i’m finding myself more swayed towards vietnam and cambodia now. partly because it’s cheaper (but not significantly), partly because i get to stop off in Kuala Lumpur and visit my grandmother on the way and partly because even though I’ve never been to vietnam or cambodia, i somehow feel more comfortable in South East Asia. The culture is not quite so different from what I grew up in. Not so different that I cannot extrapolate.

Also, there’s the matter of visiting KL and family. This desire is out of character for me. It’s even stranger that the thought of seeing gran is giving me, not the usual sense of fear and guilt, but a peculiar type of calm and even comfort. I spent some time thinking about this last night and realised my recent breakup has a significant amount to do with this new desire to visit my family home, no matter how fraught my relationship with it is. After all, with my expartner now deciding to leave our house, I have truly failed to create a family home here of my own and what i have in KL is the closest thing left, even if my period of happiness there lasted the relatively short if critical time between the age of 8 and 12.

So, on a deep emotional level, what is luring back there is that period of home, a place that even if intellectually I know has long gone, is one which still offers solace, healing and a dream of what in many ways have been driving my desires for family and home in all my relationships since. I do know that this is nostalgia but I dont know what I will find in KL. It has been a long five years since i’ve returned and back then, it wasnt home and whatever it has become now, it wont and cant resemble my early memories. But i suspect that whatever i find there, it’ll be a way for me to say goodbye, maybe finally, to my childhood home, and through that, take leave and let go of what I’ve tried so very hard to build here in Melbourne the last year or so.

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