Friday, January 13, 2017

There's no place like home

I was awaken by the sound from outside of my bedroom. I turned my mobile phone on to check the timing. It was only 5.20 am. I tossed my self around trying to sleep again but to no avail. I decided to get up and walk to the kitchen. The dining table had been cleaned. The dirty plates and glasses that scattered from last night's dinner, were no longer there. It'd been stacked beautifully on the kitchen rack and covered with a cleaned rag. "Hmm... very efficient," mumbled me. I took a glass from the rack, filled it with water from the dispenser, and gulped the whole content down at one time. "Aaahhhhh....... Eerrrgghhhh.....," the sound of burping came out from my mouth.

I heard the sound of the clothes being brushed from the upstair. Oh!!! I faster went to the toilet that attached to my bedroom, took the dirty clothes, and went upstairs and passed them to the lady in her twenties who was doing it. Weird! It looked so dark. Then I realized that the space that used to be empty, had been occupied and built with another house. No wonder it was dark. Didn't notice it last night when I went up there.

I tried to see the sky above but it was mostly covered, only left a bit space to dry the clothes. "Whose house is that?" I asked her while pointing to the house that blocked the view. "Isn't it ours?" I continued. "Yes Non (a word means missy)," replied her. Oh no! It ought to be too long that I hadn't come here! "You must go from the other side Non if you want to go there," advised her. I walked straight and realized that I took a wrong direction. Oh my! It was so confusing! How could I get lost in here??

I went down and walked to the other side of the house and went up again to the place I saw earlier from the other side. The key to the attic was kept by my dad. So I went to the front part of the house's balcony and opened the door. Luckily it wasn't locked.

There is no place like home :)

The air was fresh and cold. The sky was reddish in color as the sun would rise up soon, just like the colour of flowers that bloomed beautifully in a row of potted plants grown by Mom. The birds were chirping melodiously and cling clang sound appeared as the wind chime was moved by the wind. Hhhmmmm..... It was really nice! What a wonderful scene to start my day!!! :)

Soon after I went out following my parents to have breakfast. He drove us to so called Chinatown area. It was only 6 am. Not many cars on the road yet. Perhaps many people had just woken up at this hour. As he drove, I observed the road, buildings, people from my window. Like usual, I tried to find any differences, look for anything new (the cleaned park from the used to store garbage in the river, the free school bus service that was non-existent before, much cleaner rivers along our way, the growing plantation that replaced the warung or road side carts that used to sell my favourite street food), and so on. "So much changes in just one and half year," mumbled me again.

Soto Betawi (top) and Turtle soup (below)

The usual stall that my dad often visited was not opened today. We went to the neighbour stall that also selling almost the same thing. My dad and I ordered one bowl of turtle soup with half portion of rice while Mom ordered Soto Betawi, the local beef soup that rich of coconut milk, eaten with dollop of pickles and chili, not forgetting the crispy Emping or belinjo crackers that were crushed and spread onto the soup. Hhhmmmm... both tasted delicious!!! :)

Once done we went back home. After a while, I followed Mom to the wet market. She shopped a lot, both dried and wet items. As usual, she walked very fast in a small alleys that were packed with baskets full of vegetables, fruits, eggs, dried fish, and so on. Luckily I'd lose some weight now otherwise I would have bumped many baskets and dropped its content as I was passing by. Hehehe....

The Chinese dialect sound was heard familiar in my ears. Hokkian mostly as many Fujian immigrants settled here in the city. As we stopped at one shop, few aunties at the age of my mom busied choosing and picking up garlic and red onions. The owner busied weighing and calculating the cost, receiving payment and returning the change. Sometimes the seller got lost in moments that he forgot how much to return. The jokes then were made towards him by those few aunties. Many would chuckle, just like me, from one corner. Few times I had to pass the shopped items into the car as we bought quite heavy stuffs including rice, orange, bottles of crushed chili, and so on. Luckily I wasn't losing my way!

After that my Mom had to pay the monthly water bill and visited one government office to collect my sister's local ID. Mom couldn't collect it until now. The staff explained the reason to us patiently. Sometimes, I was amazed with my capability of understanding and speaking my mother tongue. I mean, see how many years I'd been living abroad and how rarely I went back home. Home? Yes, home. My used to be home. A place where I was born and grown up until seventeen years later. The place that was familiar yet foreign sometimes. The place that raised love and fear at the same time. The place where so many memories were created and would still be created. It's home. Yes, it's home...

Home sweet home (Photo source:

There's nothing wrong with spending summer in another city
I've seen the lights above the streets at night, they look so pretty
I've flown above the clouds and thought I'd never come back down (back down)

Now I find myself where I started
Picked right up like we never parted
Feels like I'm in between
Am I wide awake or in a dream? (a dream)

No matter where I go
There's no place like home
There's no place like home
No no no matter where I go
There's no no no
There's no place like... home!


Anonymous said...

Back to being mama's girl! Happy stay and walk like mom-good for health 😂

Overcome Life said...

Mama's girl??? Haha... Thank you for your wonderful wishes!! Indeed happy - walk, shop, and eat all the time :P

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