I woke up today to a blistering cold winter morning. Put on a pair of leggings underneath my jeans and two layers of sweater on top. Then padded to the kitchen as slow as an 81-year-old with Arthritis to make myself a cup of green tea, cursing the cold floor under my feet. Then I put on my winter boots and got out of the house to get yesterday's mails and bills. It was shivering cold outside, but still somewhat lovely.
That was 7A, off for his morning run round the block. Sometime I run with him, but I'm more of an evening runner than a morning runner. I smiled but didn't say anything. Too early and too cold to actually socialise right now. I made my way slowly to the mailbox, breathing in the fresh air, the peaceful silence of Queensland suburbia and think
“This is lovely. This is beautiful. I miss Klang.”
It came out of nowhere that dull ache. That throbbing homesickness. That burgeoning pain in your heart. Like a ninja trained in the best of dojos, it appeared out of thin air and strike you when you least expect it.
Ah Klang, Bandar diRaja tapi padahal macam celaka. I can say this cause that's my hometown but you have no right bitch, you have no right. Strange, I never actually was particularly proud about coming from Klang. I was never ashamed of it either. It just is. Kinda like the tumour on my brain. I never gave a moment's notice about it other than bitching about the amount of illegal immigrants that overflow it. I swear, Klang is like the unofficial capital of illegal Bangladeshi and Indonesians of Malaysia. Or about that one time when I almost get mugged by assholes on one of those rempits motorcycles and my first reaction after the fact was “Fucking Klang.” Cause let's face it, it's not the safest of towns now, is it? It used to be lovely I'm sure, but it is almost a ghetto now when you think about it.
Like Lucille Bluth, the deliciously racist matriarch on Arrested Development, I place all my blame on the illegal immigrants that overcrowd the place.
But here I am, seven hours away by distance and two hours ahead by time-zone waxing poetic about it. I miss the little things about it mostly.
I miss getting the weekly grocery list from mom before I head out to Jusco Bukit Raja to actually buy the groceries. I miss going to the movies in TGV on Wednesdays with Gypsy, cause that's the cheap day. I miss getting stuck in traffic on the way to Meru to buy nasi lemak at that little place by the road. I miss the pisang goreng guy in Andalas, who always give me extra pisang goreng just because. I miss going for evening runs at Taman Rakyat, and then running back the way I come from whenever I spot an old school teacher in the distance. I miss having chappati in Little India with dad on Sundays. I miss the A&W near Tesco and their God-awful and consistently undercooked waffles. I miss passing by my alma mater on the way home and feeling strangely envious of the girls who are still there, whose lives are simple and without complexities but for boys and TV shows. I miss driving to my friends' homes to pick them up without ever knowing their proper address. There's no need for that because everyone I know from Klang have lived in the same exact house they lived in their entire lives. Myself included.
It's weird being away. You start being nostalgic about things you never gave a fuck before, or in fact things you never knew you noticed before. In your head, everything is rosy. Everything is gorgeous. No, Little India don't have creepy men who openly stare at your boobs as your walk by. No, the traffic in Klang is not that bad, really! What illegal immigrants? I dunno what you're talking about. You guys, Klang is not that shitty! Honest!
Nostalgia works best when you edit the fuck out of all the shitty stuff and dress it up with pearls and Yves Saint Laurent.
Brisbane is not that far. It's not like I'm like my friends who are living in America or Europe. They have to take multiple planes, and sometimes days just to travel back home. I have a direct plane. In terms of distance, I'm better off. But when the aching in your heart comes, it doesn't matter how far or near you relatively are, the pain is still the same. That dull ache that hurts more than a broken femur and a root canal combined. But I cannot be sure. I never did broke a femur or had a root canal, all I ever had is this homesickness that would take days to go away.
But I'll be fine. It comes and goes this ache. Sometimes it'll last a day. Sometimes, a few. But it'll go away eventually to bid its time for another visit. In the meantime though, lets raise our teh tariks to Klang, the shitty-almost-ghetto town where I come from.
I miss you more than I can rationally comprehend and you will eternally be part of me.
***Apologies to my non-Malaysian readers. I do try to avoid the national colloquialism, but sometimes there's no avoiding it.