I Want To Go Back To Perth

This was one of the toughest questions posed to me during my “Ask Me Anything” stunt for the Blogathon charity. (Btw, have you sent in your donation?)

(From aunty@uncle.com)
Hey Kenny,
I’m wondering if you’re coming back to Perth, as in “semi-permanently”. I’m guessing here, but you’ve got Australian permanent residency right? I’m just wondering if you are considering coming back to Perth. Or, even to Melbourne or Sydney or Adelaide. Or UK.
I know this is a bit personal. But the main reason you left Perth is because of family-related reasons (I’m sorry about that), but now that everything is settling down, would you consider leaving Kuching again?
As a third person, who doesn’t know you, I think Kuching is not the place for you. I can sense that you enjoyed the (8) years in Perth a lot and it brings you lots of good memories. I strongly think that you’d be better off in Perth.
What do you think?

I just got off from a pretty good chat with Nicole via Skype last night. These days, such nice conversations between us are rare. In the past when I talked to her, it felt as if the emotional distance between us is catching up with the physical distance between us.
Its no secret that I like Perth and I miss Perth. Its difficult not to. Once upon a time, I had a fantastic job doing what I like. I was earning a handsome AUD$40k pa salary, I enjoyed my Saturday nights drinking coffee with friends, and I got to work out at Fitness First instead of Gym Masyarakat.

Of course it is unfair to compare Perth with Kuching – I’m not trying to do that. Kuching is my home, it will always be my home and it will always be the place I return to eventually. However at 23 years old I have a thirst for adventure and a hunger for knowledge.
Kuching would be where I want to be if I’m 30 years old, married with a wife and two kids, tied down with commitments and looking for some stability in life. It’s just not the place I belong to when I’m still 23 years old with all the freedom in the world and the energy of a young bull.

But I HAD to leave Perth. I’d blame myself for the rest of my life if I didn’t. I have only one father, and to be by his side for the remainder of his life is the least I could do as his son. THE LEAST.
I HAD to be here for my mother, otherwise she’d be all alone.
I HAD to work in my current profession eventhough I didn’t like it, nor am I ready for it. I must be lying through my teeth if I said I enjoyed my job. But I HAD to. I was in no position to debate with my father when he was lying on the bed and I was standing there healthily. I HAD to let my father see that I’m helping him achieve his goals before he closed his eyes forever.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate my job. But settling down on this stable desk job is what I would do a few more years down the track, not right now. Now that I’m already in this position, I cannot leave. I have to stay and learn the ropes in this business, because the people who are gonna show me the ropes are not gonna be around forever. Its now or never.

I HAD to leave Nicole. I’m not talking about leaving your girlfriend for a few months, come back again and then start living life like a normal couple again. If that’s the case, I can live with that.
I’m talking about being away from your partner, possibly for the rest of your life. For the rest of your life. That, I CANNOT live with. Who in their right mind would want to be in a perpetual long distance relationship? This is not a scene out of The Notebook, this is real life.

The dilemma I’m facing is that we ARE in a committed relationship, but we’re not committed enough to give up our position to be physically next to each other. I cannot leave Kuching, and she’d be stupid to give up Perth to live in Kuching. Don’t even talk about marriage – its an impossibility as neither of us are ready for that. At least, not yet.
The worst thing about this is that when I left Perth, we didn’t exactly leave on good terms (we were in that we-need-to-give-each-other-personal-space kinda stage), and that’s how we ended up in a half-fucked relationship right now that’s neither committed nor uncommitted, neither serious nor casual, neither short-term nor everlasting.

I hated it when people asked me what my plans with Nicole are, and I had to reply “I don’t know.” The truth is, I really don’t know. I asked my mother when I had this discussion with her what’s going to happen to me and Nicole, and she replied “There’s nothing much you can do about it.” She’s right.
Had I thought of breaking up completely? Yes I had. But both of us agreed that its such a waste for a 4-year-long relationship to go down the drain, not because we stopped loving each other, but because of circumstances. That said, I sometimes wonder if the way we are right now that we’re holding onto nothing, if we’re better off seeing someone else than to waste our youthful years on each other. But I relented.

It’s situations like these that made me feel so confused about my direction in life.
I want to go back to Perth so I can save up money to travel to Europe and backpack and see the world before settling down permanently in Kuching. I want to go back to Perth so Nicole and I can live like a normal couple once again.
I want to go back to Perth, yet I cannot bear to do such a selfish act. I’m tied down by my duty to my parents as their son, my responsibilities to my late father as his torchbearer.

– Yes I know kennysia.com was down last night. According to them, I was being migrated to a more powerful server to reduce the load I had placed on their other customers. The best thing about this is – I don’t have to pay a single extra cent for the upgrade. Woohooo!
– I spent some time doing up the ‘Kuching’ and ‘Sarawak’ pages on Wikipedia. I uploaded some photos from my personal collection to beautify those pages but I have yet to touch up on the text. Do check them out nonetheless.

133 Replies to “I Want To Go Back To Perth”

  1. Your post is just 5 mins old and im here commenting already.nice to have the honour of being the first..
    anyways, kenny i completely support what you’re doing.I think you’re a noble guy who knows how to have fun but realize your priorities at the same time.Well done
    Its the distractions that makes life fun but its the right things that makes life meaningful

  2. Hi Kenny.
    Well, this is one big dilemma of yours. You’re right, that we cannot be selfish when one of our loved ones is lying on his/her death bed. I’d understand the situation that you’re in at that time and also now.
    This post portrays your sadness in wanting to go back to Perth, but you’re in no position to go back there because you have to perform your duties.
    It’s sad to see this happening to you… But my guess is only time can and will tell. And again, this is what we call life. Unforseen circumstances will pull us back and we have to make choices.
    Anyways, I hope that you will cheer up soon enough and you will definitely be able to go back to Perth one day.
    Till then peace out. Take care.

  3. dear kenny
    am also a fellow kuchingnite gone to australia(melbourne) for studies and end up back here again. Ironically enough, i am also in a long distance relationship (altho KL cant compare to Perth). I agree very much on your opinion that Kuching is more a place to settle down with the missus and raising toddlers etc.. i mean cost of living is reasonable(other than houses and cars), quality of life is good(short commuting distances, more time with family etc) and basically this is the place of our roots. But, being young and adventurous (and also exposed to the western-discover thyself culture) certainly makes it difficult to live in Kuching at the current time. I’ve been back for 2 and half years now and still cant hack staying here for prolonged period (i goto KL least once a month).
    I came back for the family business and being the eldest son and all, you are supposed to be the responsible one, learn the ropes, self sacrificial, dutiful etc… not easy. So i totally emphatise with what you going through now. Although u certainly have a lot more life experiences than me at your young-er age (i’m turning 27 in Dec). Hang in there, if i’ve learnt anything these two decades plus, things happen for a reason. I guess in the meantime we have to make the most of the present situation. Take care

  4. How sad when i read this blog, sometime i was also asking myself why this world is not perfect…and many of the life story doesn’t have a happy ending! because of what? cause this is a real life…! i know i am not good in talking and explain what i want to say, but cheer up kenny…..! i really wish the “happy ending” will come to you one day! “gan ba de”!

  5. life is like that, dude. sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. and if you lose, never give up cos there’s always a better future waiting for you to discover. life is a journey, not a destination. all the best to you!

