What I do when I am back home in Sabah

I just came back from an 11-day trip home (which is about 9 days long if you take away the travelling days). It was a good recharging of my batteries.

Since some people–okay, maybe only my uncle–are curious about why I go home so often. (I only went back home 3 times in 2012.) I’ll share what I do when I am home.

See the parents

The main reason I head back to Sabah is to see my parents. Or maybe for my parents to see me. I’m not sure which way it goes.

I also bicker (good humoredly, I hope) with the parents.

Eat seafood

Seafood in Sabah, butter crabs

A good reason to head home is for the cheap yummy seafood. A meal for two which includes a kilogram of cooked crabs, steamed fish, a stirfried vegetable and rice costs only RM63 (US$21).

Steal Wi-Fi at restaurants

My parents cancelled the fixed broadband line because it doesn’t work 95 percent of the time. In the end, I had to surf on my mobile phone.

For long blog posts, I had to bring my laptop to restaurants and use their Wi-Fi while I wait for the food to arrive.

Meet friends

I usually multitask by stealing Wi-Fi and meeting my long-time-no-see friends.

Help a little at the shop and house chores

My parents own a grocery store in the neighborhood where I grew up. I didn’t really like tending to the shop because it’s mindnumbingly dull to sit at the cashier, key in prices and bag groceries.

But then, this was the place which provided my university tuition.

Play mahjong

mahjong tiles

I played plenty of mahjong with my mom and her friends when they lacked another player.

I’m not very good at it but I did win some (a minority) rounds.

Travel

Sabah roadtrip

When my holidays are too short, I don’t move around much. This time, I had 11-days so my mom drove us to Kudat for a one-night trip. We saw the “tip of Borneo” and ate some seafood.

Visit the temple

Taoist temple in Sabah

I’m still rather confused about which religion I am partial to. I grew up believing I was Buddhist when I was praying to Taoist gods). I do like Greek gods now but I don’t think that’s considered a religion now.

Despite my confusion, I still visit temples. There’s a Taiwanese saying “有拜有保佑” which means “you will be protected if you pray”. The saying means that it doesn’t hurt to pray to as many gods so you won’t be left out on Judgement Day.

Welcome the new year

new year fireworks
My mom and her friends have a tradition of going to the beach around 11pm on new year eve. Before the clock strikes 12, we head into the sea to wash away the bad from the current year and welcome the good luck from the coming year.

Where is home?

Last time, I wrote a post about how I am homeless because I cannot tell which is home. When I was back in Sabah this time, I realized that it’s possible to have many places you call home.

It all depends on how much you feel that you belong in a place.

Do you live away from home? What do you do when you are back?

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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