[classof72] The Politics of Being Abroad
From:zahid aziz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent:Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:33:19 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing ever happens when you’re living in Malaysia but the minute you decide to leave and live abroad all manner of fun takes place. Its like when you were kids straining your eyes at the night sky hoping to glimpse at a shooting star you’ve read so much about but you never see it do you. But the minute you take your eyes of it the heavens blow up like a fire at a fireworks factory.
That’s what it seems like for us living abroad looking at things happening at home today. Election 2008 grabbed our attention intensely and we’re still hooked until today. Probably we will know things happening at home earlier than even Malaysians in Malaysia. When the NST online and the online news portals put up their stories late on Malaysian nights here in Riyadh we’ve just had dinner with the family and ready to start surfing Malaysian politics for a few hours before retiring for the night. And there’s no secret no more is there? Every dirty linen is hung out to dry in your face and you get it in double quick time. Gone are the days where you will visit your embassies or Malaysian Students Hall to read chewed up Malaysian newspapers to find out what’s happening at home. Sometimes you’re up to the minute in absorbing breaking news in Sandiwara Malaysia. It is a Sandiwara indeed with huffs and puffs, angry Sultans and traitorous Jebats hogging the scenes. The Grandfather who disowns his son he chose to run the family empire. The son also angry but in a sullen quiet way. A little bit of Agatha Christie murder mystery is also thrown in. But no one's having fun solving this one everybody including your kindergarten toddler knows who the killer is. There’s also Disney feel good movies where the two childhood enemies find common grounds in adulthood to have a courting love affair. Aaah and not forgetting Shashi Kapoor rising from the ashes of treachery and deceit to arrive on a gleaming white horse as the true Hindustani hero of the people. But some do move you to tears like the famous phrase uttered in the novel, A Tale of Two cities, “ It’s a far, far better thing that I do today than I have ever done before…” only to be spoiled by the wife coming in to post bail. Aaah Sandiwara Malaysia you are more fun than all the satellite TVs bundled together, Desperate Housewives and all. Thank goodness the Sandiwara Malaysia’s version of Desperate Housewives does not have the resident sexpot washing cars in skimpy wet clothes just to seduce her latest beau. Yeah, yeah I saw some scenes whilst surfing channels for war movies. I ain’t kidding on the war movies part, I’m a number one fan. Recently I subscribed to Saudi Arabia’s equivalent of Astro, called Showtime. Pitied the wife having very limited choice in our free satellite TV before this. It was like three English channels out of three million Arab ones before this. So I dug deep in my pocket and subscribed for 6 months. It’s just like Astro but maybe better considering the price. I particularly loved the TCM Channel or Turner Classic Movies where they show endless repeats of Where Eagles Dare, the Guns of Navarone, the Longest Day and Frank Sinatra’s Never So Few. However that’s only when the kids are in bed. Before bedtime it will be endless Cartoon Network, Showkids , Boomerang and Baby TV. The free satellite TV also have cartoon channels but Yogi Bear and Fred Flintstone speaking Arabic is a bit too weird for me. The kids love it though, their Arabic are getting better than Mama and Papa, well Papa at least. Adlin came back from school and asked “wein Mama atini asir tufah” I thought it was German when all she meant was where’s Mama give me some apple juice. Adila always “haza wa haza” her little brother, taking Zahir’s sweet and asking him to choose between the sweet and a biscuit always hoping Zahir will choose the biscuit. Zahir will go “Ya Madrasati, Ya Madrasati, bihaadrik, bihaadrik” teaching the two elder sisters how to sing the school's 'goodbye for the summer' song which they taught him in the first place. Zahir’s favourite hero is ArRijal AlAnkabut, no prizes for guessing who this comic book hero is.
Coming back soon for my usual teaching vacation. Wondering whether Shashi Kapoor will be President of India by the time I get back or his rival Shahrukh Khan being the President of a two member party, only him and Salman Khan left after all members left the party in deference to Marlon Brando the Godfather’s wishes. Maybe I’ll just unsubscribe from Showtime and ask the family to watch Sandiwara Malaysia instead, the kids will love it, there's some funny cartoon characters too.