  6. Hey Kenny,
    Wanna say alot of stuff, but cant find the words. So, Jiayou k? The circumstances arent always that desirable.
    I wanted go overseas for studies, but sadly, Im not smart enough to get a scholarship and my dad’s not rich enough to send me overseas. So I’m stuck in a local U in Singapore.
    Ay, I’m sprouting crap. Anyway, wish you all the best!! You will find a solution sooner or later, be it a painful one, or a joyous one. I hope it’s the latter!!!

  7. While I’m unable to give much words of wisdom for you, just thought I’d let you know I can *somewhat* relate to how you feel. I can’t possibly ask you to not feel down, but hey, if there’s any form of comfort I can offer to a good guy as yourself, I’ll be glad to provide it.

  8. it is never easy to deviate from the chosen path. if you have no choice then perharps you can only make the best of what you have.
    if your blog is anything to go by, you are already doing that.

  9. Hey Kenny, take care of yourself. I know the frustrations of being in a perpetual LDR. I’m in a similar situation.
    I can’t tell you much except to live for the moment. Sure, obligations. But you’ll live to 50 and look back and regret, even though you ARE doing the right thing.
    There’re alot of ways to live life Kenny, and in the process some may get hurt by your actions. Nonetheless, they will realise that you will never be happy unless you do what you must, and it is then in their path to accept you.
    I know this comment is very generic in nature, but I hope you can see what I’m talking about.
    Take care babe.

  10. A year ago, I had to make a choice. Between family and what I wanted. I made it. For a year, what started as a ‘correct’ choice, turned upside down. But I learned things I never thought I would have learned if I hadn’t made that choice. I realized I wasn’t making the choice for my family, but I was making it for myself. I realized if I’m not happy neither is anybody else around me. But it took a lot of soul searching. A lot of pondering.
    I hope you make a choice you’re happy with. there is no correct or wrong choice, because in the end it’s your life and those around you that matter.

  11. Not to say you, me and my brother made the same decision as urs. We made the promised to our parents not to work in Oz after we grad. And we keep to our promise.
    Not that they are sick or we are the only children, but we know that they need us by their side. After all, we just achieved independence (after the grad). We can’t be that selfish. I can’t be that selfish and just leave all the responsiblities to my siblings to live my own life either.
    Well, my point is, since you have found ur direction, then feel no regrets with it. And why not giving each other a chance to find someone else. Yeah…of course 4 years is a lot time invested in a relationship. But do you want to waste another 4 years of long distance, just to see how things go…when there’s no meeting point in the crossroad for the time being?
    I mean, don’t get tied up on certain things when there is no solution. Who knows, one day if you get to go back to Perth instead, then find Nicole again or do whatever you want to do.
    Life is toooooo short to be wasted or spent on the unknown and what-ifs.

  12. I am in Australia and my other half is in Kuching. We see once or twice a year. This is why I started my blog and also I got inspired by your blog. Send your energy to your loved one.

  13. Hi Kenny,
    Ni de jiu shi ni de.Bu shi ni de qiang qiu shi bu hui you xing fu de.Your mom was right,there’s nothing much you can do about it.Hmm….No worries Kenny my dear,just be yourself alright?Wish you all the best!!!

  14. Hey Kenny,
    I suppose this is a very hard stage. All I can say is just do a lot of thinking.
    I’m currently in Perth and I could honestly say if I were in your shoes, I’d take it much worse.
    Chin up!

  15. kenny, this is the first time i’m commenting in your blog because i just HAD to say, Respect. you placed your family before yourself and i know people who probably wouldn’t be doing the same thing if they were in your position.

  16. A lot of times, life doesn’t work out the way we want it to be. If it did completely, I guess we’re better off dead, yah?
    I myself am confused about my directions in life. At times like this, I guess we only can take one step at the time, appreciate what we have and not brood over what we could have had.
    You’re still very young. There are many turning points in life that are awaiting you. I don’t know how things between you and Nicole will eventually work out, but you know, many times end results are very out of our expectations.
    Perpetual long distance relationship with her? Maybe. But hey, who for all you know, this minute you’re in Kuching, the next you may be in Afghanistan honeymooning with her. 🙂

  17. Aww, cheer up Kenny, that’s what LDRs are about, being (very far) away from your loved one and putting up with it due to family/work commitments. Eventually opportunities to rise are bound to surface and it will then be your choice to take. But for the time being, just feel good about the fact that you’re here right by your parents, taking care of them like how a responsible son should and live life to the fullest while you’re doing it. If Kuching cannot satisfy, then what the heck just fly to KL or Penang on a Saturday night, I’m sure you have plenty of friends (and non-friends heh heh!) you can spend time with. and hey, at least while you’re there in Kuching, the cost of living is, I’m sure, much much lower than what it is in Perth so at least you know you’ll have what it takes to survive on tomorrow’s background wherever that may be at 🙂

  18. Kenny, maybe from ur cheerful exterior, the inside of u may be sad. we all know that life is never perfect. it is abt how u go about making ur own life the way u want. But we all have our dreams and aspirations, on the other hand we still have our family. it is like both side of ur hand r made of meat. it is difficult to choose.. 1stly, ur mum will oppose if i m not wrong. but u wan to be with her. LDR may not work for some. since it is already 4 years, this shld be a test for u both..
    u r still young.. This is a time u wan to carve out ur career and also nt forgetting abt ur life… All i can sae is the life is urs… Do not regret whatever u have chosen.

  19. 我’个人’认为你应该趁年青的时候到处看看,见识.你的家族生意’现在’没有你真的不行吗?

  20. When I’m reading this entry, I’m seeing my own problems. Similar to you, I came back from s’pore to thailand after studying there for many years and the reason is also my dad. I’m also having a long dist relationship with my bf of many years. I’m also expected to take up the family business in future. To be exact, we are having similar problems only that yours are many folds more serious than mine. Anyhow, I kinda understand your situation and know how hard it is to make any decision. I believe you know your priority and will choose the best solution. But sometimes, it is good to follow your heart if it will not cause a lot of troubles. Whatever you decide, you have me as your supporter and sympathizer 🙂

  21. Hey Kenny,
    I totally understand your situation. I was in a long distance relationship when I studied in Melbourne. We went on for 4 years and had countless of arguments over our own insecurities (u know, he was here, I was there thingy). Anyway, it never lasted, we broke up when we both graduated.
    But let’s not talk bout the sad stuff. Like you, I miss Melbourne heaps! I’ve been back for 3 years and everyday I yearn to go back, whether it’s Melbourne or elsewhere. Lately I’ve been thinking of going abroad, so long as it’s abroad.
    Like you, I wouldn’t say that I LOVE my job, but it’s close to hating it. But it pays the bills. I wasn’t asked to come back to KL by anyone, although like you also, being the eldest, I had a duty and responsibility to fulfil i.e. to take care of my parents and provide the best for them, for they have provided so much for me.
    U’re right about how KCH (or even KL) would be a good place to settle down with a family and all. It’s not easy but I think the best times to really explore, learn and ‘see the world’ (so to speak) is to do it before one settles down.
    You’re still young but nevertheless, I wish you the best of luck in this. I’m sure your family would understand your decision should you choose to return to Perth one day. For now, I too will have to decide between KL or Melb or somewhere on the globe.
    Good luck 🙂

  22. sorry kenny, but you and your girlfriend can be together for a week or a decade and it doesnt make any difference. you shouldn’t let that time factor be your stumbling block cause all that you’re doing is drag. from someone who’s experienced in relationships, you’ve got to trust me in this.

