The (short-lived) Homecoming

HOMEIt has been a month since my big move into the city, and after four weeks of grappling with the complete solitude, I finally feel like I have assimilated into my workplace and adapted to life alone.

This is why the thought of going home did not feel as exciting as it did when I first booked my flight tickets. Don’t get me wrong, going home was something I looked forward to– but for the first time, I felt like I was going to be all right even if I did not get to go home this weekend.

In typical Sarawakian fashion, I darted into a chocolate store at the airport to buy imported chocolate back home for my family and his. There, the excitement started building up. I thought to myself, I can’t wait for them to have all these things.

However, I boarded the flight feeling indifferent. The excitement wore off as quickly as it came. In the departure hall, I could hear people speaking in Sarawakian Hokkien and Bahasa Sarawak. Oh, the familiar comfort, I thought. I didn’t need to be excited; that comfort was all that I needed.

Upon boarding, I looked out the window to watch the beautiful Kuching skyline pass me by. Of course, that is nothing compared to what I get living in KL, but somehow– Kuching beamed with a quiet pride that KL just can’t seem to compare to.

Finally, as I watched the plane descend into Kuching, it hit me. I am home. I rushed out of the plane and into the immigration hall, and promptly jogged my way into the arrivals lounge, where I was greeted by the familiar faces which I call home.

Traveling the narrow roads in Kuching at a snail’s pace and seeing Sarawakian car plates brought a surge of nostalgia, and a little unfamiliarity. It’s funny how being gone for only a month can turn you into a stranger in your own home.

It was amazing to be greeted by faces that were happy to see me, and seeing places that are all-too-familiar. That night, I went to bed feeling immensely loved. I was finally in the warm embrace of home.

I woke up the next morning in my own bed, and it truly felt like I had never left. The familiar sounds of birds chirping and construction noises from across my balcony replaced the silence I normally hear as I awake at 5am every day– and it suddenly felt like it was a privilege that I could listen to a medley of sounds as I wake.

That weekend was one of the best weekends I had in the past month or so. I got to spend time with my family, I managed to help my love out with his stall, and most of all, I finally felt a sense of home and belonging after a long month of adjusting and adapting.

More than ever, I have been rejuvenated, and now I am ready to face the next three weeks ahead of me.

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Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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