Richard Avis, 39, is a Management Consultant in London and is conducting a unique project which is to meet people born on December 1, 1974, his birthday. He has visited 14 countries in four continents in search of his ‘Time Twins’ and to date has met 35 people with different ways of life.

Richard Avis, Sunny Choo

His last visit was to Indonesia and from there he arrived at KL and while in KL he was contacted by Sunny Choo from Ipoh who was born on the same day.

Richard came to Ipoh to meet Sunny who is an entrepreneur and has been in Ipoh for a few days and found it to be a wonderful place. Richard added that “Although Ipoh is a large city, it retains a small town feel and the people here are very kind and friendly. Some of the best food I have eaten on my travels has been in the old town and at the wonderful night markets. Sunny has shown me round some of the cultural sights including the cave temples that illustrate the rich cultural heritage of the city, which I think is more impressive than anything in KL. It was interesting to see people of different races mingling freely which is difficult to see in other countries. In my home town people are not as friendly.”

Richard is fascinated by the cave temples, each of them having their unique architecture, paintings and statues. This is the first time he has seen this and visited Buddhist temples during Wesak Day and surprised that it is a public holiday.

He found the Birch Clock Tower interesting and tried to make out the people who were portrayed in the paintings and why they were selected. I doubt many of us have thought of this. He went on the Heritage Trail, Polo Ground, Night markets, Gunung Lang and Kinta Riverfront Walk and Kampung Kacang Putih.

However, I pointed out to Richard that he has only eaten Chinese food and he should also taste Indian and Malay cuisine. He should also visit Hindu temples, churches, mosques. This would make his visit complete.

Richard said that when he approached 40 he began to think about what he had done with his life, and how different his life might be if he had been born somewhere else. He wondered how other people born on the same day as him lived their lives. He has already found some similar values and ideas across cultures. “Many people see their lives as being determined in some way, regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, Hindu or atheist.”

Richard is writing a book about his experiences and the lives of the ‘Time Twins’ he has met. His journey is also the subject of a documentary. He has used websites, emails, letters, media appearances and even a sign to find his ‘Time Twins’.

Information and videos about his project can be found at www.timetwins.info. If you have any thoughts about the project or know someone born on December 1, 1974 please get in touch with Ricahrd at: Richard@timetwins.info.

AJ