  23. I totally understand how you feel. My position is similar to yours.
    I was staying in KL for about 6 years before circumstances sort of forced me to come back to Singapore. It’s funny…when I was in KL, I longed to come back to Singapore but when I’m back here, I really, really miss KL. Like ppl say, you never realise how precious something is to you till it’s gone.
    KL is where I gre up in in those turbulent teenage years. It’s the place of many firsts for me. A lot of things that contribute to what I am today is all thanks to KL life. I miss my friends lots…in short I miss everything about that place…too many good memories happened there.
    However, after my mom passed away, I just could not stay there anymore. I longed for love..the love and care of my extended family. You see, I was very close to my family in Singapore so that is the only ppl who can provide comfort after I’ve lost a love one so suddenly.
    But coming back to Singapore for close to 3 years now, I realised that KL is where I belong but can’t go back. Coz no work permit and no PR there. I also feel guilty everytime I think of my dad who’s alone there without me (I’m an only child). Thank goodness he has a brother there who keeps him company.
    What to do? Circumstances are like that. As ppl say things happen for a reason…so I’ll never know if in time to come, things will appear brighter here than what I could have ever imagined. Be positive always.

  24. Sighz.. so sad 🙁
    Almost every other comment is about a LDR… Are we starting to see the effects of globalization ? Remember the kiddy song “It’s a small world” The song is starting to sound more n more real !
    btw, are there any chance that Nicole will go back to Malaysia ? Her family is from KL , rite? so maybe in a couple of yrs .. she might be gg back n everything will be fine ! 🙂

  25. oh sorry kenny, never noticed the last sentence saying your father has passed away, correcting my previous comment, I meant right by your mother 🙂

  26. Hey kenny,
    looks like i am quite a late entry … i guess with you bringing up this issue, it is pretty much planted in every family affair.. i guess the biggest traitor here is GUILT… If i was in your shoes, i guess i would have felt the guilt slapping at my face right now… huge slap .. and a few drag scratch to leave a scar..
    But you know….. would like to with you share a lawyer’s perspective which was doing social working with me back then…. she was a brilliant person and all that… and she once told me that her mother painfully brought her brother and herself up….. she is now in UK (studying) with her brother who is married and working there.. earning a fine living…
    So i asked her… ‘what about your mom?’ She said her mom encourages her to go off.. eventhough she felt the guilt leaving her mother behind.. her mom told her to live her dreams because she wont be around forever… i guess her mom didnt wanna be a ‘burden’ to her kids.. but what her mom said made total sense…
    I mean i am not trying to be a unfilial… i love my parents… but .. by the time they are ‘gone’… you are left with nothing but sorrows and a broken dream.. which i am now worried as well..
    many may say that dreams can be re-live… but it will take a longer time to achieve because the true failure in life is not taking chances and trying hard enough…
    i am still lost in thoughts which still floats in my mind… it’s like a time frame that stopped forever… her words really made me think.. and i am still thinking…
    So .. you figure…
    holler me if you have the time… we have plenty to share….

  27. first time commenting on your blog but i’ve been reading for quite some time.
    i’m too young to relate to any of the things you wrote but i can feel something stir in me when i read through each and every word of your entry and all the comments. i may not know you, but i feel sad for you.
    i don’t have anything to say that i believe would make you feel better. i’ve never been in any kind of similiar situation and hopefully i never have to make such painful decisions.
    as many have said before this, everything happens for a reason. take care and all the best.

  28. hey kenny
    i guess there are 2 ways to this
    if you stay in kuching u fulfil your filial duties
    live your life or live for someone else’s life?
    living in obligation of others is the hardest thing to do, the silence will kill you

  29. What really constitute to the term ‘selfish’?
    For a person to leave the family to lead his/her desired lifestyle. Is that selfish?
    Did our parents bring us up so that we can accompany them when they get old? If i have children, will i stop them from what they want to do so that they can be by my side? Will they be happy?
    I guess it’s debatable. There’s no right or wrong.
    We only live once. Make use of our time the way we want to use it. Afterall, we all just want to be happy.

  30. someone somewhere is made for u kenny… if it is to be it will workout between u n nicole. i don’t know u or her, but i pray that she is THE one for u.
    And as a son u did the right thing by being there for ur family at the time u were needed the most. U were at a crossroad and u made ur choice and never ever regret that.

  31. You returned home when your dad really needed you & by that, you showed your commitment to your family. Being a fellow filial Asian, I can empathise with your feelings & why you’re doing what you’re doing.
    But Kenny, like you said .. you’re 23. That’s damn young. If @ 23, you already feel that you can’t get away and are saddled with commitment, then you’d probably be bogged down forever. The thing is … even if you took one year off for yourself (to see your girl & backpack to europe etc.), you’d still return to Kuching anyway, so what’s the problem? I just returned from backpacking in Europe & it was amazing. The sights I saw & the lessons I learnt are etched in my being. It was a life-altering experience & and you really should have a go at it. It’s totally worth it & you’d be a better person for it. So really, if you can get away from your responsibilities .. if only for a year or even,6 months, you really should.
    Btw, like you, I’m also in a long-distance relationship. And like you, I don’t know where we are headed (cos the odds are just stacked against us & there’s only so much love can do). Nevertheless, I’m still keepin the faith alive .. cos there’s nobody else I’d rather date since my guy is fuckin awesome. So unless you feel the same about your girl .. why stay in a relationship outta obligation? Meet & date new ppl, and at the end of the day, if you still feel she’s the one for you … then do what you gotta do to make her yours la. What’s meant to be, will be.
    Anyways, i hope you’ll be able to find a way out of your dilema right now (or rather, outta your noose). Your loyalty is admirable, but sometimes you gotta put yourself first .. if only for a lil while.

  32. hey u.
    i’m heading back to msia too. i’ll miss perth so much that it stings to think bout it.
    but u know what… it’s more bout the ppl than the place (n the part time jobs, affordable holiday flights, weather, bus schedule, big black birds, big aussies, big sausages, big coins etc). it grows on ya….
    when i first came, i was skeptical but open to new challenges to adapt n circumstances. Now.. i just dont wanna let go.
    i’ll miss perth too

  33. Mate, u got responsibilities to shoulder…and i am down wif that, but regarding nicole…i am sure there are ways to make it happen…If i were to be in ur position, yes i will stay back at Kuching, but if I love the gal very much, i will not give up on it….

  34. I know exactly how you feel, Kenny. I know eventually I will HAVE to go back to Malaysia for reasons beyond my control. And I will HAVE to leave a place I’ve come to love and appreciate. And I will HAVE to leave a guy I love very much. I’m probably just as confused as you are.

  35. Hi Kenny,
    Interesting site. I was goggle surfing looking for kuching stuff and found yours.
    I am in the same situation as you. But I am 20 years older than you. I am going back to Kuching almost 3 times a year (trying to learn the trade) now as eventually I will take over my father’s business. I am in US for over 25 years with my own business.
    I went to a reunion 2 weeks ago at Kuching and found out quite a few Phds and professionals friends have relocated back to Kuching.
    Do well in your father’s business and you can travel a few times a year or as an employee at Perth with a few weeks vacation a year..tough choice…?
    Central Padang

  36. Perth ? It is such an “ulu” place for old fart retired Malaysin/Singaporean. They are all over the landscape. Go to New York, London, HK, Tokyo, Shanghai. You are 23 not 63 !
    I have met so many born in Perth can’t wait to leave Perth and work in Hong Kong ,KL or Singapore.
    Fo to Perth when you are 63 and love fishing.

