Home…in my short 30 years of occupying the planet, I have had many places that fell into one of the assignment of this week’s Writer’s Workshop held by Mama Kat and there are:
- Soroako: a small nickel mining town in South of Sulawesi (Celebes) island in Indonesia. My parents settled there when I was just a tiny wee baby and it was our home for 12 years. It is a beautiful place where I spent my childhood swimming a lot since the town is surrounded by 3 big lakes and one of them, Lake Matano is the deepest in Indonesia. Was a tomboy back then and you can either find me on the lake (either swimming or diving or kayaking) or on top of my neighbor’s tree (my personal hiding spot when my mother came looking for me). Used to sit there on the tree or on the rooftop for hours just day dreaming. One day, I would love to come back there with Lil’ A.
- Sangatta: As a miner’s daughter, my father’s job took us to this very small remote town tucked in East of Borneo Island, a coal mining town. By road, it used to take longer than 7 hours drive from the city of Balikpapan (now it’s approximately 7 hours since the road condition is much better than when I lived there) or a mere 45 minutes flight by a small single engine plane utilized primarily by the company who also built the only airport there. Officially, I ‘only’ spent 3 years in this town for Junior High since there weren’t any High School back then so my parents sent me to Jakarta but I would come home for every school holidays. Although it’s literally in the jungle, there were a lot of expatriates there, mainly Australians. The company had built a small yet independent town for their employees and families, from schools down to the supermarkets. Outside the company’s territories, life was shockingly still very traditional for the people of Sangatta. Electricity was scarce, houses were built high above the river beds with mostly outside bathroom, and it would flood on a rainy season as the river got overflows. Company’s houses are beautiful; built on mostly high platforms, our last house there (yes, we lived in 6 different houses there in total) was my favorite of them all because it’s located up on a high hill with big ceiling to floor windows that overlooked the bay. I still miss that house a lot!
- Jakarta: The big capital city has become home since I first moved here for High School. No matter how annoying this city can be, this is the place where I mature, went to college, got my first date (yep, I did not have any date let alone boyfriend in high school! LOL), fell madly head over heels in love with several guys, found my very first job, had my wild times. Sometimes I think I have a love-hate affair with the city because I would miss it terribly when we were in the US but I suffered some reverse culture shock when I first moved back.
- Latham, New York: This was home for me for over 6 months after I first came to the States to married Mr. X. We lived very close to the airport since that’s where he used to work. The town would forever hold a special place in my heart and I still miss it from time to time. From seeing and touching (also made snow angel!) my first snow and the beautiful colors of autumn, Latham will always hold a special place in my heart. Found my first job in the US there too, this was unforgettable!
- Dothan, Alabama: Due to the facts that both Mr. X and I are originally from warmer climates cities, we wanted to find a place where winter doesn’t chill us to the bones so when the opportunity came, we decided to pack up and drive down to Dothan, AL and make that peanuts capital of the world a home. It’s truly different down there compare to up North. I had a hard time settling in due to the facts that their southern accent was very thick and rich; also to put it mildly, the town was kinda hard around the edges for me, there is no public transportation like they have in Upstate New York to help me going places independently (was too afraid to drive!). But there, I met some of the friendliest people in the States. In this southern-bible-belt-small-town, we settled down and made us a home for almost 3 years. This is the town where my son was born.
- Guangzhou, China: Although I did not stay there long due to paper works reasons (who knew a resident permit is harder to obtain there than back in the US?!) I still considered it was home for a very short period of time. It took one month to get over the initial culture shock there. Even though I am of Asian heritage, China was like a totally different world for me. Mr. X stayed there for a year and had surprisingly picked up the Mandarin language quite easily while I can only master two or three sentences. Moving there was a bold move since we both never been there and doesn’t really know much about the country. There were a lot of great experiences there, plenty of TCM (This is China Moment) such as the Kaidangku, our daredevil Air Con repair guys, and many more amusing sometimes maddening times we had there.
Those are the 6 places I’ve called home in my life and I’m sure there will be more places to be called home in future but I will never forget these places.
Why don’t you join the fun Mama Kat had provided and blog away. 🙂