Sunday, August 24, 2008

Missing Home ...

I was reading through Blur Ting's blog, The day flew by so fast it was a blur a few days back and it got me thinking about something. You see, Blur Ting or BT as she is known recently bought an apartment of her own and moved out from the family home where she has been staying with her kids for quite a while. And they kinda felt sad and missed the old place when they moved out. A clear case of homesickness.

Now as I said, that got me to thinking about my situation. Now while BT and her kids have the option of going back home whenever they feel homesick, I do not actually have such an option cos I just realized that I don't really have a family home or even a hometown to go back to.

I was born in the city and have lived here all my life, well except for a few years when I was between the ages of 3-6 years old where I lived in a small seaside town called Port Dickson cos my dad used to work in the then National Electricity Board was stationed there. I do have memories of that place but I don't really recall very much of it, save for certain ghost stories ... hehehe ... Ever since then I've been a city kid.

After the age of 6, we moved back to the city or rather my mom and me did, cos my parents were in the midst of a separation and mom took me and moved in with my grandma in the city. A huge chunk of my time (between the ages of 6-24 years old) was spent growing up in this neat little small community. In fact some of my best and most fondest memories came from there.

It wasn't really a huge mansion or anything but I would consider it pretty big as we had a big family living under one roof. My grandparents, my mom her sis and husband, another two of her brothers and us six kids (my cousins), totaling thirteen people in all. Like I said, we had a huge family. And as huge families go, we had our disagreements and all, good times and bad times but just like all families, we stuck together no matter what. Well, at least until everyone grew up and started leading lives of our own.


That home was a place where I had learned my growing up lessons in life. It was a place I would consider my 'hometown' so to speak. After the age of 24 or 25, I can't really remember exactly, I wanted my independence and I moved out of the family house to rent a place of my own. But just like BT, I did miss the place when I was away from it. I felt a heart wrenching emptiness cos I was so used to the way of life there and even though I had my freedom it was not the same.

But the good thing was, the family home wasn't all that far from my new place and I used to always head home after work for a bit to hang around and then head back to my own place. Then a few years later, with the passing of my grandfather, my mom, uncles and aunt along with my cousins decided to move out of there. They were pretty affected by my grandfather's death and the place didn't seem the same anymore without both grandma and grandpa there anymore.

And that was when I become a 'hometownless' person. I was miserable for a time with the knowledge that if I wanted to go back home after work or even on weekends, I wouldn't able to do it any longer. I missed the old neighbourhood. Badly!

Sure, I could just take a drive there anytime I wanted to but it wouldn't be the same. I could never step foot in the house I practically grew up in anymore. I couldn't walk around its front yard or even sit in the porch and chit chat with my cousins anymore (not that we chit chatted a lot mind you). Sure, I could always go over to the new place they moved to but it somehow is just not the same.

Even though in time I got over the fact that I could never go 'home', I could never and will never forget the old place. As much as I like the place I live in now, it just doesn't have the character the old place back home had. Behind every tree, behind every bush, behind every stone there would be a story to tell. The history of that place was so deep that sometimes I get so melancholic just thinking about the old place.

You know, sometimes I feel sad when people, especially during festivals and holidays happily announcing that they're going to 'balik kampung' (going back to their hometowns ... that's as best as I can translate it). I would have no where to 'balik kampung' too. Even wifey has a hometown she can go back to. For me, this place is my only home. And even then it can never replace the old place I grew up in. I just hope that maybe one day my kids can look at this place as some place they would miss later in life and have memories of their own to cherish.

Okay, enough of reminiscing about old times, it's late already and I'm pretty sleepy but I still have to check out this thing on franchise opportunities that I've kept in the back burner for quite sometime now. I need the money seeing as how I just spent some on my 'ever-dependable' car!
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19 comments:

  1. As they say, Nick, home is where the heart is. Even though physically you won't be able to "balik kampung" like others do, at least you still have your family, no matter where they are.