  37. Life is all about choices.
    I really respect you for making this choice – being there for your family when they need you.
    I really think you made the right choice coz without your family, you wouldn’t have those lovely memories of perth at all. Also your parent will not always be around. You are still young and time is still aplenty for you to go back in future. Good luck and best wishes.

  38. Dear Kenny.
    There is no one to nurse you back to health when you are sick and alone overseas. Your friends might drop by , say hi, drop off a few comic books etc but you just cannot beat a bowl of ginseng chicken boiled by your mummy, no?
    Family and friends are much different, much much different.

  39. Hi Kenny. I guess a lot of eldest asians face the same dilemma as you. I was brought up by very traditional parents who claim to be very ‘open-minded’. I am currently studying in Melb and from what I know, they expect me to go back to Malaysia once I graduate even though they said they don’t mind. And yes, a long distance cum term relationship is definitely very straining. I would think it would be better to end it now rather than 10 years down the road…like you said, you are 23, maybe you will be more suited for a long term relationship when you are a bit older.

  40. HK I totally agree with you on this!
    Posted by: Anonymous at August 21, 2005 06:24 AM
    Perth ? It is such an “ulu” place for old fart retired Malaysin/Singaporean. They are all over the landscape. Go to New York, London, HK, Tokyo, Shanghai. You are 23 not 63 !
    I have met so many born in Perth can’t wait to leave Perth and work in Hong Kong ,KL or Singapore.
    Fo to Perth when you are 63 and love fishing.

  41. Hi Kenny, I might not know how you feel right at this moment as a son and the responsibilities you have, but I do understand your feeling about LDR. It sounds crazy to some people that I chose to come back to Melbourne, yes for someone. And to leave the place I grew up and dear family and friends is never easy. I was in dilemma for quite sometime because I felt really guilty for not returning home and I felt I need to be there for my parents. I did return but I came back again. Life’s fair to everyone, no gain no lose. No matter how tough it’ll be, it’ll be over one day. All I can say now is all the best! Let fate decide your destiny.

  42. Kenny, I feel for you because I am in a similar position as you albeit its not as far as Kuching-Perth but its also a LDR (Penang-Kuching, does that count as a LDR?). Just hang in there ok? You never know what tomorrow will hold.
    I really respect you for putting other people’s well being over yourself. Your parents brought you up real well and it shows… its things like this that people will remember about you for the rest of your life. Its not your achievements or your degrees or your money… its you, your character… a filial son… a commited BF…
    Things like these will make you stronger as a person… you’ve learnt to make the hard decisions and it would help you later in life when such decisions are bound to come by again…
    In the meantime… dwell on the good things that come your way… that you get to be with family, you’ve made loads of new friends through your blog and you’ve had new experiences that you’d never had if you were in Perth… right?

  43. That sounds extremely difficult, and I’m not out to put false hope here, but I know of a couple, one’s in germany, the other one here, and they see each other once a year on holiday…The initial part was difficult, and expensive, but they just go on holidays together at halfway points…..And so far it’s working.

  44. I feel you, Kenny. As much as I love Boo, I’m not sure am I willing to give up Melbourne to return to KL. Being in a LDR for the last 2 years is NOT easy, nor cheap.
    I’m dying in a way, yearning to return home. With my dad’s heart problem, I want to be by his side. And seeing people losing their love ones, frightens the shit out of me. But I’m unsure. To leave or not to leave?
    With my responsibility as a daughter, I want to go home. But my dad asked me to stay in Melb, as he knows, I could barely survive in KL as an artist/designer until I reach the day to be known.
    Sometimes, I wish I could split myself into half. Half to achieve my dream in Melbourne, half to return to KL, be with my family and be with the person I love.
    Just like you, I wouldn’t want to flush my 5 yrs relationship down the drain. But I have dreams to be reached. Boo has his family business to run, his gigs to play, and like you, the son to achieve the dad’s goal.
    I have no idea what will happen later. But I guess, we’ll just have to take it as it is. Hang in there.

  45. Your filial act has touched me deeply. It is indeed admirable, and i look up to you.
    Best Regards,

  46. Hey Kenny,
    Like the others, we share a similar situation. But I’m talking from the girlfriend’s perspective though =)
    I’m 23 and in Sydney. My boyfriend of 5 years is an aussie PR who has been in Sydney the last 8 years of his life. We both love travelling and dream to see the world one day. As young graduates, we feel as if the world is at feet, and we’re at the age and time to ‘conquer’ the world =)
    However, due to certain circumstances, he went back to KL last year to be with his family. And by the rate things are going, it looks like we’ll be starting anew in KL within the next year or so. I do agree. LDR is tough. Giving up on youthful dreams and passions is tough. But one thing I’ve come to realise over the year is this – I love Sydney. I love travelling and daring to dream about things I can achieve. But I love my man more. And Sydney is no seriously no fun without him around =)
    I dont mean to lecture you Kenny, but this is how I feel. “We are to be champions of our situation, not victims of our circumstances.”
    Stay in Kuching because you WANT to Kenny, not because you HAVE to. Stay because you WANT to protect and uphold your family and it’s legacy, despite the measly wages and unbearably humid weather. Stay because you WANT to be with your mum and not because you dont want her to be lonely. Because if you stay out of obligation and filial piety, you’ll just end up resenting your late dad and your family for forcing the decision upon you.
    Furthermore, Perth+Europe+UK and the backpackers hostels will always be there =)But do we know how long more will our families be around for?
    I think you’re cool Kenny =) And you have my deepest respect for being such a filial son.
    All the best =)

  47. Dear Kenny,
    I understand how u going through and being the eldest daughter in my family i also likewise have to think of my parents whenever i’m making a certain decision. That’s why i never agree to be with my bf from US(last time) reason is distance. I never want to start something that will not have a good ending(that i presume) But for your case though u already started for 4 years but it’s best to let it go while u 2 are still friends. I know it’s hard but a guy got to do what a guy need to do. So gather ur courage and try to be firm for once so you wouldn’t have to drag it further. It’s a painful journey for both of you. But giving her up doesnt mean u don’t love her but becos u love her more than anything. Last but not least…..if u 2 are meant to be together then no matter what happen…in time to come you will still end up together forever and ever. Trust me

  48. Hey Kenny,
    I don’t know you personally, but being both a Kuchingite and being in Perth right now, I just feel like you’re someone I could have easily passed on the street any ordinary day. And I even know someone who knew you in Perth and bought your couch off you.
    But that aside, I just wanted to say that this post was pretty painful to read. I feel for you, and I honestly hope that you may be free from the ties that bind you. It’s pretty hard because of obligations to family and all, but I hope that you will get the chance to pursue your own life and dreams soon.
    And I hope that you’ll get to come back to Perth soon, if that is what you really want. 🙂
    Take care, and God bless.

  49. hey kenny, i don’t mean to be rude though. but, don’t you think it’s time to enjoy yourself while you’re still young? i mean, [don’t mean to be rude again] erm…. what i mean is, life has to go on rite? so why not set your spirits free and go back to perth, i guess your mum will understand, it’s not like you’re not coming back to kch rite?
    gambatei wif your europe trip and do visit me when im in uk k!

