31 January 2013

I've Been Keeping a Secret...

I've been hiding something from you all, and it's time to come clean.

No, it's not the fact that I'm secretly a genius. I always try, but I'm never able to hide that for very long.

It's about my home. Not where I live now, but where I once lived. I used to live in Malaysia. On the other side of the world from where I am at the moment. If you're not sure of the location, it's just south of Thailand--near Indonesia.

I haven't mentioned this before because I do believe in keeping some things private from the general world of the internet: such as my address and my last name. But refraining from mentioning Malaysia was killing me.

I've lived in a bunch of places--but Malaysia's still the only one I call home. And it really explains so much about me. Malaysia explains why I majored in Mandarin Chinese, why my parents weren't at my wedding (plane tickets aren't cheap!), why I know little of American pop culture from the early 2000s, and why I strongly believe that they serve butter chicken masala and naan bread in heaven. It explains why Angel and I lived in different countries for several months of our engagement, why I'm so passionate about multilingual education, and why, if you heard me speak, you would probably ask about my accent.

 Now you know why I sometimes dress like this.

You know those people who get really attached to their hometown? They just think it's so perfect that nowhere else in the world can compare to it? Yeah, that's me, and my Malaysia. I miss my home everyday, and I don't think I'll ever not miss it.

It's like a relationship that ended in an unwanted breakup. No matter how many homes I have afterwards, the memory of my one home remains. I'm content where I am now, but there's some days when my heart longs to be home again.

I miss the stop signs.

I miss friends like this.

I miss little girls like this--my sisters who I haven't seen in over two years. They're a bit bigger now.

I miss food like this--served on nature's own disposable plates.

One of these days I'll tell you a funny story or two from my life there. It's nothing like life in America, I can tell you that. Oh, the tales I could tell of cockroaches and rats and fish and squat toilets and fried rice. I'll tell you one thing right now: the reason I'm skinny probably has just a little to do with the fact that American food just isn't tempting at all after you've eaten in Malaysia. I also have an honest appreciation for the cleanliness of and the amenities provided by the typical gas station bathroom here.

Well, I just wanted you to know my secret. Now it'll make more sense when someday I write about being really excited to take a trip and visit Malaysia again.
Anonymous said...

Whaaaat!? I want you to vlog now so I can hear your accent! That's so cool!

Redheaded Daybook said...

How amazing is this!!! I've only seen photos of Malaysia but all of them are GORGEOUS!!! Hope one of the stories you tell us will be why you left and came to America (unless I missed reading that somewhere?!.) Now I want some Malaysian food...mmmm

Happy Thursday!

Redheaded Daybook

Shellsea said...

Thank you for a peak into your life before! Those disposable plates look neat.

Tamera Beardsley said...

Rachel this is such an exciting post! I can't wait to hear more, I find learning about other cultures and places fascinating! And from a stylist perspective, I am all over those disposable plates! I eagerly await more of your story!

cate @ wild ruffle said...

That's awesome! What amazing memories to have. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Angi said...

Is it terrible that when I learned a while back that you speak Mandarin, I assumed you lived in China...? Silly me.

I have friends that live in Malaysia (one of them is actually Malaysian, and then she married a German guy so their kids are German-Malaysian and SO CUTE) so I've seen tons of pictures of it before, and it looks absolutely beautiful!! I can't wait to hear more about it from you!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

very interesting!

Jessi said...

Wow that's awesome! I never would have guessed. It looks like such a beautiful place and that food sounds so good! I love naan bread! And those leaf plates are seriously awesome.

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Hi Rachel nice Sari, and great blog, I'm a new follower found your blog on BBN if you get a chance please do follow back

themosbysinchina said...

:) Love this. And that sari is so beautiful. We have tons of friends who have gone to Malaysia and loved it! We have yet to make it down to SE Asia yet! But hopefully one day! In China there are always tourism commercials about Malaysia, the theme song's chorus is "Malay-sia. Truuuullly Asia." haha. Have you seen that commercial? Maybe its only in China, I dont know. Can't wait to read more of your blog! Stopping by from the blog hop!

Unknown said...

How cool!


Michelle said...

This is so interesting!!! You had mentioned not living in the US for awhile, and I was so curious to know where you had been. And why your parents weren't at the wedding.

I know exactly how you feel about being content in other places, but only having one true home. I have the same struggle!!

I hope you can go visit asap!

Cammie Smith said...

I totally know how it is to miss a place deeply. Aruba is that place for me--I just keep feeling pulled back there. The people and streets and food evoke some of my happiest feelings. I hope you get a trip to Malaysia soon! Your parents are still there, it seems like?