Thursday, February 6, 2014

Home is where the family is

Having breakfast at a nearby duck rice stall

Whenever people ask me where I come from, I struggle to give an immediate answer. I was born in Singapore and lived there for nearly 29 years, yet aside of a couple of cousins and in-laws I do not have any close relatives there anymore.

I am a Malaysian citizen but I have not lived in my hometown Sarawak for an extended period of more than 6 months before. I am very settled in Bangkok, but I am still considered just a working foreigner who needs to renew his visa and work permit annually.

At the beautiful lobby of Cape Dara resort at Pattaya

So where's home?

I start to realise home is defined more by people than the physical place. When I think about Singapore, my heart wells with excitement at the prospect of meeting my in-laws and friends again. I have never found myself missing the smoother roads, litter-free streets or the air-conditioned public buses before. Similarly, the anticipation of going back to Sarawak is also nothing more than the longing to spend some real time with my brother and parents. Afterall, a plate of kolomee is just a plate of blanched noodles tossed in lard and MSG, but it feels that much more fragrant and unforgettable when you have over the coffeeshop table with your closest ones.

Another shot taken at the lobby of Cape Dara

Despite all its inefficiencies and political uncertainty, Thailand is certainly the place I can call home now. I go to work everyday striving to achieve new breakthroughs so that I can make the lives of my team of local staff better, and I cannot wait to go home everyday to give Li Li and Noah a long loving kiss.

Pic with the parrots at Art in Paradise, Pattaya

This year, and for the second time ever, my family decided to move home to Bangkok, making it our destination for Chinese New Year, and what a smashing time we had.

A unique CNY reunion dinner at Le Beaulieu, touted as the best French Table in Bangkok

We went to Pattaya, made a fool of ourselves in a Art Gallery, ate at some of the best restaurants in Bangkok, strolled by the Chao Phraya River at Asiatique, went to Ancient City in Samut Prakan and even celebrated Noah's 2nd birthday together.

Dinner at Asiatique
Picture at the Sanphet Prasat Palace @ Ancient City Samut Prakan

Happy New Year from the Yiis, may the Year of the Horse bring endless joy for you.

With them by my side, be it the streets of Singapore, coffeeshops in Kuching, roadside stalls in Bangkok, I will not hesitate to call any location my home.

Because home is where the family is.

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