  50. Hi Kenny, nice reading your blog. I am in Adelaide now, leaving behind my wife and 3 year old son. I have been here for the past 2 months, and I am already missing them a lot.I need to stay here for the next 3 years here though.
    I just booked a ticket to KUL to be back home with my family because I can’t stand the loneliness. I understand how you feel.
    My advice, is it worthwhile to hold on to the weak weeds on the river bank when the current are strong downward?

  51. Hi Kenny,
    I’ve been following your blog for a little while and this entry really touched me. I’m lucky in that I’ve been overseas for over a decade and am pursuing what I love doing. I’m the youngest child in my family, and have never been called upon to fulfill any kind of duty. I admire you for what you’re doing because I don’t think I would have the strength of will or character to stay somewhere I don’t want to be. It’d be too much like being caged.
    Chin up.
    The relationship will sort itself out. If you love each other, you’ll figure out a way. And if you don’t, then there will be others, as much as it hurts to think about it.
    You were right though – if you hadn’t stayed to say goodbye to your Dad, you’d have regretted it for life. I guess now the big question is: what will you regret more? Staying in Kuching or leaving?
    Your mother is probably tougher than you think (she’s been through a lot more than you). What if you negotiate with her and your Dad’s company to maybe let other managers take over for another 2 or 3 years and use this time to pursue your own dream? That’s not such a long time, and hopefully it’ll be enough to get the travel bug out of your system.
    Anyway, best of luck to you.

  52. I’m wondering if you actually read all these comments. LOL~! Anyway, it’s good to read something different from you. Something straight from your heart, and not for entertainment purposes. This is the way I see your situation. We can never have both side of the coin. In your case, I believe you have made a wise choice to choose filial piety over everything else. *thumbs up*

  53. Hi Kenny, first time leave u a msg. I understand fully with what u’re going tru’ especially to carry on with your father’s business. This is the age when we are adventurous and wanted to have fun but when it comes to commitment you have to sacrify a lot of things but still there is always light in everything you do. Have faith in whatever u’re doing, u’ll never go wrong as long that you don’t do something against the law ;p
    Also about Nicole. Me myself had been in long distant relatinship twice and none actually worked. One was with a guy in NZ then it just cool off and that’s it we moved on we our lives and we’re still best friends.
    Second, this one almost worked… just a little bit more but God is mightier than anyone and we can’t predict the future. He was based in S’pore and after we started to get serious with our relatinship, he got a better offer in Sydney. So off he went to Sydney to work. We stayed in touch via telephone, e-mail and MSN. I was ready to move to Sydney to be with him and start our life there. Who knows… (not going to say everything here, else it becomes my entries rather than yours ;p if anyone like to know more about it, well.. it’s in my blog [sorry… become advert])
    So you see.. what u did is right. One person has to sacrifice something to make sure the relationship worked. If none of you can do so, it’s better to stop right there before things get worst.
    We can never predict the future. Live the fullest today and u’ll never know tomorrow will come or not. I learnt this the hard way. Time will heals/proves everything. Life is so short, so be thankful with what you have now. You can also take time off to go holiday in Perth. It’s not the end of the world 🙂
    Just hang on. Take it easy 🙂 U can do it!

  54. Perth may not be the liveliest city in the world, but Kenny is one of the few “famous” bloggers in the region who has shown that he has a wider world view and a desire to broaden his horizons. For that I respect him. Hang in there, Kenny, things will work out in the end.

  55. Dear Kenny,
    First time poster here. Great post. It truly struck a chord in me when I read it. Having just returned abroad, I can understand fully understand the yearning to just get out of Malaysia and back out into the “wild” world. Been stuck in my village for the past 18 months and it hasnt gotten any better life-wise. I gave up everything and came back for love but ultimately lost it. Do I regret my decision? No, I dont but the life have in comparison to the one I had before is like night and day.
    I always thought that I was the only one contemplating an escape from Malaysia and it is very comforting to know that I’m not the only one, even more so when so many posters here have expressed the same feelings.
    When you have the chance Kenny, just go for it. You, to me, sound like an extraordinary young man and it’d be a total waste to just keep you in Malaysia. I’m sure with you going abroad, you can accomplish greater things, things only most of us can only dream of.
    I honestly believe that the main thing a family wants from a child is ultimately his/her own happiness. So with that said, your chance to leave may not be here yet but when it does, I am sure your family will give you their full support in pursuing your dreams, in hopes of you finding your true purpose and happiness in life.
    So there. All the best.

  56. I do read all these comments, guys, just that I won’t be able to respond to them individually. There’s not gonna be any immediate solution to this other than to carry on the way we are right now.
    I’m not in a hurry to look for a girl at the moment, but I have to admit I do miss the physical intimacy part of being in a relationship. I think the lack of hugs and kisses is what’s killing me more than anything else.
    Charmaine, I think I know who you’re talking about. 🙂 She seems to know everyone and she seems to be telling everyone about me too.
    Yvonne, I do write personal entries from time to time, but I had to cut down a lot on those and select what I write carefully. I only write personal entries when I feel it heavy in my heart and had to get it out of my system.
    Wise old Man + HK, I like Perth and I like Perth precisely because its not a too ulu and not too hectic. KL and Singapore wouldn’t be where I live for the rest of my life because the working hours are too long, too hectic for my liking. I value the fact that I could work till 5:30pm and have Saturdays off to do my thing. I don’t think I would have that luxury working elsewhere.

  57. Your comment on “waste for a 4-year-long relationship to go down the drain” caught my attention.
    My friend, your 4 years will soon turn into 5..and God Knows how long this will go on. It’s a selfish act where both of you are holding on when both are emotionally suffering due to the distance. Since you also agree with your mum’s comment that “there’s nothing you can do about it”, why not just let her go?
    Both of you are still young, you’ll find someone else, and so will she. If she was clearly meant for you, your path will surely cross with hers again in the near future..

  58. Hi Kenny, it’s tough..i’m in a long distance relationship too and being back for almost two years from Sydney, it’s in Aus where i left a part of me. Am the only child and i just had to come back to Singapore to be with my family. Just have faith and be strong.

  59. sometimes…the better choices in life are maybe not the ones followed with the heart. sometimes, doing the right thing…is often the one that hurts oneself the most…and sometimes…when things get really uncertain…u’ll just have to let it be…

  60. dude, it happened to me too…i had to return from perth because of my committments to my family, and had to leave my boyfriend then….in the end, we parted mainly because we knew that it is not possible to continue with something that is so uncertain and where no light could be seen at the end of the tunnel….
    its true sometimes we have to do something not because we want to, but because we have to….i always look at it from a distance, believeing that it is for a greater good for everyone, including yourself…..

  61. A good relationship is about committment, compromises and priorities. Both parties should look at the relitionship as one unit and whats good for it not “I want this and that and you have to put up with it.” etc
    I think Kenny you have your priorities and your responsiblities mapped out for you and its really up to the other side if they can live with it. You probably need to make a month long trip back to Perth to reevalutate things.

