The cramped units of the cheap flats, the perilous hours on the roads; some of us have never seen that, some of us would rather forget.
But come the 31st, we raise our hands chant, 'Merdeka.'
It was a Merdeka dinner, for investors. Elegant crystal glasses next to fine delicate cuisine, these were people with interests in the country's continued prosperity. Here they were, raising their glasses to our country's independence, toasting to a good year ahead. Nevermind they weren't Malaysian.
It just seemed bizzare.
Maybe it's becaues they're old and I'm young, and my friends are young. Merdeka's a nice excuse to have a party but you don't really think about it.
What for? There's residency requirements to worry about, you've got to keep a constant eye out for jobs on seek; it's not easy to fit that within the schema of 'Malaysia Merdeka Maju Jaya'.
Malaysia's Merdeka is our history, but Melbourne is our present. We owe great gratitude to our forefathers for getting us here but that gratitude's not going to move us forward in life.
The date reminds us where we come from. It just doesn't inspire us the way it inspires the investors.