Sunday, June 20, 2010

Economics @ Home © Volume 2 Issue 12

Fills My Void

This week, to make up for the non-post 2 weeks ago, I choose to share a special article written my a special friend. She chose to title it "Fills My Void", which I also choose to use as the title for this week's newsletter. Enjoy.
Going out past midnight in the morning and coming home at close to two – this is the closest thing to what was the bliss of December holidays in 2009. It fills my heart with so much warmth that I cannot comprehend but could only stay and let the feeling dwell in my heart and make itself comfortable, like letting something settle and hope that it never leaves. Yet this feeling brings colour to my face and makes my heart happy, and at that moment I just let my senses roam – to collect all that I would soon leave behind, to gather the essence of what is the Penang life, to refresh the past that I hold so dear... but in the end I still cannot put a finger on why these are all so precious to me, also having no clue why being engulfed by these emotions. I still do not know the name of this, which has the ability to make me so mellow.
And today at the coffeeshop, I looked around and everyone looks so familiar yet I know that I have never seen them in my life – but I know in my heart that these people carry Penang along with them, and wherever they go or gather they carry the ren qing wei with them, something no one can rob from them. I don’t know why I say them and not us, because essentially I consider myself a Penangite but then again it feels as though I have lost the essence of what I call Penang, somewhere diluted along the lines of stress and education in the other island down south. Yet, when I was there, the voice in my heart cried out – this is where I belong, this is where I am supposed to be. And I know that – and now thinking back a few hours ago and playing over what I saw this morning, this odd melancholic sadness crept in, and reminded me that I am leaving the day after tomorrow and perhaps it would be best to not dwell and let these feelings linger on.
Ah, penang. I love you so, so much. Coming from the airport I would always come with the same “I want to write a letter of complaint to xxx authority to report xyz” and my mum would always laugh and sigh at what we call the "Singaporean" that has gotten into me for the time that I am away from home. And yet maybe a day after, I would forget, and I would again be mesmerized by the beauty of the oil-ridden air that sticks to your face, the hugs and handshakes and laughter shared even with strangers that happen to be friends of your uncle’s friends or something of that sort, how we exchange stupid jokes and old family stories in the hokkien dialect which everyone regardless of race adopts in the marketplace... and so many things that is so uniquely penang that no one can steal from us.
Yet maybe all I want is to marry the boy from the coffeeshop. And we know sometimes heartbreakers are not the most charming ones, but the ones which has the ability to fill our hearts with warmth that we cannot comprehend, the ones that catch us off-guard and make us feel unusually comfortable and out of place, all at the same time. 
Although you may feel like it's a bunch of ramblings, but I think that behind the facade of what you may feel is an incomprehensible joining of words, there is such a rich build up of emotion that I hope you continue to express in the future. Thank you for your contribution, Nicole (my favorite 16 year-old, before she grows up :) )