  62. Kenny, please forgive me if i sound lame, but can’t you take your family with you to perth? since you already have pr i think it is not hard to sponsor your mother and take her with you… but, of course i don’t know what your situation is like, and can only give my suggestion…
    i have to admit i’m very surprised that there are sons like you in this world. in here, people only care about themselves, what they have to gain from from doing the right thing. they don’t care about giving up things for they belive is right…
    i hope things work out for you some day. the blessings one receives in doing the duties of a son will always out way the sacrifices – trust me! 🙂 one is never too old or young to enjoy life 🙂

  63. Life is, and never will be, perfect. Not all hardwork will yield success. You gain some, and you lose some. If you truely believe there is still something to savage on, then hold on tightly. If you knows that nothing else can come out from it, then let it go.
    From following your blog, your relation with Nicoel did not sour only after you moved back to Kuching. It started way long ago. Both are you are still so young. There no abnormaly to changes in personality. After seeing all the changes, does letting go makes more sense now?

  64. Kenny,
    I believe that you did what was right for you at that time. Your long distance relationship may or may not last. You may meet another girl and fall in love with her. Whatever it is, just live life to the fullest. What is the point of two people pining for each other? Just live and then maybe it is time to move on as other things claim your attention. There is no harm in moving on when the time is right!

  65. I totally understand ur feelings. Cos i feel that my life is so *ucked up becos of the responsibilities and commitments that i haf towards my family, my parents. I just hope things will only get better.

  66. Dear Kenny,
    First time poster here. Your post touches the heart when I read it. I came to kuching two years ago after being overseas for 8 years ( returned for family and work related reasons-and kuching is not even my hometown!).I can understand fully the yearning to just get out of Kuching. Having to start all over again and find new frens. Life sucks then and my phone bills to my mates overseas skyrocketed. I hated this town I remembered.I gave up everything to come back, the dear friends, the life and everything I used to enjoy doing. Do I regret my decision? No, I dont but the life have in comparison to the one I had before is like night and day. Anyway, I just worked and eventually found someone who loves me more than I can say. Someone who was willing to stand by my emotional roller coaster, the good, the bad and the ugly.
    I was also in a LDR before during uni days. We loves each other but eventually physical distance tooks its toll. We parted on bad terms and to this date I do feel regret ever leaving him to chase my own dreams.
    Just follow your heart and your brain. That’s what you should do but sometimes, you just have to be accept the fact that more often than not, things just don’t work out no matter how we want it to. Life is not “The Notebook”, if it was, everyone of us would have married our first love and there would be no broken marriages and divorce papers flying about.
    Think hard Kenny and take care mate.

  67. Hi Kenny,
    I know what it’s like to be in a long distance/long term relationship that you yourself are not sure of its direction. It’s even harder when there are certain setbacks and obligations you have to fulfill which could be in the way of nurturing and retaining that relationship. Having said that, perhaps it’s better to let time decide what’s going to happen between the two of you. If you and Nicole are meant for each other, then you WILL end up together. As for me and my man, eventhough I am in KL and he’s in Kuching, that short of a distance can’t guarantee anything, some more with obstacles unmentionable here. So I just go with the flow, if it’s gonna be there then it will be there. Otherwise, I’ll move on with my life. And I’m sure if you’re forced to do the same, you’ll be surprised to find yourself strong enough to withstand all that.

  68. Oh well…just learn the rope of your business now and then take a year or two off from it to venture out to the world on your own. 23 is still young. family business is the family bread. compromise a bit here and there. u will get a solution to solve it. just a matter of choice.
    u cant have all the pie by yourself, u know ;P

  69. Reading about your relationship is like reading about my own. A 4 year relationship, separated not by choice but by circumstances. Committed but not committed enough to make THAT physical change.
    So what can we do except always hope for the best, live in denial sometimes and prepare for the worse. I guess thats how things have to be sometimes.
    Hang in there.

  70. Hmm Kenny…..you’re such a good son…your duties to your parents are one thing…YOUR OWN LIFE is another thing.
    You say you love Nicole & she loves you and circumstances messed this all up.
    Do something about it.

  71. Yo dude..
    Kinda was in your situation back in 97. Met my wife, first through letters, then occasional meeting up. She was in Melb, I was in Seremban. She wanted me in OZ, I wanted her in Mal.
    So we ended up in a compromise: Singapore. And the result. 2 lovely kids, I couldn’t ask for me.

  72. Hey dude, my dad said to me “Son, go seek your dreams, don’t look back, God will take care of us”.
    It’s nice for you to be with your folks, you are a good son. Since you have experience this dilemma, I hope one day you’ll let your children seek their dreams when it’s time to let them go.

  73. My LDR started long before I married my man. Yup, we met during a short job interview in Kuching. Fell in love, even after I got back to my hometown.
    A year after, I got a better job in KL, which is certainly a dream job for me. My man supported me half-heartedly, I know, because he will miss me much much more now that we are to be further apart.
    The biggest decision I ever made was to marry him in the midst of everything that happened. I decided that he was the person I want to live with. And I was determined to make it happen. It has been 1 year and a half, and mind you, I know the difficulties of having a LDR. Quarrels, loneliness, fights, parts and parcel of the LDR.
    The biggest sacrifice?? To ask for a transfer back to Kuching. A transfer means a lot of things in my career. Slow job confirmation, little chance of being promoted among the fastrackers, less experiences, less travels and perks.
    But isn’t that what love is? SACRIFICE?
    For you Kenny, the biggest sacrifice is to stay with your mom.

  74. Kenny,
    I really really admire your loyalty and your sacrifice for your family. I’m sure your dad would be proud of you.
    Your entry really touched my heart because I am in a similiar dilemma. I’m from KL, and I was studying my Bachelors in Brisbane last year. I met a wonderful guy there, and soon after, we started our relationship. I was planning to further my studies there, doing Masters, which will give us more time to get to know each other, make me eligible for PR applications, and open up more options for our future.
    Things took a sudden turn when my dad had a stroke. He seemed to be on the road to recovery, but sadly, he passed away a few months later. It broke my heart to be away when he was sick here. It broke my heart to have to receive a phone call to find out he passed away, just before my finals. I’ve graduated now, and due to financial circumstances, and the need to be here for my mum, I gave up my hopes of studying Masters, and I’m working in KL.
    My bf is an Aussie, and he is willing to come here to work, but so far, all his job applications have been turned down or unanswered. He has no work permit here, and although I’m not-so-willing to go to Aus, maybe one day I will. But I have no PR there either. We have no way of being together.
    You are right, LDRs really lack the physical intimacy(hugs & kisses) that is actually really precious, and something we can only look forward to…….we don’t even know when we will be able to see each other again….
    A lot of ppl say “Follow your heart”, but I think that is pretty selfish. It’s important to follow your heart, but equally important to follow your mind and do what you think is right. Because your decisions will affect the people you love too.
    But I too, have no solutions.

  75. Kenny,
    Though I don’t know you, I have been following your blogs for some time now. My wife and I studied in Melbourne in the 80’s and I can emphatise with you.
    Personally, I think its time for you to go back to Perth. I am very pessimistic about the future of Malaysia once the oil runs out. I shudder to think about the economic prospects for the next generation.
    From a quality of life point of view, if Perth is anything like my experience in Melbourne, then I think the air, water and other amenities would be better than anything we can get in Malaysia. You want your kids to grow up with the annual haze?
    Objectively, I think your life as the “next” generation is more important than that of the “previous” one. You will have more years ahead of you than your mother.
    Perhaps your mother can move over to stay with you in Perth? You can still look after her and you can be happier. While it will be hard for her to move to a new place without any friends except for her son, she should also think about your future and that of the future generations. Not exactly the best possible outcome, but then staying back in Kuching is not all that great either; why else would you be having this post.
    I think its time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your mother. I know my late parents would not have objected to me moving to Melbourne if I had wanted to at that time. In a way, I am regretting giving up my Aussie PR years ago…
    Anyway, whatever your decision, may you live long and prosper 🙂

  76. I am a whole 10 years older than you. I have a child and will probably have one more. I have some sort of stability in my life but my life is certainly not at a flippin’ standstill. 33yrs old is not old. Eventhough it might seem that way to you right now. I too still want to travel and do many things, and I probably will – and I have my extended family to think about, who are scattered between 2 continents. An old and very wise woman told me this once – You only have one life. If you do not live it the way you like right now, you will not get a second chance. So let me now pass on that piece of advice to you.
    Know that you can live your life. Know that you have MANY years left to live your life. All you need to do is plan a little and make sure you put all the right things in place so that things still work when you are not around. There is hardly ever a situation in life that you “can do nothing about”. This can only happen if you choose not to anything about it.

