The Big Move

Time is moving quickly. The exact date is constantly morphing, but March is a late as it could be, and it could be as early as December. Suddenly, dozens of tasks are popping up. Everything from the hugely obvious (finishing that thesis) to the easily overlooked (laminate those birth certificates) are now time critical.

So many things are nearly impossible to make educated decisions about: is it more economical to buy consumer good X here and have it shipped, or save the freight and buy it there? How much does a nice queen sized bed cost in Kota Samarahan, anyway?

One thing is for sure: I’ll be driving a Proton! Other vehicles are on the market, but the tariffs are skyhigh. It’s the right thing to do anyway. Here I am, a foreigner coming to work over there as a guest. What would it look like to drive a Buick? I’ve been assured by friends that nobody would think twice about my choice of a ride, but I’m not so sure. I’m from Detroit after all. I may drive a Honda with impunity through Flint, but I’m white. If I was a Japanese on a work visa, I’d sure as hell drive a chevy.

Not that I approve of auto patriotism here in the states. It’s more or less meaningless these days. (Malaysia’s a bit different: the Proton is a state industry, at least for the time being.) Over here, we’ve gone from the Big Three to the Big Two And A Half, at best. John Deere tractors have Mitsubishi parts.


Yes! John Deere! I couldn’t believe it either. Your apple pies are probably baked with New Zealand apples, too. The Traderists have already won, I think the saying goes. But I’m not complaining. If it’s a global economy, with global capital and global companies, I might as well be a global citizen. December. Or maybe March.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.