WR 121: TR 1:00 p.m.
May 14, 2013.
City or Town?
“Riza, we are planning to move to Kuala Lumpur.”
As soon as my mother said that, my eyes incredibly got bigger and I made a little protest, “What? No! I want to stay here. I love this place.” “Then, what about your dad’s work? You know your dad is working there,” my mom added. I argued, “Well, what about my schooling here?”
Then she said, “We will have to move you to another school.” “No, I don’t want to!” At the time, I didn’t let my mother have a chance to change my mind. The whole family was frustrated figuring out what was the best for all of us. For me, living in a town named Pasir Gudang feels as if everything is going right. But then, since my dad started working in Kuala Lumpur, everything seems out of order. There is a considerable conflict between my father’s work and my schooling. This will be a difficult decision to make since both places are very different and have their own pros and cons. Let me start off with the environment of both places. To begin with, Pasir Gudang is an all-time cozy town, and this is where I was born. As of 2010, the total population is approximately 46,571 (“Jumlah Penduduk Mengikut Kumpulan Etnik” 12). This means there is less pollution; plus the environment is less crowded and cleaner, though there are still factories that cause pollution. Not only that, Pasir Gudang is an ideal place for all anti-stress people. There are rarely hectic days, and there is no need to worry about the traffic in this town. Everyone takes it nice and slow. Moreover, the town folks are very friendly and helpful, and they sometimes help you to brighten your day by just smiling. For example if there is a wedding ceremony, everyone in the neighborhood gathers to help prepare for the ceremony by cooking, organizing tables, and even washing the dishes.
By contrast, Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, and this city is more or less 350 kilometers away from my hometown. It is more populated compared to Pasir Gudang, and the population has a total of 1.67 million (“Population Distribution in 2010,” par. 3). As there are more people in an area, this causes more pollution such as noise pollution, air pollution, and water pollution, even worse than in my hometown. Although there are numerous public transits that help city workers travel to their work places, the traffic in Kuala Lumpur is still worse compared to Pasir Gudang. For example, some of the bus drivers just stop on the side of the busy road and put up a triangle sign because their companies do not maintain the condition of their buses. This also can lead other people who are coping with bad traffic into “uninvited” stress. Basically, city residents are not as friendly as the town folks. Everyone in the city just focuses on their own busy work.
When it comes to tourism, Pasir Gudang has limited interesting sites for tourists. I think the main place for fun is the Bukit Layang-layang which means Kite Hill. Every year many people, especially families, go to the Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival. The World Kite Festival invites both local and international kite lovers to participate in flying their massive kites. There is the local traditional kite, named “Wau,” and its main features are characterized by its tail, head, and wing (“All About Wau” par. 3). Other international participants fly their amazing kites which come in different shapes and forms. Sometimes they fly animal kites, such as giant cats, squids, tigers, and even stingrays. In addition, aside from the kite area, the food stalls can be enjoyed and also one can get kites at cheap prices. Another place where people can have fun is the Johor Circuit beside Bukit Layang-layang. This place is exclusively for big motorcycle bikers to race leisurely or competitively. Usually, Singaporean bikers go to the circuit to race with other group members on weekends. I would prefer to spend my whole holiday in exciting sites within the city to enjoy myself. Kuala Lumpur, unlike in Pasir Gudang, is a heaven for teens like me to have fun and not worry about the world. There are many tourist spots in the city because Kuala Lumpur is recognized internationally. The Petronas Twin Towers are the main symbols of Malaysia. You can visit the Sky Bridge which is located on levels 41 and 42. One level is used only for employees and the other is used for tourists. Furthermore, there is the Kuala Lumpur Tower recorded as the tallest telecommunication tower in Southeast Asia. You can witness the geography of Kuala Lumpur where high mountains surround the city. Aside from that, Times Square is an ideal place for those who love to go to theme parks. There is an indoor roller coaster and various games for everyone to have fun. While calmly eating an ice cream at McDonalds, one can actually watch people ride the roller coaster as they cry and scream.
Other than interesting sites to see, a city or town would not be complete without businesses. There are few shopping places in Pasir Gudang. They are not as huge as the ones in the big cities, but they have enough shops for our basic needs and also luxurious things. The food and drinks in Pasir Gudang are very cheap which makes one keep eating. Because Pasir Gudang is near to the ocean, there are numerous wet markets that sell fresh seafood, vegetables, and fruits at the lowest prices. Furthermore, one can enjoy eating magnificent seafood at the seaside restaurants while watching the scenery of Singapore, another country that is one kilometer away from Johor via a linked bridge. When it comes to goods and services, Kuala Lumpur is the cheapest city in the world according to an investigation by Swiss Bank UBS (Cheah, pars. 1-2). This statement not only attracts shopping lovers, but also foreign tourists to shop around the city. For them, instead of “Eat All You Can,” it is “Shop All You Can.” There are a substantial number of shopping centers that enable everyone to shop to the max. However, living in the city is not that simple. There are so many things that need to be taken care of. In particular, expenses on daily living are the main problem for all city residents. For instance, if one is to buy one kilogram of fish from the market in Pasir Gudang, it will cost 15 Malaysian Ringgit (RM). This is equivalent to U.S. five dollars. It’s cheap, right? But if one is to buy a fish in Kuala Lumpur, RM 15 is only for a half of kilogram of the fish. In terms of travelling cost, if my family and I continue to live in Pasir Gudang, that would cost us a lot of money. Every Friday evening, my dad drives from Kuala Lumpur to Pasir Gudang for four hours and then drives back to Kuala Lumpur on Sundays for another four hours. In this case, toll fees and petrol should be included. Toll fees cost at least RM 43 while petrol costs about RM 50, and these are merely for one way. What if we double the combined price and multiply it for four weeks in a month? That would cost my dad’s pocket money almost a thousand Malaysian Ringgit. On the other hand, staying in Kuala Lumpur saves us more money, even though the cost of living there is high. If we move to the city, we would give up our rented house back in Pasir Gudang, and this way my dad wouldn’t be so worried about the rental fees, electric, and water bills as we would not have to pay them all. Moreover, this helps not only to lessen my dad’s tiredness of driving back and forth but also to save up more money from toll fees and car maintenance. Driving a total of 700 kilometers for eight hours every week is very tiring and time-consuming. After all the considerations, I have decided to move to Kuala Lumpur after I graduate from my high school. I believe this decision is the best for all in my family. Although I would definitely miss all my friends and everything about Pasir Gudang, my family and I need to save up money for our future undertakings, especially for my college funds. I could always talk to my friends by phone or through the internet whenever loneliness strikes. I decided not to go with my “firm” original choice.
Cheah, Royce. “KL the least expensive city.” The Star Online. Star Publication (M) Bhd., 27 October 2006. Web. 10 May 2013. Malaysia. Department of Statistics, Official Portal. “Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report 2010.” Statistics.gov. Malaysian Department Of Statistics, n.d. Web. 5 May 2013. Malaysia. Department of Statistics, Official Portal. “Jumlah Penduduk mengikut kumpulan etnik, kawasan Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan dan negeri, Malaysia, 2010.” Table. Statistics.gov. Malaysian Department of Statistics, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013. “All About Wau.” Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival. Majlis Perbandaran Pasir Gudang. n.d. Web. 5 May 2013.