13 Things Only Malaysian Students Living in America Will Understand

LA Malaysia Orientation

1. Saying “Football” and getting “Soccer” replies. Football should logically mean a sport involving your feet. Think about it. BTW, Congratulations, Germany. #WorldCup

2. The way Americans measure things.  

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3. Trying to get drinks, go to parties or even ciggs would require you to be at least 21 years old. Losing your passport means either living in America for the rest of your life as a fugitive or getting deported back to Malaysia. Try using your driver’s license to not risk losing your MyKad or passport. Just the look of your driver’s license is enough to scream FAKE ID more than a real FAKE ID. A laminated piece of paper. Pfft.

4. You have a hard time explaining where Malaysia is located. Easiest way for you to explain is by saying it’s beside Singapore. 

I actually had someone ask me “WHAT IS A BORNEO?” when I said part of Borneo is under Malaysia. 

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5. “So, Malaysia huh. What do you guys do there? Do you have jobs? Cars, maybe?” NO. This is my every day life.

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Just to clear the misconception, here are some awesome pictures of my country. #MalaysiaPride
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6. “Do you lose things other than planes? Do you use coconuts to find everything?” (#PrayForMH370) I. CAN’T. EVEN. 

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7.  You can’t deal with all the stereotypes. “Can you….help me with Math?” “Are Asian men really….?”

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 8. What on Earth is a “General Tso chicken”?

9. Whatever price you see on the tag, don’t buy into it. Tipping is a MUST! I tried it when I got back to Malaysia and the mamak brother came chasing back to return the RM1 to me. I think we are just honest buyers and sellers.

10. Drinking from the tap does not work when you’re back in Malaysia. Mmm. Yummeh.

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11. How is your English so good? and you speak three different languages? DAYUM. I am suddenly proud that aku cakap Bahasa Malaysia, Gong Tung Wah and English. Best bit? We mix it all together with some Hindi flavor. Mmm.

12. Hungry at 2am? Roti telur + Milo ais kurang manis and everything else served in the Mamak has been replaced with $1 pizzas. ‘Murica.

13. The feeling when you find another Malaysian is just priceless. I don’t care where you’re from, or what you do, you are my brother. Give me some “LAHs” and “MAHs”.

Written by Valerie Low

I love to write, debate and am curious about everything under the sun. That kid who always asked, "Why?", yeah that was me. I love startups and am currently pursuing my MBA in New York. I also love dogs and vanilla ice cream, not necessarily together. If you're still a fan of Survivor, talk to me about your game play. 14 years a fan. :)