Just a small town Malaysian girl who ventured across the seas in search of something new. Auckland has been home for three years now and counting…



What’s a city like you doing in a girl like this?

The catalyst to this morbid musing? Quite possibly the weighty and weathered Kiwi – man not bird – who gazed contemptuously at me and my apparent inability to use the pedestrian crossing. Sheer ignorance that I had just arrived from the land of cross-at-your-own-risk, white lines notwithstanding. After huffing out a ferocious ‘stupid’ and fearlessly footing his way across this white-lined wonder; his scorn seemed to inspire a trail of think I could not stop.

Was it foolish … catapulting thousands of miles away from the familiar sentence stops of “alamak” and “aiyoo” to “aye” and “as” (such as “sweet as” the Kiwi’s answer to “cool”). To weather that requires three times the layered apparel KL commands.To seemingly quiet corners in contrast to the Malaysian milieu hounding their way past me in the morning rush. To polite Kiwi palates pausing early in the pm in place of the 24-hour food frenzy. To darkness that creeps up at the speed of a sneeze on dimly lit streets from a yawning tropical dawn and haze of hurried lights. 

And yet, as I boot-walked my once slipper-ed feet to a rented space while scheduling my next few hours, there was strange sense of peace. The mundane routine is far from mundane for the proverbial “katak” (frog) kicked out from under her “tempurung” (coconut shell).

As the novelty wore off and a new pattern emerged, there came a realization that this slower pace and path was perhaps more suited for pretty pauses. That it inspired more room to breathe and take in the now. To appreciate the wonder of concrete and intermittent green. Sultry sea and sand, punctuating the marvellous spread of Auck-land. 

That perhaps He allowed this timely discovery to find another voice and view. Wading through Westernism with an Asian hue.
© Jill Roche, 2014

Images by Jill Roche


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