Here and There

June has been a difficult month and the only reason I’m sad to see it end is, it means we are entering our final month in Japan. The last couple of weeks have been draining – Tresa was battling a viral infection and in the midst of that we had to fly home to Malaysia to start preparing for our move back. It seemed like we were courting disaster by getting on a seven-hour flight with a sick child, a never ending are-we-still-in-the-sky?- kid and the both of us supremely wiped out. But it turned out to be peaceful and in fact, there was a baby fussing for most of the journey a few rows behind us and I wish I had been brave enough to walk up to the mother and tell her it’s okay.

In hindsight, the trip back was just what we needed. Tresa recovered completely once we got our hands on some proper medication and both she and Anne enjoyed being spoilt rotten by both sets of grandparents. Whatever my grievances over certain things in Malaysia, over the last year, I’ve come to realize how fortunate we are when it comes to healthcare. So with the kids off my hands, I slept through the night for the first time in weeks and indulged in the four Fs of a happy life – Family, Friends, Food and Facial. I left Malaysia a week later feeling like myself again.

And I missed this. A lot. Just being able to sit down with my thoughts and my coffee.

A few days ago, one of my best friends announced on our group chat that she finally moved out of her in-laws’ place. Apparently, there was a whole lot of water-works involved but none of them from my friend or her husband. She’s all the way in Australia but I wish I could show up at her door with a warm carrot cake and share a pot of chaiya in her cozy kitchen. With her great escape, that leaves only two out of five of us who would soon be making the big move out from their parents/in-laws house. I remember when I was preparing to move out (after I was married no less!), the amount of drama I had to put up with. God! Am I the only one who finds this insane? When we were barely adults, we were expected to live on our own while we studied. Back then, we had all the time and stupidity to get into trouble but we didn’t (well, not too much anyway). Our parents should take pride that they did a fantastic job by raising us right. But now that we are adults (and expected to produce and keep little humans alive) suddenly we’re incapable of functioning without constant supervision by our own parents/in-laws? I suppose it’s not really that they don’t trust us not to screw up but more to do with some kind of sickly-sweet, guilt-laden standard of filial duty. Or simply that classic friction between our parents’ generation and ours which makes living independently in our culture a privilege, not a right.  But at the very least, after thirty years of parenting, wouldn’t anyone be desperate for a break? No? Just me?

Anyway, speaking of moving, I’m trying not to think about how I’ll feel when I board that final plane back. It’s going to be a sludge of bittersweet feelings for sure. Ah, but such is life as the two moles on my feet have taught me.



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