I LOVE watching travel channel. There are quite a number of shows on Malaysia, from culinary to travel destination. They really bring out the best of us and of course, make me feel homesick. The producers take an extra step to cover the simplest thing like wet market, life of orang asli, fishermen etc.
When I see these shows, a sense of pride emerges and I long to be back to experience our local wonders.
Of course my idea of excitement is a walk to my nearby mamak joint, sip a glass of teh tarik while reading newspaper. On weekends, I head to pasar malam where my usual targets are nasi lemak kerang, hot tau fu fah and bihun soup with those chilli birds. At night, I can be spotted at regular hangout for mee goreng mamak, nasi lemak bungkus, roti canai or tandoori with friends or if they are busy, my brother will be the victim and unwillingly, accompanies me.
Looking back at the shows, sometimes I wished the young lady experiences what I had when I was growing up. I was fortunate that my late grandparents lived in villages instead of towns. Well, one side stayed in an upmarket area and they were considered as a privileged family as my grandpa was a religious scholar and worked for government. During those times, those professions were highly respected. Still, I looked forward whenever I had the chance to go back to either ‘kampungs’. From swimming in a river to trips to ‘pasar tani’, I had a blast each time the opportunity arose. Even when my parents were too busy to send me, my late grandma would take the bus and fetch me.
From time to time, I share these stories with the young lady. One of my grandparents’ places still stands and my uncle lives there now. The last time the young lady was there, she truly enjoyed the long house and ran from the living room to the kitchen, back and forth. We would sit on the kitchen verandah and listen to the sounds of roosters, ducks and goats.
I know she has a part of me in her through her love for nature. She’s a traveller, explorer and she digs deep to understand stuff (which sometimes tests my patience of course). Instead of chickens, she feeds squirrels and swans at the parks. My masak-masak game under the wooden house is reflected by her art of making meals from leaves and flowers.
We may have different childhood but ingredients are more or less the same.
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you
I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
I was made for you
You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...