So my Sheffield School of Architecture lecturer is in Malaysia! Well actually no surprise, sensing by the many times he pronounced the name of my country and my people and my places, maybe he has always like Malaysia. That and the long 14-hours flight makes me appreciate his visit more. But this is not his first, and this time he aimed to do some research. Here goes my experience of being his research assistant:
Our research was filled with vagueness, we did not know what we will find.
But in a plain sentence, my lecturer was interested with how people from different ethnicities utilise the same space.
During this research was the moment I was introduced to fellow architecture students in Sheffield. Masters students, which I really wished I've known much earlier. Well knowing how less experienced I was compared to them, I really felt like a tiny ant.
Simply said, the urban research was fun. We roamed around KL in finding public places where we could analyse if any interaction between different ethnicities happened.
We observe people skins for hours. We were the harmony inspector.
I realised that just as I sat at my observation spot, I was hoping my multi-racial community is on the street, they are real.
Only the result doesn't seem as real.
We realised it is quite impossible to find an area that does not cater to a majority which belongs to a single race.
The research was fun.
But I don't think the feeling stretched over until the ending.
The day we wrapped up our research was bitter. Or at least thats what I felt.
Bitterness in the sentiments we voiced out. In our effort to prove how harmony our life is. In our disagreements. But also in the silence we all have agreed on to.
I wanted to turn this into a beautiful story but I couldn't.
I'm feeling its ugly scars in me instead.