Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seeing The Third World Countries has changed me.

On my recent drive home from Singapore, I had a chance to accompany Wai Yen who was on holiday with his young family too. He is one of my first son's university buddy who is currently working with a health product's company which required him to travel all over the world.

He had seen the best of the world with the most fantastic surrounding and living. The last two years he was posted to Africa where he has to visit almost all the third world countries from the north to the east and west of all their regions. It wasn't easy at first because he has to accustom to their culture and getting his food of his choice was really a problem. As Asian, we bathe twice or more per day. Not the African, they normally take bath once a week because water is scarce and expensive. They only change their clothings after their weekly bath. Is common most African have strong body odour which might be unbearable, especially sitting inside a bus. Wai Yen has to buy extra water and fill it inside the bath tank himself. A task he need not do at home! Wai Yen is a Chinese who loves Chinese and Western food. Sorry! In Northern Africa, he has to forget them because the only food available is the typical African food which he is not used to. He has lost 10lbs ever since he works in such primitive land. Even in dreams he thought of those "mee and satay" back home.

According to Wai Yen, the stay and employment in the third world countries has made him a stronger person in mind and soul. As a pampered child, he used to take things for granted. He complained and criticised whenever he was not happy. Not anymore after seeing the worst of the world. Today when he is home to see his family in Kuala Lumpur, he appreciates almost everything. Food which he might not like before, he would eat all without any leftover now. He was comparing the greatness of other nations with our developing status at home those days. Under such comparison, he wasn't happy politically and environmentally. Surprisingly he feels good to come home, appreciating all that he could see in his own motherland here. The suffering and hardship, he faced while working under those unpleasant conditions outside, has changed him to be more reasonable in life. He wants to be more practical and simple in being a person from now onwards.

Words of wisdom - "No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change" - Barbara De Angelis

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