Almost leaving Home

Two more days before I leave for college again.

I dunno why I have the jitters! I’ve done this twice in the past two years already!

I’m not anxious about going to college, I’m actually quite excited. I’ve been reading these discussion boards in which the new students ask questions like “What should I pack?” and “Is XYZ a good dorm?” And they remind me of when I first left for college.

This year is going to be pretty interesting, so in a way I can’t wait to go back to school. But it’s the leaving home that makes me feel a little melancholic.

This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’m annoyingly sentimental and constantly attach emotions to everything.

You know, it’s kind of interesting how, before going away for college, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what “Home” was to me. I understood it only to the extent of how the dictionary defined the word. “Home” was my place of residence, my house, where my family takes shelter.

Since I started college, “Home” has taken on another level of meaning for me.

The word itself evokes ridiculously strong feelings in me. Happiness, excitement, warmth, and when I’m away, a bit of melancholy and a whole lot of longing.

Home is not just this double-story house in Petaling Jaya, not just the other 4 people in the Lim family, not just the endearingly loud high school friends. Not just the unique yet comfortably familiar concoction of english mixed with malay mixed with mandarin mixed with cantonese.

Not the lemak-laden food either. Not the “lah”s that take the place of full-stops, not the very very pretty baju kebaya, not the Star-spangled Banner rip-off with the yellow crescent and stars.

When someone mentions “Home”, I don’t think of any one of the above in particular.

Instead, “Home” reminds me of me.

I think of Malaysia, of course, but more like myself when I was/am in Malaysia. The childhood memories, the teenage experiences, the interactions with fellow Malaysians that make up who I’ve become.

I think of me speaking in broken cantonese to my family and recounting tales from college. I think of my mom asking me what kind of alcohol I drink, and what time I shower on a week night. I think of the entire family in the car at night, and my dad asking where we would like to go for dinner, and all everyone can come up with is “Anywhere”. I think of the insults that my high school friends throw around but that never offends anybody, and of the comfort and camaraderie that we share. I think of the malls around PJ and what I could get for what kind of price. I think of the food stall I would order from at Ming Tien food court. I think of being able to drive!!!!! A luxury I do not enjoy in college 🙁

Haihh if my life in Malaysia was black, then my life at college is WHITE like you cannot imagine!

The two worlds are so different that it’s hard to adjust the first few days.

The first time I talked to my college friend on Skype (while I was in Malaysia), she went, “Why are you speaking so differently?”

I told her it’s my Malaysian accent. It’s how Malaysians (proudly!) talk. My friend was actually very excited to hear it, because I’ve been telling people that Malaysians have a special way of talking, but no one has heard me speak Manglish before.

And then an hour into the conversation, she was like, “Your Malaysian accent is gone!!”

Which was completely true. I lose my Malaysian sing-song way of talking once I get back to school. I cannot help it la, I don’t do it on purpose, it changes on its own. I think when I hear people around me speak regular english, my way of speaking naturally changes to suit them.

Hahah I remember one time, I was telling Zihui about a very close friend of mine called “Fatemeh”. She’s from Iran, so I guess it’s their version of the Malaysian “Fatimah”. So we were both talking about this girl, and I would go “Fatemeh bla bla bla”, pronouncing it FAHT-uh-mah, the gwailoh way, the way everyone in college says it. And then Zihui would go, “Oh really, Fatemeh bla bla bla”, and pronouncing it the typical Malaysian way… fat-ee-MAH. (“fat” very low tone, “ee” a little higher, then “MAH” super loud and high-toned.)

LOL stress on different syllable. I dunno if that made sense to you though, but it was funny when we were talking.

Anyway. The point of this post, at least when I first started writing this, was to say that I’m feeling like I’m going to college for the first time — anxious about leaving home.

But of course this shall pass once I get to campus and see people again.

Anyhow. I have to go poop now.

Speaking of which, you know what is the irrational fear that I have when it comes to long flights?

I fear I will suddenly have the urge to poop. I haaaaaaaate airplane toilets. I hate peeing in them, and I FEAR I will one day be forced to poop in them.

Anyhow have to go bye!

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