Moving away from the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur to life in a small town can be quite a ‘culture shock’ for a city girl. But former national gymnast-turned-doctor Farrah-Hani Imran takes it in her stride, as P. SELVARANI discovers.
Multi-talented Dr Farrah in one of the dresses she designed.
SHE spent 10 years in Dublin and has worked in hospitals in New York, Paris and San Diego.
But like the ingenious chameleon which adapts itself to its surroundings, city-bred Dr Farrah-Hani Imran has settled quite comfortably in Kota Baru, Kelantan which has been her “temporary” home for the past few months.
“Most people who have never been to Kota Baru suffer a huge misconception.
Personally, I am a big fan of Kota Baru — the people, the place and the life!” said the trainee lecturer in plastic and reconstructive surgery with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Despite being born and bred in the city, kampung life is not alien to Dr Farrah as she and her brother Dr Amar Imran used to spend their holidays either in their mum’s hometown of Batu Pahat or at their dad’s hometown in Kampar, when they were growing up.
“However, Bangsar is my kampung and Kuala Lumpur is where my immediate family and close friends are, but like any big move, once I adapted and got used to the way of life in Kota Baru, it’s been good,” said the petite and vivacious 31-year-old, who is attached with Hospital Kota Baru and Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kelantan as part of the training for her Master’s degree.
Dr Farrah has taken to Kota Baru like a duck to water and is especially enamoured of the charm of the Kelantanese.
“People in Kota Baru are friendly.
When I first got here, it was a tad unnerving as strangers would enquire after me wherever I went... from those at the petrol station to the gerai, or while waiting to use a public loo! “It was usually the mandatory dari mana?, dok kat mana? and, of course, the dah kahwin ke?.
“Much as you are tempted to say ‘please mind your own business’, especially when you’re tired and grumpy, and just want to get home, I realised that this is how the local folk are... they are genuinely warm and friendly.
“And they are extremely helpful and epitomise what true Malaysians are like,” said Dr Farrah in a recent interview during one of her trips back to Kuala Lumpur.
“I always remind myself that I am the one who went to Kota Baru, so if anyone needs to adjust their thinking, it’s me.
“There’s no point lamenting the slower pace of life and frustrating things that go with it. I generally laugh off situations that can’t be changed and just go with the flow,” she added.
The drivers too, she noted, are much more polite than their city counterparts.
“They are more tolerant and polite.
They actually wave thanks when I give way and they are not speed fiends.
I realised that the rude drivers you encounter in Kota Baru are usually outof- towners!” What amazes her is that all Kelantanese — whether they are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Punjabi or Thai — kecek Kelate (speak Kelantanese).
Ditujukan kepada sesiapa sahaja yang "think of Kelantan differently"