There is something magical about the town where I grew up. It's the feeling I get whenever I walk down the road leading to my house, how the trees that lined up the road bent forward to invent an arch 'tunnel' for me to pass. One of these days, I would take the opportunity to sit down in the middle of the road and just enjoy the scene of perfect serenity. Away, away from life's confusion. Back to where my memory is stored of my carefree days. Of childhood laughter, childhood adventure, and childhood best friend.

I spent the first few days not really 'home', the after-effect of work I guess. I even dreamed that I ended my hols 3 days before I was supposed to come back for work. I would talk and laugh, but there's a somehow faraway, dazed look on my face. My mother complained that I wasn't being attentive enough. I wasn't paying attention because I was confused of the sudden transition of life.

Then there are the screams of laughter from my sisters. I have no choice but to join in their childish games. To run around, to tickle each other into roars of laughter, to feed them before they run off to school and school, never really changed.

Then in between time, I would spend endless hours in the kitchen with my mom. Believe me, I was brought up in the kitchen. When I was two, my mom dropped something that scarred my scalp coz I was lying at her feet, drinking milk out of my bottle. The kitchen means more than the blending of flavours and herbs and spices, but a place where stories and memories blended together as well. Where I learned my ancestry, my surroundings, and also, of course, mom's recipes.

I honestly confess that I don't know how to cook (Yes Jen, don't give me that disbelief look. I don't know how to cook). I know how to heat the wok, and to put in what ingredients at what time, but to know how to cook, is the ability beyond my knowledge. You know how to cook when you know what to do if something goes wrong, or how to adjust the flavor, or how to come up with something new for the tastebuds. Best still, when you know what ingredients are put into the dish to make up the flavor. I don't know any of these.

So I help mom in the kitchen while trying to sort out how future looks like. I find cooking time as thinking time. This is when my mind is neatly divided into two - to concentrate on my next action whether my hand hovers for the soy ketchup, or for the chilli paste; and to sort out my confused thoughts. Confusion, is how I live life. In the kitchen, I would debate life philosophy with my mother.

'See mom, what is the purpose of life? What is it that I need to do in order to find the path to heaven?'

The path to heaven is a phrase that Jen coined some time ago. It made me think hard of my life direction, and I swear to God, I still feel clueless. I don't think that this holiday alone would help me to find the answers.

I am going to Miri tomorrow to meet my sister. My lucky, lucky sister whose boyfriend has just moved to Miri to be near her. Some people have no need to figure out what to do. It's already laid out in front of their eyes. Maybe, I philosophically think, I am just too busy pondering on it to notice how life scheme is spread in front of me too.

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