Today marked the 8 years I begin my life in US soil.  I am in a happy and positive place. I find myself loving my little nook I called home the past years.

Not too long ago, I have to fly home due to family emergencies. I brought little luggage and left my young children behind with my husband holding the fort. I trust they are in good hands. This trip was necessary and we made it happen. The long flight was uneventful and I am so glad. As I landed at KKIA, my heart filled with gladness and my eyes watered, I am home.

My little brother picked me up at the airport and brought me straight to the hospital. Kota Kinabalu was no longer the town I once knew. More shopping malls seems to mushroom everywhere. Did I mentioned there were more hotel that I doubt were needed in this economy. My head spins as I try to adjust my brain to the road and traffic.  I am so used to driving in the right side of the road, this British flow was giving me major headache. I decided to focus on the building instead. How interesting that a land used to be water village now were packed with a mall and a hotel.

You know you are in Asia when you see Neko cats welcoming you on the store front.
Gleneagle Hospital was another new building that were once were home to sea creatures. I suppose the city decided that it a good spot as any for a hospital, no one bother to consider how this going to affect the traffic which already bad as is. It was a huge building on the side of freeway, parking fees was horrendous. There was a nice coffee shop on the main foyer, which is cool. I need my shots daily so this ease the cravings for caffeine.

Most of my siblings didn't change much, they were a little tired with lack of sleep but otherwise looking very well. My dad however aged since I saw him merely 2 years ago. He carries a cane with him now which conveniently turned into a little stool whenever he needs to stop and rest. My mom also looked tired and weak. Otherwise they were both so glad to see me home and safe.

Sabah was just as beautiful as I remembered. The people are cordial and so friendly. They don't care who or where you are from, everyone is treated like a million bucks. You went away feeling good all day long. My stay overseas didn't change me, I don't think. If anything, I appreciate my love ones even more. The distance makes the hearts grow fonder the saying goes. Food was fantastic and I can't help but rave about it here.
Turkey Ham??? Why don't they just say turkey sandwiches?

Cake Onde-onde or Pandan with Coconut Sugar cake

Konlou Roast duck and Pork Belly

Buffet Spread at D'Place in Kota Kinabalu (Shell Plaza)

I love how they put element of traditional bamboo house in this restaurant. (D'Place KotaKinabalu)

Ikan Basung Goreng (Fried Mackerel), Labu masak Lemak dan Ikan Masin (Salted fish cooked with Pumpkin and coconut milk).

Nasi Bario (Purple Bario rice)

My cousin made me tried Grub Pizza (Piza Butod), which I ended up liking, Yummy.

BBQ Pork with Roasted Pork on spinach Noodles. (Gam Tong Restaurant at Imago Kota Kinabalu)

These are donuts selection at Dunkin Donut Seoul Airport,  I ended up not getting any because it was all in Korean and I wasn't sure what I was going to get. 

So I got myself Cafe Latte which the cashier actually understood.  The Bachang or Kochung was bought on day before at Restaurant 88 Kota Kinabalu.

The infamous chicken feet soup I had for breakfast the day after my arrival. It was accompanied by my chicken rice at famous chicken rice restaurant at Inanam, Oh and it was so good, I meant the rice. 

The apartment suites I stayed was ok. It was a short walk to the hospital and the apartment was clean. It has a working washer dryer but not the stovetop. The kitchen exhausts hood was not even vent out so people might find it inconvenient that the smoke alarm keep going off whenever they tried to cook something. The elevators was partially complete, 2 of the 3 still has plywood as wall and floor covers. For those interested to know, I stayed at Accord Regency Suite.

The area itself was strategically located with the new Imago shopping mall very close by. We walk there to get a bite to eat whenever I get the chance to do so. I tried two restaurants there, Coffee and Tea Legend and Gam Tong Hong Kong recipe. They were very good, I highly recommend them. The price I found a little spendy for local Sabahan but dirt cheap for westerners.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I came home not really for vacation. Whatever the age you are in, nothing can prepare you to deal with sudden family emergencies, we do whatever we can to give comfort, to ease burdens or to just be present. Sometimes words needn't  be spoken to show you care.
Life shoot you a curveball when you least expected, at some point you might missed it but you do your best and stay with your team to the end. When there's a matter of life and death, you find money is a great tool to have but what we truly need is faith. Sometimes things are beyond our control, faith will bring us through the storms.

I returned home after merely 5 days in Sabah, While there,  memories of the past visited me at every turn. I seem to walked into the future.  The reason I said this is because I last saw my dear birth state five years back, now many things changed here.  People who live through the change have time to adjust to them.  I wasn't expecting this.  I knew there will be some changes, perhaps my sibling mentioned to me where they recently shop, places foreign to me.  Now I found what people meant by "It wasn't the same as I last seen it." It made me sad, although progress is inevitable, I wish something just stay as it was.

I came back to the place I called my home now, leaving an aching heart behind. I think of my parents and they are not as strong as they used to be. They came from a generation that works hard and save diligently. My parents never ask for hands out, they never brag about their children. They go to church weekly. They are good people. But bad things happened to everyone, good people are no exception.  I think back, life is so short, why not make it worth while. So why not wake up and decide to be HAPPY. Give freely and willingly. Give your family hugs, tell them you love them and they meant everything to you. Walk and smile or say hi to people, little things may bring happiness to someone. You never know, some day you may need one in return.


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