    With them, you can recount all those childhood memories, all your experiences, etc.. some people have hometowns to go back to, but have no one to celebrate with. So, all else considered, you're still pretty lucky!

    Besides, you can always go back to wifey's kampung sometime.. mesti best kan?! hehe

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  2. Waw nick, I never had the experience of staying at 1 place =_=" Moving around is not fun. Since I was born, I've moved to 7 houses (of all shapes and sizes), dun ask, I'm still staying with my parents, save lotsa cash since I'm not married XD But one day, I would want a place of my own XD hehehe

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  3. Sniff, sniff...

    I have fond memories of playing with cousins at my grandma's place during the school holidays. And we would stay over and we'd do all sorts of things. Though I can only imagine the kind of difficulties staying with your extended family under one roof you'd face, but I sometimes think that it can be quite nice with so many play friends!

    I only had my older brother then, which can be a bit long in the tooth to play with sometimes! :)

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  4. yeah nick, shem is right. :-) hope you're having a nice weekend.

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  5. Shemah - I suppose I am lucky in that sense. Though scattered, the family is still around, besides I have wifey and the boys with me and who could ask for more, ya? But sometimes I do reminisce about the old neighbourhood and it does tug the heart strings ...

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  6. Maslight - Wow, you've moved around quite a bit, huh? I have moved around a little too but they've all been generally in the same area though ...

    I wish I could stay with my parents, that would save me a whole lot of money but my mom lives with me instead ... hehehe ...

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  7. Perry - We have our differences that's for sure. But it was fun having the whole clan together, especially during festivities and yes, being the only child, having a bunch of cousins to play with helped keep my sanity in check ... LOL!

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  8. Osindak - Hey, nice to see you here :D Yeah, Shemah is right when she says that home is where the heart is and that I my family is still around, but it sure would be nice to have a permanent family home to balik kampung to once in a while :D

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  9. Aiya, I'm sorry if I made you feel nostalgic and all but I can tell you had an enjoyable childhood at the old home. We tend to remember all the special things and moments of the old days, so the memories are mostly good ones. Like you said, even if you were to return there again, it will never feel the same without the family and friends around you.

    At least we have had your memories right? Your kids will also grow up one day with wonderful memories of their life growing up in your current neighbourhood with mummy and daddy by their side. :-)

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  10. BT - No worries, in fact your post brought back some good memories :D I couldn't help but be transported back to my childhood home.

    I did have an enjoyable childhood roaming around the neighbourhood, having quarrels with my cousins, the mischief we got into. They were wonderful times and I will never forget them.

    I honestly do hope my kids will have those kinds of memories one day :D

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  11. While I totally understand where you're coming from I also have to agree with Shemah on this. I would rather have the people than the place I grew up in.


    I have often wondered what it would be like if my parents still lived in my childhood home. I wonder if the memories would all come flooding back or if it's because it's a thing of the past that it makes the memories so sweet. I don't think I'm making sense because I'm very tired but hopefully you know what I mean.

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  12. Gypsy - LOL! Don't worry Gypsy, you're making sense ...

    I guess it's the people that really counts and memories can be built just about anywhere as long as you have people you love beside you, ya? But I still miss the old neighbourhood at times though ...

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  13. I miss the house I lived until 14. My parents had no money to buy one and it was a rent house. I've never have a real home... Sometimes I feel like buying it to live my last days on Earth.

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  14. i know exactly how it feels like..sigh. :( Wish everything is near for me :( instead of the need to get a flight back ( which can cost a bomb at times)sighhhhhhhh....

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  15. Cidao - Maybe you should. If I had money I'd have bought over the old family home ...

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  16. Emelda - For you it's harder still ya. Your hometown really far isn't it? Maybe one day they'll invent a machine so you can just travel home in the blink of an eye whenever you felt like it :D

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  17. Awwwww sorry to hear u have no kampung to go back to Nick, but hey...u can always make wifey's kampung yours too! :)

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  18. Marzie - Yeah, I could always tumpang wifey's kampung :D

    I actually took a drive last night around the old neighbourhood and I hardly recognize place ...

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