Since young, I have this tendency of reaching for reading materials that is a bit ‘out of my league’.
Reading English story books was a challenge when one was only eight years old growing up in Lahad Datu. Then one day, I was breezing through these. At the same time, I was also reading comic books and fairy tales in Chinese. The complexity of the Chinese language and culture did not deter me, it was too much fun to give up. Then there were cook books with foreign and unknown ingredients, old history books with epic tales, and my mother’s business motivational books. I encountered mysteries, fantasies and science fiction in my early teens and never let go of the latter. Borrowing text books belonging to a classmates older sister, I was into Malay literature for months.
Living in Belgium, reading materials in Dutch was a necessity turned habit. After a while, whatever I read will just translate into knowledge, awareness, and information – regardless of the language. Give me something to read, anything.