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Image adapted from: Pelita and Travel

Things students miss about Malaysia

Mamak food is essential to Malaysians, especially since it’s a local staple for late suppers and early breakfasts alike. It’s one of the many #JustMalaysianThings that have become part of our culture. But of course, we only ever realise how good we have it once we’re far away from our homeland.

On Tuesday (15 Oct), Izyan posted a meme that Malaysians studying abroad can totally relate to on popular discussion site, Reddit. It’s aptly titled “Things You Appreciate About Malaysia After Studying Abroad”. Almost immediately, our homesick friends flooded the comment section in agreement of the post while sharing their own struggles of living abroad. 

"Things you appreciate about Malaysia after studying abroad"
Image credit: lzyan

Late night food haunts and shopping

Shops that open till late takes the number 1 spot in this list of things in Malaysia that you can’t find in faraway foreign countries. 

KL city nightlife
Kuala Lumpur is still bustling and bright with neon lights when night falls
Image credit: Mirsham

For those who’ve lived in Europe and Australia before, you would know that it’s not typical for most shops – including restaurants and grocery stores – to stay open past sundown

User Felinomancy commented on her previous living experience in Ireland, Dublin, where the only things that were open past 10PM were convenience stores and clubs. You’d assume that capital cities would at least have late-night food options, but unlike Southeast Asian countries, this is almost unheard of in the West. 

Reddit comment (1)
Image adapted from: Felinomancy

Another fellow Redditor brought up Sydney, Australia where shops shut their doors as early as 5PM. It’s mind-boggling to imagine shops already closing for the day before we even get off from work.

Reddit Comment (2)
Image adapted from: Significant Failure

This user offered some insight as to why shops abroad Australia in particular have such early closing times. They suggested it was because Aussies prefer going to bed earlier while Malaysians like to sleep in, only opening for business when it’s midday. 

Reddit Comment (3)
Image adapted from: JediBrooker

Multi-purpose toilet hoses

toilet hose
Image credit: Travel

Almost every public toilet you’ll find in Malaysia has a hose in each cubicle – even restrooms at the dodgiest of petrol stations. It’s not as high-tech as a Japanese bidet, but it works just as well and is totally fuss-free. 

A Reddit user commented on the drastic transition from spending some time in Southeast Asia versus going back to Europe where you only have toilet paper at your disposal. It just doesn’t feel as clean. 

Reddit Comment (4)

Image adapted from: rantingmushroom

Koolio92 provided an explanation for the lack of toilet hoses and bidets, saying that it’s because unlike Malaysia, Europe has seasons. The idea of hosing down your sensitive areas in the dead of winter is not convincing, to say the least. They also brought up the point of commoners in Europe not being able to access as much water back then, and that this has become ingrained in their culture.

Reddit Comment (5)
Image adapted from: koolio92

Coins that are easy to differentiate

It’s been a while since we’ve had the RM1 coin in circulation but even then, it was still easy to tell it apart from other coins just because of how large it was. Apart from that, it’s generally easy to differentiate our coins, though some Malaysians would disagree and say that the 50 and 20 sen coins are too similar in colour and size. 

The same user who created the thread referred to Australia when talking about confusing coins as their $2 coins are actually smaller than their $1 coins. Malaysians can vouch for the fact that this is highly confusing when you’re trying to make quick payments without holding up the queue.

Reddit Comment (6)
Image adapted from: Izyan

For reference, here’s a photo to prove their point.

Comparison of coins
Image adapted from: Your Clever Monkey and Leftover Currency

Outdoor breakfasts

Malaysian breakfast options are endless. From filling meals like nasi lemak and curry mee to lighter ones like kaya toast and curry puffs, we are spoiled for choice everyday. 

malaysian breakfasts
Image adapted from: The Happy Foodie, PappaRich, Asian Inspirations, and Curiocity

And the best part of it all is that they’re mostly budget-friendly. It also helps that a lot of stalls open as early as 5AM so that students and office workers like us can start our busy days with a full stomach. 

However, this too appears to be a Malaysian perk. 

This user replied to a comment saying that shops in Egypt only opens at 10AM, which means you can’t expect to have an early breakfast unless you’re cooking it yourself. 

Reddit Comment (7)
Image adapted from: kecoagendut

Reddit user fat_buffallo has been living in Hong Kong for 8 years now. While they do have a variety of breakfast foods, they don’t have ones that are as filling or spicy as what we usually have here. 

Reddit Comment (8)
Image adapted from: fat_buffalo

Homesick Malaysians share what they miss most

We tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side, so we don’t realise how good we have it as Malaysians until we’re out of the country. Maybe it’s time to look at our country with fresh eyes and see all that it has to offer. It’s these mamaks and late night culture – even toilet hoses – that make Malaysia feel like home.

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