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I kept wishing for that one best friend…like the ones most people I know have. Someone who comes from your hometown, most probably speaks your language, hangs out with you everyday, grew up with you, and is basically family. That one person you always call for anything funny, sad, or joyful that’s happening in your life. Someone you can call to complain. I kept thinking that maybe I’ll settle here, and maybe that person at work, or the chatty hairdresser could be my best friend. I don’t know why I envied people who can call someone their “best friend.”

But because my entire life was lived across eight countries, it was practically impossible to have that one best friend. Before the foundations of a relationship was completely cemented, I was already off to another place, to build new relationships and experience new things. Factor in the parental restrictions to the times I was actually allowed to be with friends. So, I obviously didn’t grow up with any of my close friends, although we did grow together. Time zones, communication technology and financial restrictions also make it difficult to  call friends every day, much less hang out with them. 

Today I realized that I don’t need one best friend. Because I have a lot of really close friends. If one time zone doesn’t permit calling, I can call the other one who is likely awake in a country 7 hours ahead of me. Every few months I can visit those living in the same side of the country, and every few years, those abroad. More than anything, I think everyone is special, and so are my friends. The diversity in opinion, religious, socio-economic and racial background makes our relationships interesting. They push me to be open minded and accepting of everyone, without even realizing.They are also my go-to experts for various issues. Some give the best advises for fashion and beauty, some are the best motivators, some make me laugh til my stomach hurts, some nerd out with me,and some discuss ideologies with me. But one thing I know, none of them would let me fall, or be trapped by a broken heart. None of them would tell me I can’t achieve my dreams. All of them would tell me to learn to forgive instead of hold a grudge and drown myself in pain and anger. Having many close friends means someone is always there, even though I’m not the best of friends, and I’m not always able to be there. I don’t have one best friend, but I have many really close friends. And for their companionship and understanding of me, I’m so, very grateful.  

 

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Love can be a word
Never simple but grabbing
Tearing up hearts and rebuilding them
Love can be a word
Which comes with a hurricane of emotions
Which can strip us clean
Down to our core
Broken and robbed of joy
Love I guess can be a sword
Slashing expectations
Killing dreams
But it’s always Love that sends us back to the clouds
Rebuilding dreams
Bringing back happiness
Because love can be just a word
But more than anything it’s a word that means sacrifice, work, good intentions and genuinness.
And that’s how I know, you’re telling the truth when you said “I love you.”

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I’m the last person who would listen to Miley, but despite the mockery surrounding the v-clip and her fashion changes (and the VMAs etc) this song is well written, catchy and touching. And Miley’s voice in this particular performance is very strong.

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I found khormaloo (and Indomie) at Superstore. Yeay! :)

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Source: Facebook

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Some places that sell food probably look to filthy for most of us to stop and get a taste. But having spent a third of my life in Indonesia, I can’t forget the delicious taste of fried noodles, fried rice and meat ball soup from street vendors. Honestly, I find food from these places are often more delicious than if they were served in a proper restaurant. I remember in Sana’a, after school, we would often stop by a tiny dingy place that sells the best rice and grilled chicken I have ever tasted. Fortunately for me, my immune system is quite strong so I almost never had any problems with “street” food.

But where street food is about the taste, I find myself interested in “fancy” food because they are artistic. There’s a component of design and performance when it comes to preparing and serving the food. Honestly, two shrimps and a drop of whatever sauce probably doesn’t look filling for the price one pays. But it’s the experience and the culinary art that’s worth the money. I mean, I’d definitely like to be in the kitchen with top chefs while they put the dish together.

Personally, I like it if my food at least has various colours and are nicely arranged before I go ahead and ruin the décor anyways haha. But that’s just me. Maybe I just like a little production with everything.

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I swear I envy those (especially those my age) who get to be in one city this week, and in another the next week. The traveller in me would not let go of this jealousy. I daydream about living a nomadic life, constantly on the move. Airport-hopping from Barcelona to Beirut.

But that was my life. I am part of that group of children who followed their parents to live and work abroad. Call us whatever you like: third culture kids, diplo-brats, nomads…the label doesn’t matter. What matters is amongst us, we understand the recurring itch to leave, move, change. We understand the seemingly random attachments to cities, countries, towns, even airlines. Between us, we understand the search for identity and loyalty, and for a place to call home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the experiences. But don’t be confused if I happen to love your country as much as I do mine. Heck, I wish the world were without borders, without segregation of nationalities and race because I just want to feel like I belong.

It becomes tiring trying to play catch up all the time because there is no point. I’ll leave and all—down to slang words—will change.So how can I call a place home when it is so unfamiliar? How can you call a place home when you feel so uncomfortable?

Then I realized that I envy those who have lived in one country their whole lives, too. Those whose allegiance and love towards a place and a nation is  justified not simply by passport or heritage, but also by their own journeys intertwining with that of said place and nation.   

My journey intertwined with the soils, water and souls of eight countries. So home for me is where I grew up, spent my childhood and learned; among others in the humidity of Jakarta, the crowded Ho Chi Minh city, the crisp winter cold of Tehran, the dusty winds of Sana’a, the heat of an Uzbek summer, and the freezing temperatures of Canada. Home for me is also where life is most familiar; where I am happy, where I feel most accepted and most comfortable, and where I feel I most belong. Today, that home is Fredericton, New Brunswick.

And if settling down were just a matter of MY decision, I would pick this place to call home. I don’t care if people ask why I chose to live in “the middle of nowhere” province or “so far” or in “such a small city.” I’m content and happy. 

I just wish it were that easy to call a place one’s home.