  77. Hey Kenny, yeah I know what it’s like to be in a long-distance relationship as I am in one and it’s just terrible! What’s more you know that both of you have commitments and it’s hard to break them to be together. Anyway, I hope that you will be able to resolve this with Nicole, just I hope to resolve this with my other half. To us!

  78. heya there Kenny..
    i just got back from sending off my darling bf just now and this entry really struck a chord in me.
    Don’t have much to say except to tell u to just hang in there. There is no right or wrong decision, but rather, just live the decision u made to the fullest.
    Reading all these comments here kinda reminds me that i’m not the only one stuck in a LDR. So, u hang in there too ok? U n nicole can always fly to meet each other.. it’s difficult, it’s expensive, but make the best of it till everything sorts itself out along the way. Cheer up! ^_^

  79. Sigh… some ppl might not understand what we’re going tru’ especially when we have our own cultures and values here. For people that are not in the same shoe as us, they don’t understand and how important it is but we can’t blame them. Everyone is brought up differently and is instilled with different values.
    U can still keep your PR, we are now in a modern world, even have direct flight to Perth from Kuching, why so hard? You can take time off and go chill out in Perth and come back again to concentrate on work, just like ppl going for holiday, what makes it different is that u have the PR status and it’s a bonus, why not? You can always have best of both worlds 🙂 As long that you can afford to do so and I’m sure u can. This is what many of my friends are doing and they are happy with it.
    This is what my late-bf told me, “we are living in such a modern world, transportation has made our life so easy, u can even be in the other side of the world in less than 24 hours. Why make such a big deal out of it?” Of course, this saying is easy when u have the money and i’m sure u’ll not have any problem with it. 🙂
    So cheersssss!!!

  80. She’d be right, myte.
    I have about 10 years on you (I’m in my 30s) and had to make a similar decision. But in the reverse direction. I walked away from a comparatively stable situation in Singapore (and away from the woman I deeply love and miss) into the unknown that is Perth.
    There will always be that tension between doing your duty and following your bliss. You may lose Nicole, or it may all work out eventually. The point is (as mrsbudak puts it): Bed.Made.Lie.
    It sounds harsh, but it is true (for both of us). We made our decision – however difficult – and we now have to take personal responsibility for the consquences (both positive and negative) of those decisions.
    So given the current constraints that you have to work with, I feel it is a waste of energy to worry about “what if”s and “might have been”s and “should have”.
    So look forward and work on improving the situation. At 23 you are still very young, who knows Perth (and Nicole) and Europe may still work out yet for you. Meanwhile I will drink the next beer in your honour.

  81. If anything, reading the comments here made me feel less alone facing this great dilemma of mine. Ironically it is somewhat comforting knowing that there are so much ppl out there in the same boat as I was in. Thank you to everyone who commented.
    We all have permanent residency in Australia but I cannot bring my mother to live in Perth. She has a hand in the business as well and it is her desire to remain in Kuching and it is her decision that I remain in Kuching, learn the ways of the business here, and in other words, sacrifice myself for the business. (That’s what every parent wants, isn’t it?)
    I’m just not ready to do that. At least, not now. To put it in a bad way, my mother and my current commitments at work are the only obstacles I have stopping me from doing what I really wanted to do.
    We talked about this before. Hell yeah, we did. I talked to her about my ambitions to travel, my wanting to be with Nicole, etc. And she thought I was just wasting my time. I have it all over here. A house, a car, a maid, a respectable job. Why would I want to go elsewhere?
    Travelling? For a year? “What a luxury”, she said scornfully. My brother sacrificed his ambitions for the business as well. Why couldn’t I do the same? Stay loyal to the family, the business is the top priority, everything else is secondary.
    I’m not ready to betray my family’s wishes. In the end, I’m trapped, I’m just trapped.

  82. There are things in life you have to give in order to take.
    As the chinese saying goes “ji3 lai2 zhi1, ze2 an1 zhi1”.(sorry can’t type chinese. not even sure is the han yu pin yin right.)
    If you have no choice but to stay, might as well make the best out of it.
    If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If not, life goes on.

  83. Thank you for writing this entry.It’s beautifully written.I can’t quite say we’re in the same boat but there are things that’s almost the same.I still cope with trying my best to grit my teeth and move on,and it does get better with time.I wish you all the best for what’s in store for your future.

  84. hi kenny,
    if your heart tells u that you need to return to perth… follow your heart.
    i had to leave perth to continue my dad’s legacy like you did, but after 3 years of doing something that i wasn’t passionate about, i changed into a person with a lot of anger, and that caused me to lose the love of my life. till today, i wished i had done it differently.
    i left the business eventually and am pursuing my passion, even though it’s tough.
    so don’t worry dude, u’ve got so many people rooting for you.

  85. be thankful that you have at least had the chance to be in Perth for 8 years. so many of your kuching counterparts never had that chance.
    look at what you have. not what you don’t.

  86. Hi Kenny,
    I’m going out on a limb here but your mother’s anger will fade. In life, you’re never going to please everyone you love – and if you try to do that, you’ll drive yourself mad.
    Look at it from this POV – risk your Mum’s displeasure, take two years off to work and travel. When you come back, your mother will still be there (ok, she’ll be mad but she’s old enough to handle disappointments with grace).
    You’re not your brother, he made his own decision to remain and you shouldn’t be compared to him or compare yourself to him. You *do* have a choice on what to do here. You just have to decide whether you’re brave enough to walk through the thorn patch.
    But then again, that’s just my selfish, ‘westernised’ way of thinking.
    At the end of the day, you have to decide what will make you happy. And the choice will be hard and will make some other people unhappy, but they’ll get over it.
    Like an earlier poster said: she’ll be right, mate.

  87. We all have different upbringing and different parents. Mine gave me a terrible time when I finally decided after 2.5 yrs of long distance to move to the US for my man. They hinted at how I would be losing out to my siblings in terms of parental help etc and said outright that they would not visit me for sure. It was very very difficult because as the eldest, my parents really loved and had high expectations for me. And I’ve always been closest to my parents compared to my siblings. I almost hated my parents for making it so difficult for me emotionally because I knew they knew in their hearts that my guy was a perfect match for me.
    I was also working in the family business and had a bright prospect, career-wise. Moving to the States would mean that I’d be jobless. Thankfully my parents eventually came around and even offered to help me out with my MBA.
    Right now I have plans to return to Singapore in maybe 5 years and my hubby has been quite supportive. Unfortunately, that means we will have to leave his parents who are living in Boulder on their own, without their only son. It’s bad either way but at least his parents did the same thing (left their parents/family in Taiwan) so I think they’d be more understanding.
    In your case, your mum definitely sounds very set in her thinking and I’m sorry that you have to make this sacrifice. Unfortunately, life is not about getting what you want easily. Sometimes you have to work for it and sometimes you just have to wait. And as for LDR, from my 2.5 yrs of experience – (1) Always communicate regularly. I used to talk 3 times a day with my guy not including AIM. (2) Try to see each other in person at least twice a year if not more. Hope things work out for u =)

  88. if i were you, i’ll leave Kuching and go back to Aussie..
    you know what you want. you know there r responsibilities to fulfil but ultimately, is that what you want?
    it’s like we can be the most altruistic people but the bottomline is, are you happy?

