I took a weekend trip back to Bachok.
I haven’t been here since Raya Haji 2016 – it’s definitely been a while. Truthfully, I have missed this place so much.
Kelantan always has (and will always have) its negative connotations, but I can’t lie; I’m fond of this place, despite its barren surroundings. Really, there are not enough trees to shield us from the sun – which explains why it’s constantly hot. But I love it.
After moving to the city, I realise that most of my friends didn’t grow up having what I had; a kampung.
A kampung, from my point of view, is simply the feeling of comfort. You associate it with childhood; simpler times, when everything is less chaotic and more… liberating.
When I was younger, a kampung meant the mud you wipe off your knees after falling from a game of galah panjang, the sloppy sloshes your slippers make when you come home dripping wet from playing in the rain.
It is homemade akok for tea, nasi berlauk for breakfast, sirap, ring candies, muruku ikan, shitty processed sausages and cheap ice cream from the pak cik eskrem every 6pm.
It is your family; petty squabbles swallowed for the sake of a good time, because no matter what, you only see these people once or twice a year – better make their presence count.
Now, a kampung is like stepping into another part of my life and leaving behind whatever it is I’ve grown so accustomed to living with. It’s leaving worries, work, and responsibilities without a care in the world. It’s coming home to my grandma’s teh tarik, the dusty roads, crazy heat, semi-haunted house, and less jangok more kaftans, please.
And it’s literally a plane ticket away.
I count myself lucky to have experienced three different sides of life and wonder why I’ve tried to suppress the less ‘glamorous’ ones so much in my formative years. I’ve grown up in a town, migrated to the city later on, and frequent the kampung-est of kampungs and still thought I was missing something. I guess my fear of missing out developed earlier than I thought – and it seemed to linger.
Apparently the grass will always be greener on the other side. Except I’ve been on both sides, and neither is greener than the other. They are different, sure, but still green.
But hey, the older I get, the more I start to appreciate the little things. I’m happy now having grown up with what I had and part of me feels so stupid for wanting more.
Tonight’s musing: visit Mak more this year.