I’ve been home in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for about a whole month now. That’s the longest I’ve been home since I started working in Singapore in 2009.
Before coming home for this long stretch, I was confused about where home was for me. In Singapore, I had a rented place, a job and friends but in Sabah, I have my family, my old bed and friends too. You see why it’s a bit confusing for me to pinpoint which exactly was home.
But after 4 months on the road and coming home, I’m glad to say where home is. It’s temporarily Sabah, and specifically my parent’s place. Eventually, I will still need to get out of here and find a job.
Until I do move out of the country, here’s a list of things I’ve missed about being home (in Sabah):
Clothes dried in the sun
There’s a branded softener that even has a scent with the word “sunshine” in it. That’s how popular the indescribable scent of sun-dried clothes is.
At home, we have a backyard where we hung our clothes. When there is a lot of sunlight in the day and you collect the clothes at the right time, the clothes feels soft and has a strange chemical-like smell. (Or maybe that’s just our soap…)
Back when I was in Singapore, I didn’t have a lot of space to hang my laundry. In the tall rise HDB (Housing Development Board) flats, I either hung them inside or outside where most of the times the clothes are shaded. Wind-dried clothes just aren’t as good as sun-dried ones.
While travelling, my only option for laundry was to handwash them in the hostel bathroom sink and hang them from the laundry rope I tied to the under-bad planks of the upper bunk. The clothes dried reluctantly in dorms but I still wore them because they were my only 5 (or is it 6?) garments I have with me.
Only twice in the entire trip did I “splurge” in laundry when I sent them to the cleaner’s in Arequipa. I even had to shop for the cheapest laundress. When I spilled my laundered clothes onto my bed, I was delighted at how clean they were and I might have waltzed with my jeans for a bit.
Good Chinese food
I always thought that I was very open about food and wasn’t a food snob when it comes to how “authentic” a dish is. But right before I was flying to Hong Kong, I started vividly imagining all the Chinese food I would get to eat. I would space out on the bus or even at a restaurant and see plates of rice with crispy pork, noodle soups (Peru doesn’t do good noodle soup).
While the food choices back home aren’t as much as in Hong Kong, I enjoy eating all the food that are familiar to me and visit new places.
Driving and having a car
In Singapore, I didn’t need a car to travel. The public transport is so perfect that I didn’t even have to take taxis much. I love that part.
However, not every place I went to during the trip had good public transport so I walked a lot. A lot. I didn’t rent any cars on the road because I cannot afford to splurge when taking buses are a lot cheaper and safer.
Here back home, we need a car to get anywhere. I’ve forgotten how nice it is that you don’t need to walk a whole kilometer because you don’t have door-to-door transportation. I could get used to this.
I didn’t get to see a lot of my parents when I was working. A phone call here and there doesn’t really match seeing them face-to-face.
Recently, I think I’ve been seeing them a little bit too much because we are starting to get on each other’s nerves.
Do you live away from home? What do you miss about home? Share them in the comments below!
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