the society on different planes at different country warrant intimate understanding before one can make a judgement on how each country functions ba... In fact, i think that Malaysia is different to you because you are not used to the way it functions yet. Once you are used to it, the differences fade in retrospect of the past you have in Britain.

Comparing against own expectations will certainly produce a subjective opinion. It is not a lie, just a disappointment and learning to live with it the mature way out. Then when understanding prevails, changes can be made.

Seriously, i think that colonial times is over and those who think that being different is bad in their own POV can just scuttle back to their nation, their home. You do not need to be here and lie to yourself with us. I bet Britain is full of holes too, different holes that are. It is not consolation but the truth.


Plurality is life, death is uniform.

ST : unlike you, I don't need to console myself. I have been staying in this goddamn country all my life. There are flaws and I accept them for what they are.

And to the whole world.....

Look, I have written about this a million times already. If you guys are too fucking stupid to understand that, well, fuck off.


vincent, one of the better articles you've written so far, IMHO (even tho most if not all your articles are pretty damn good).
and THAT'S what TIMTAD is....hahah.

ra > i agree with you. you can't say things like, "this place sucks compared to home". it's all a matter of your POV; it sucks compared to home because it is different from what you are familiar with, with what you have grown up with. everything is full of holes, not just Britain, Malaysia or whatever you may want to talk about. it's just a matter of them being different holes.

metal > for better or worse, whatever comes will come. neither you nor i can say whether it will get better or worse. so please, don't say that it will get worse like the world will end because this is such-and-such. but yeah, we shouldn't just accept things the way they are. we should contribute and make a difference.

yung jie > yeah, things really do look better when you go overseas, right? no, i'm not being sarcastic. i just came to Britain 2 months ago. at first i thought it was really much better than home. that is, until you see the bigger picture. life is not perfect. there is also a bad side to all things; the question is if you will take your blindfolds off and let yourself see the imperfections in life. you may see the grass as being greener on the other side of the fence, but at the end of the day, IS IT REALLY? it looks greener just because you can't see the imperfections from such a distance.



No... you don't have to put your photo on your resume. I work for an MNC, and have interviewed fresh engineering grads for my team. The photo doesn't have anything to do whether I hire them or not :)

When I graduated 7 years ago (long time!), I submitted my resume in typical US style (without sex, religion, etc.) I got hired anyway.

Most managers don't care how your resume is submitted. The most important thing is the meat in the resume (grades, previous projects, grammar).


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