  89. if i were you, i’ll leave Kuching and go back to Aussie..
    you know what you want. you know there r responsibilities to fulfil but ultimately, is that what you want?
    it’s like we can be the most altruistic people but the bottomline is, are you happy?

  90. Hi Kenny,
    First time I’m posting here…=) Just my opinion….whatever decision you make, or have made, just make sure that it’s the one you won’t regret 20 years down the line. Opportunities to go overseas don’t come often, and sometimes, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But if you are happy being in Kuching, the all the better for you. Either way, I hope you find happiness wherever you choose to be, and all the best with your relationship. I know what you mean about missing the hugs and kisses….=)
    Take care!

  91. Am I the only one here who is angered by this traditional Asian mentality? Filial piety, serving the family and all that crap?
    I am of an Asian background but I am lucky to have parents who are sincerely open minded. They have told me many times: “Son, we are at the autumn of our lives. You have a bright future ahead of you so you MUST fulfill your potential.”
    If I decide to stay on in the West because that is where I can fulfill my potential, they will respect my decision.
    If I decide to come back to Asia because I feel that is where I can achieve my potential, then that’s just as good.
    However, if I come back and work, and do not fulfill my potential, then I feel that in a sense I have betrayed them.
    Think about it this way. Why do parents work so hard? So that they can provide for the next generation for that generation to fulfill their potential.
    Your father worked hard in life because he wanted what was best for you. If you feel that going back to Aussieland is the best path for you, then what could be a greater expression of filial piety?
    You should be ‘selfish’ sometimes otherwise your family will trample over you.
    Perhaps your family is selfish. Have you ever seen it that way?
    If you have a good job and good life overseas, then shouldn’t your mother be proud of you? Why should she be angry or resentful?

  92. As like most of the peoples who have their chance staying overseas, I enjoy western culture, yes especially staying in Aussieland. However, did we ever reliase that, we have the chance to get to know “western” because of our parents’ asian culture????
    I guess Mummy and Daddy are having their dreams too, pack up and go around the world like Kenny wants to….
    Dear Kenny,
    We can’t see what is the future, if we manage to know, future is no longer a Dreams anymore.
    Do enjoy what you are doing now, “trapped” in a chair, with a table, in an office?? Then you know how your parents is trapped. hahahah…..
    Leaving your foot prints around the world, there you know there’s millions of people earger a “trap” like you.
    You are lucky, there’s direct flight between kch and Perth, if I’m not mistaken, hm… so… What’s so difficult for ya?
    ya.. Nicole? A really nice gal, I reckon, talk to her, may be she has her own understanding between you guys relationship.
    Talk to brother, see whether he can manage by his own?
    Yes, everyone might say, siblings can help… but think ultimately, how about they leave and you stay in the trap????
    Come on, as a mature adults, you know how to take, you have to know how to give.
    Once again, my suggestion is talk to the key persons in your situation. What they hope, they want and what they can tolerance with…. think of what you can do in order to fulfill what you want and the same time take care of the peoples that you love in your life.
    After 20 years, no matter how your situation and life is, you know you never let yourself and anybody down.
    Cheers, as clever as you, you know what to do, don’t you?


  94. Long distance relationships seldom prosper, but when they do, you’re absolutely sure that the two of you are meant for each other, like soul mates. Surviving the long distance set-up means surviving one of the worst parts of your relationship. When you get through these tough times, you’re sure to be spending a long time together.

  95. Follow your heart and do what your heart pleases you. You only got one life to live. Don’t stay back in Kuching and regret later in life. Talk to your mother. You don’t know what she is thinking right now. My 3 kids are in Sydney and I am alone here in KL. Yes I am very lonely but I want my children to be happy and don’t want to burden them with my loneliness. I am sure you mother feels the same like most mothers do.

  96. This is a good answer when many years ago someone ask me this question. “Who will you save if your mom and hubby fall into the sea?” Now that I’ve grown up, I told myself. I will save my mom. I have only one mom. Let me ask you back in return. “Who will you save if your mom and your own flesh and blood son fall into the sea?”
    I am proud that you choose to stay by your immediate family. If Nicole is a understanding girl, she will wait for you or stay with you in Kuching.

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  100. Hi Kenny,
    Thanks for letting me read this entry. Like many ppl here, I’m v impressed that you have stayed in KCH to fulfil your filial duties. And also YES, you made the right decision to be by your Dad’s side before he left. My Dad wasn’t at my Grandpa’s bedside when he left and he was very, very,very upset/in grief for more a year and I don’t think a day ever goes by without him feeling remorseful about it.
    I really want to know if there’s some sort of special water/food that you KCH kids were fed with that make all of you so admirably filial? Seriously! No other state can boast of such kids and I meet more each time we go back there.
    About your sticky situation now, I understand that you’re young and you’re just bursting with energy to go, go, go! But family comes first and you’re ‘trapped’ as you put it. I agree with one of the posters here that you should only stay if you want to – either for your Dad or for yourself. But if you’re going to continue whining about how you’re trapped, you want to go back and etc, it’s seriously healthier to go back then.
    Becoz as time goes by, this will manifest into bitterness and resentment, which your poor kids/grandkids will hv to put up with almost every day of their lives (speaking fr experience here). I’ve also seen many KCH kids drowning in drinks, drugs, crime etc as their bitterness grows and then realising too late that they’d been wasting precious time griping about it! You don’t want to go down that road, man.
    Also, like many have said, nobody knows what the future holds. It seems like you’re stuck there forever but who knows? I thought I’d lost out on life at 25 then since everyone around me had been to Thailand, China, HK but hey, I ended up travelling to these places and the US, South America, Europe 5 yrs later!
    You could try negotiating with your Mum on your travel plans later since now may not be a good time. Try to understand her – my maternal Grandma was very protective over my uncles when my Grandpa died. She called them back fr overseas and refused to let them return after that! Grief makes people do strange things.
    So…keep ur chin up and start whistling (if u can) while you work on your honest intentions to make your Dad (and Mum) proud. Aiyo, sorry for the long post!

  101. I am having the same problems as you. I am now studying in Melbourne and one more month till I graduate from uni yet I am not too sure whether to stay here and work or go to back to Malaysia and work in Singapore.
    I love Melbourne because I have the freedom here and most important is I love the culture in this koala island. When I went back to Malaysia before this, often people think I am too angmoh/kuai mui due to my personality and characteristics.
    But I am quite sure what I want in my life. I am doing the degree that I don’t want to do. So I wants to persuade my dream later on so I have to stay here to persuade my Master.
    Hopefully you are enjoying your life in Malaysia at the moment because your post is kind of long time ago.
    Jia you!

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