In the last trip I made it back to my hometown, I told the husband I wanted to spend some time alone, just to sort of see where I am in the scheme of things there. It is not entirely possible to totally be alone of course, because the sole purpose of me going back on last weekend was to celebrate Mother’s Day with the whole extended family, and also attend a friend’s wedding the next day. And oh, also to take the husband to my arwah yayi’s grave, which he had not been to since joining our family.
I had arranged to meet up with Is on Saturday afternoon because of all people, I know she would be able to understand what I would want to express, my thoughts and sentiments about.. err things? heh. 😛
Prior to that, I just have to add this on. I got my nasi rawon fix from Mukmin. But somehow, I felt that it tasted different and I was right. New stall owner. No wonder. The nasi rawon set, even though a full set, didn’t give the oomph I was anticipating for so long. The husband had his first taste of lontong goreng Mukmin and my good ol father had his kacang phool fix. Breakfast was good and nostalgic. After which, I excused myself to just walk around Terminal 3 airport, which was going to be my first visit there, on my own. The husband went off to spend time at Bussorah Street, at his favorite Sufi bookstore.
My lunch date with Is was at 12 noon and I arrived at the T3 at 9-ish. I walked around, ‘people watch’, window-shopped, sat down, thought for a moment, got up and walked again, sat down again and people watched–again. I saw little children with expensive handheld games, teenagers with sophisticated gadgets, immaculately cleaned toilets, people walking in a huff, heard Singlish, eyed the daringly dressed Malay girls, acknowledged affluence and cringed on the consumerism. And more.
When 12 noon came and Is came with her cute Arshad,(the last time I saw them was the year before last at KLCC), I downloaded my thoughts upon her. I told her that, I felt the pangs to be back, especially when I see all things efficient to the T. Where things are generally in order,the digits at the supermarket are not so high (it makes a lot of psychological difference when I see my favorite Swiss yogurt selling for S$1 at NTUC and RM 3 at Giant) and of course, later in the day–the familiar banters and laughters of my family members, which is my perpetual comfort zone.
But then again, as I told Is, I knew that if I were to make a U-turn and return to the hometown for good, give me a few months and I would feel compelled to leave again. I knew that I would be caught up yet again in the rat race, into the system which I know I can no longer be a part of, not because of anything else but at the speed the MOE there is going, my teaching methodologies would deem obsolete. And many more.
I know that as much as I miss the comfort zone of having my immediate and extended family members around me, I know I would crave the freedom I have doing whatever I want to do or try to achieve without having to conform to a ‘clan-ish’ expectations. I would miss my present carefree life.
And I know, no matter how much I admire and crave the affluence my hometown has to offer, I acknowledged that I have been made wiser with the paradigm shift in my life since I moved out i.e goodbye consumerism-hello c’est la vie and que sera sera.
The lure of coming back came in the form of pangs and yearnings. But then again, I was having pangs and cravings for Nasi Rawon for the longest time (at least since February 6 since I last had it at T2). But one meal of it is enough. The next day, when my friend offered to pack for me from MasAyu Siglap, I declined with a no thanks, once is enough.
And I reckon, I would be like that as well with the issue of coming back. I yearn and have sporadic pangs of wanting to be back, but hell, I do know of dozens others of my friends who are desperate to be out. And I would be one of them perhaps more than a week back home. So just like the second fix of nasi rawon, I declined the thoughts of wanting to be back home.
Hold on, is it still even home for me?
(p.s, Is, great lunch, tho I found the cinamelts too sweet for me. But ya, great lunch date with you 🙂 )