​2 pages story stolen from Saiful Bahari Baharom with the title WHY BIASA JER?

Someone asked me, “How come you know so much?”

My answer was, ” Because I have been living life to the fullest.”

As a student, I had many friends, with quite a few being non-Malaysians. My early student days in the USA, I lived life just like any other sponsored student but my student years in London, life in those years were certainly not like a student. I lived a full life.

Then I worked for a few banks for the first few years. Afterwards, I was a stockbroker – when the stock market was booming, traveling to Singapore, Hongkong, London and New York to meet my clients, staying at the best hotels and going to the best restaurants.

I worked in Hong Kong, experienced the life of an expatriate there. I lived in New York City after my masters.

When I travel, I read ahead. 

I just didnt tick the boxes (Eiffel Tower, checked, Louvre, checked). That is why I have never been on a package tour. Yuck!

Because I like to eat, I went to the local restaurants and attend concerts and coffee bars.

I like to know how the economy of the country I visit is doing and how the people there think of their government.

Because I studied architecture, I am lucky to understand the buildings that I visit and see, and also understand how political history, economy and architecture of these countries are intertwined.

I am friends and partied with those right at the top and I bersembang with doormen and tea ladies. I have drank wines that cost £2,500 a bottle and I have been poor that all I could afford was food from 7-11. 

I have drunk champagne from morning till night but I am thankful and grateful Allah has given me enough time to realise what is right and what is wrong.

I also like nice things, but I learn what they are made of, how they are made – not just because of their brands.

And I like to understand what goes around me, so I read, read and read – world history, culture, economics, finance, politics, architecture and design and yes, food!

Also, I observe and if I want to, I can notice the tiniest detail.

I look at small things and I try to piece together all these small things to understand the bigger picture.

The most important thing for me is to continuously talk to people – different types of people.

This is what I miss living in KL – meeting different types of people, bright people doing all kinds of different things that make my brain go tick, tick, tick.

I sometimes meet 20 somethings who still watch cartoons or still hooked on computer games. This is something I do not understand. Since young, I have to read newspapers every morning. 

I think if you want to be an all-rounded gentleman, you need to know a lot of things – from what clothes to wear to knowing who was Dean Acheson.

I can more or less say, you can seat me at dinner with anyone, insyaallah, I can talk to anyone right or left of me.

I have never been someone who can just have a 9-to-5 job, pay my bills and then die.

I detest how some people describe themselves as “orang biasa-biasa jer”. Why do you just want to be “biasa-biasa”? 

Life is to be explored, things to experience and food to eat!


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