“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home”
(Until it hits you that you no longer know where home is.)
I have to say, since arriving back home, I am certain that I have made the right decision. As the days pass, I am surer of myself and my abilities in making difficult decisions ( esp one that is malapropos). I had a lot to think about on my 12 hour flight back home, as opposed to your usual 8. This was due to strict budgeting and so I decided to live precariously and take the risk of unreliability, discomfort, and the impermanence of life and flew with Jetstar instead of MAS. Although I am sure, one could altercate that statement. Having said that, being held captive on board an immobilized aircraft for 3 – 4 hours really makes ones butt ache and mind wander.
“You’re the last person I expect to leave Melbourne.”
That comment is still regurgitating itself. It is a redundant fact to state that my dad wasn’t happy about the decision and gave me quite a few reasons why I shouldn’t leave Melbourne.
– Social and political climate in Malaysia (inevitably contributing to its struggling economy)
– Lack of safety in KL (rape, theft, kidnapping cases have all increased in velocity)
– Having to commute to work in bad traffic especially if you work in the city
– The inconvenience of not having a drivers license
– The pay is crap and they work you like a carnivorous mammal.
– Petrol-prices that has almost doubled in a couple of months.
All valid reasons of course. He was so antagonistic towards the idea that he refused to financially support my decision (which I am ashamed to admit, would be a first for me) and even suggested that I lived with my ex-stepmum instead of his furnished vacant condo (more about that later). And when I was left undeterred despite his threats, he finally accepted that his stubborn daughter would not be swayed by political unrest, inconvenience, danger and monetary concerns. Seeing that he spent almost half a year trying to talk me out of visiting my nanny in Mindanau, (possibly the most dangerous and poverty stricken area in the Philippines) to no avail.
I won’t lie to you. Even now while I sit here, in an emotionally more balanced but equally intoxicated state, I have my concerns (that which does not highlight the consistency of alcohol – no concerns there!). Seeing that it has been almost a decade (I have lost count) of not being back in KL for longer than a term break, I can’t help but feel that this time, it’s going to be different. I’m no longer living in a capsulated time frame, planning activities around my hours before rushing to the airport for another destination. I was never here long enough to really deal with the frustration of the heat, traffic or work life. It has always been a social affair void of responsibilities as far as drinking sessions goes. This time I am quite adamant on staying put. And this is my biggest concern – that KL is no longer a destination for a brief respite. The changes of domicile from a completely western culture to a more traditional and less familiar one, is extremely daunting.
I think things would be very different if I did not have the luxury and security of my Permanent Residency in Australia. The decision to return to KL gave me the ease of mind that I could return at any point of time. And buying a one way ticket wasn’t due to lack of fundings but more so, the lack of need and urgency to go back to a toxic environment. It was extremely difficult to put an estimation on the length of time for this trip home, let alone decide on a precise date for a return flight. I shan’t take the risk of/or temptation of going home if and when things get tough here.
The first few days back was somewhat upsetting (imagine a former surrogate mother going through menopause). Nonetheless, I was glad that it happened. Within two hours of the argument, I packed and left. Hmm…I’m getting better at this. Anyway, not to digress, I am in a much better place now. And I’m not just referring to the real estate value of a property. Emotionally, it has been great having alone time in a spacious apartment, void of any material things that could tie back to you-know-who. Dad’s place has always been home to me so why I even dared/cared to attempt living with my ex-stepmum after 12 years of not having to answer to her, was a little too naïve on my part.
Of all the reasons why I have been told by many people aside from my dad – mostly friends in Melbourne and family (and I use this word loosely), I can still come up with a hand full to counter their bullet points.
– The food (okay, that is as predictable and anticipated as a candle on a b’day cake)
– My lovely friends (and this should be highlighted in bold, underlined, capitalized and italicized fonts!)
– The amount of people I know in relation to my line of work who so happen to fall under the highlighted in bold and underlined, capitalized and italicized category. Birds of feather yadda yadda yadda.
– The opportunity for growth in an environment that is unforgiving, relentless, physically demanding and at times, reflecting that of workshop workers in a factory located in third world country.
– The weather – it is an absolute joy waking up to the sun and going for a jog when ever time permits (which is a discipline I never quite mastered in Melbourne especially during winter). I am genetically ingrained to shine in a tropical climate. I can prove it with the amount of grease oozing out from my skin.
– Not ever having to risk bumping into a certain someone.
Now, the latter could be used as a debatable point in analyzing if my decision is based on the right reasons. Some can see it as me being a coward, running away from the problem instead of facing up to it. I can’t say that this person is not the main cause for me being here in KL but I am absolutely sure within myself that she is not the main reason why I’ve decided to come home.
“Be grateful for the home you have,
knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.”