Only four months, but coming home felt strange. On my first day back, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was a visitor in my own house. Everything felt so familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time, like I was in a house that I'd visited a fair few times before but not enough to feel fully comfortable in. What was weird was everything was exactly the same, except that this was gone, or that was new -- little things that made me feel like I was losing a game of Spot the Difference with no one in particular.
I got over that pretty quickly, though, and I think it was mostly thanks to the dogs. I'd missed my dogs a lot. Our reunion was all fur and squirming bodies and wagging tails and dog spit, and it was great; I'd never been so happy to smell like dog before.
Speaking of happiness: food. The first thing I ate once I'd landed was dim sum. Har gao and siew mai and fried carrot cake and char siew pau and stuffed brinjal and xiao loong bao and ohmygoodness I am so hungry. I've also had banana leaf rice from Kanna's (SO GOOD), dolsot bibimbap, sundubu jjigae, char siew rice from Toast and Roast (best char siew I've ever had), sashimi, and bak zhang.
With dhal, fish curry, and crab curry!
Still on my to-eat list: chilli pan mee, seafood tom yam noodles, yong tau foo, roti canai, nasi lemak, wan tan mee, lui cha, chicken rice with pak zham kai and spare parts... There's more, I just can't remember it all at the moment. My sister's already complaining, saying that after I leave, my family's only going to be eating Western food. Let us all collectively shake our heads at her.
I've also been reunited with my guitars, which has been really nice. Besides the times when Zoe's guitar made its way to me at gatherings, I hadn't played at all since I left. It's so nice to just sit and play random songs, trying to recall the chords for old ones and learning new ones. Won't be long before I get my left hand fingertip callouses back!
I've been reading as well, since I have time for that now. Finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer yesterday (it was pretty good, though it gave me heavy boots at times) and am almost done with Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember (which has left me cold so far, but that may be because I already knew the plot twist).
Sometime during the break, I have to read a book about death and dying because we have to write an essay on a book of that sort in Sem 2. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a problem for me, seeing as how I don't exactly read the most cheerful of books (The Bell Jar, anyone?), but there is an approved list of books, and the only one anyone's ever heard of is Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. I've read it, but that was years ago, so I reckon I'll have to devote a day to reading it and writing down my 'feelings' in preparation for the essay. I'll do it on a Tuesday, probably. Just because.
I probably wasn't away from home long enough to miss it, but I can't say I'm not glad to be here. The haze is rather unfortunate, but I'll breathe bad air if it means I get to see my family and friends, eat good Asian food, and be surrounded by home comforts again.
Oh, and walk around real shopping malls. Sorry, Hobart, but Centrepoint's got nothing on Mid Valley Megamall.