Malaysia: Why Are We Always Waiting???

Why are we always waiting?

Life in Malaysia is great … just great. You never know what to expect daily. It’s flourishing with excitement and oooohh … don’t even get me started about the weather. It swallows you and spits you out by surprise – some even consider it like a rollercoaster ride.

Take 2: Without sarcasm.

Since all these astounding things are constantly rotating around us – sometimes – it’s hard to keep up. That is why all the birds in town follow you.

Just kidding.

That is why we need a constant in our lives. Something that weighs down your sanity to make sure you’re not firing away like a loose cannon.

Now, the constant that we Malaysians have is waiting. WAITING … WAITING … and more WAITING. No matter what you do, who you meet, where you go – you have to wait.

According to my recent survey (on myself) revolving around my daily activities – going to work, coming home from work, going to the supermarket, going to visit friends who live in silly places like Petaling Jaya (or sometimes if I’m lucky a meeting on the other side of town) – I realise that I spend more time in my car than actually getting things done. I guess all of us have come to terms with this. Jump in any of your friends’ cars and you’ll find out why. The backseats are probably draped with 10 different types of magazines, kacang and snacks in the glove compartment, Sudoku books and of course, the fancy “throne” for our mobile phones that is angled perfectly for our desired line of sight so that we don’t hit the wrong point when playing Tap Tap Revenge 2. We know it’s coming, hence the preparation. Some may even choose to have their car activities on rotation and even with a combination. OK, Monday, I’m gonna read my KL Lifestyle magazine at 5:46pm because then I’ll be in the middle of a circus on Jalan Tun Razak, then open one bag of kacang at 6.00pm as I head into the second underpass. Thank God I brought my suede cleaner to clean my shoes for tomorrow’s meeting at 6:19pm just before I hit AKLEH, and BOOM! 7.00pm, Ill be home in time for dinner.

Fabulous.

If it’s not on the road, it’s waiting for a friend, waiting at GH, waiting for our fantastic broadband service to open the next page on Firefox, waiting for food (this is sometimes inflicted by choice) or for the nice parking spot right next to the elevators or for a colleague or even worse, for a more senior colleague that INSISTED the meeting be at 0900 hours SHARP but at 1030, he’s only “on his way” (which means he just left home) or “stuck in traffic” (which also means he just left home). Worst of it all, everyone nonchalantly assumes that our peers have what we call “Malaysian timing” and then end up waiting for one another at the specified location.

More often than not each rendezvous point has a certain timeline, and because of that the same meeting may have to be held at two or sometimes three at different locations. Say the original point is at Pelita on Jalan Ampang, but Mr. Yap has to be at Hard Rock Cafe (on a Tuesday morning?!) in the next half an hour. This is when a mass SMS is sent out to inform the latecomers of the new meeting point. It stops here if you’re lucky.

For those of you fortunate ones who have reliable and punctual friends, there’s still no escaping!! I believe the universe is balanced. So it’s either one or the other. If you have nice, punctual friends or co-workers, the rush hour traffic will start right outside your door. And if you don’t have a licence or a car, or simply choose not to drive, you still have to wait for the bus.

Bas

Bas

Camellia believes that if one can create a problem, one can solve it; and that there are bigger things in life to worry about than to moan and whinge over small incidents that happen once in a while. Or maybe every alternate day. She has danced in the UK and continues to now she’s back in KL while loving life and the commotion of Malaysia as it happens daily. An up-and-coming dance theatre company Dark Fabel Theatrics Sdn Bhd has been set up. Promise you’ll see more of that name in the future. Her next non-edible love (second to dance) is music and her favourite bands are The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. At least she’s not like some people who list down all their favourite artists from like 10 different genres of music. She blogs at It’s A Platinum Blonde Life.


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Posted on 8 January 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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5 Responses to Malaysia: Why Are We Always Waiting???

  1. the worst kind of waiting i think every malaysian does is waiting for "things to change".

  2. Prof. Dr. Ir. Chong

    "And if you don’t have a licence or a car, or simply choose not to drive, you still have to wait for the bus."

    Good observation by the author, however she forgot to mention that there are various alternative beside JUST waiting for the bus.

    What if there is no bus stop?

    What if the bus route is different?

    Why can't the waiting man/women stop a taxi?

    How about LRT?

    How bout walking?

    Point to ponder.

  3. Its no style at all, just a form of kurang ajar. The junior/lower ranking party always should be early. The senior/higher ranking party can be 'fashionably late'. It is a faux pas for a junior/lower ranking party to be late, but not always a loss of face for a senior/higher ranking party to be early. VIPs who are ridiculously late are of course being rude as well.

  4. mind-bogglying

    It is Malaysian style to be late.A HABIT.only people wait for you and you cant wait for people.Waiting for friends or events such as meetings don't usually start at the time (fixed).Even waiting for VIP! What can I say? This is definitely one "habit" that some MalaysianS cant change.Be punctual.Get a watch.

  5. abdulhaleem

    A friend of mine from Middle East who spend 3 years in Malaysia keeps complaining that he cant be punctual anymore in his life because of his experience in Malaysia. FYI – I am not part of group who corrupt him!