When you think of home, or wanting to go home (whether short term or long term), it's probably because of your family. Because you miss your family, the warmth, the little idiosyncrasies of the people you love, the things they do or say, and just knowing that you can just be yourself without being judged.
I just Skyped (I love how nouns are now verbs) home. I Skype with my parents and younger bro maybe about once a week. Sometimes short calls, because they're rushing to go out soon, or because I have to leave soon. Sometimes longer ones, when we both have nothing (better that we want) to do. And we talk about the usual things, how life is here, studies, food, what's going on back in Singapore, how's everybody, what are my parents doing, how's my younger bro and his studies etc. Today though, my paternal grandma (ah ma) happened to be at my house, and so I talked to her for a while.
I don't deny that I somewhat struggle to talk to my grandparents. I'm from the generation that is essentially monolingual (there are definitely exceptions) – my mandarin Chinese is just about passable, while my Teochew (the dialect my grandparents speak) is close to negligible. There are plenty of things I wish I could speak to my grandparents about; the past, their lives etc. Though I sometimes get the feeling that they don't quite like talking about it, because it's not that enjoyable.
My paternal grandma is a pretty staunch Catholic, someone who really prays a lot and goes to church a lot and prays for world peace and that everyone will be happy and all. So I was talking to her about life here, Chinese New Year celebrations (and how it really pales in comparison to Singapore) and going to church and praying and everything. Halfway through though, she got quite teary and said she really missed us (cos my older bro's overseas as well). Which got me tearing as well, because I'm just emotional like that. (Yeah I was just telling my friends how I cried watching Ip Man, Brave and even Tangled. Ridiculous, I know.)
It made me realise though, one thing. I miss my family, I miss my extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone. I miss the weekly makan and chatting sessions, just seeing them and hearing them and everything. But on a usual basis, going about my day-to-day life, it's easy to just overlook all those.
My grandma said, come back soon. How can I say no to that? How can I tell her, why should I, Singapore is going to be more crowded, there's gonna be less wonderful places around, etc etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is that one of the major reasons why I would go back home to Singapore is because of my family. More than because Singapore is a hub for x and y and z, more than because we're a City in a Garden etc. That may attract expats or foreigners, perhaps cause more foreign companies to invest in Singapore and hence provide jobs. But I don't know, family is definitely one of the major reasons why (probably most of my peers? and) I would go back, not so much the economic prospects.
I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
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