Migration

Yesterday, I watched a variety show on unique hotel accommodations around the world, and the episode yesterday was showing Cave Hotels in Granada, Spain. It immediately sparked my interest.

I have been feeling out of place for years in this urban city, though I am very grateful for being born here. It is a beautiful island transformed into a clean garden city, with lots of efforts from our forefathers, as well as our government. However, I feel that I do not belong to this place. I am not certain, but deep down in my heart, I always sense that I belong to the countryside. Perhaps it is in my roots, as I was born in kampong. I cannot really remember my years spent there, as I was just a toddler when we moved out, into our HDB flat. There are simply some bits and pieces of memories here and there, in addition to what my mom told me about some of the hilarious stuffs I had done. She told me that there was a litter of puppies with whom I always hung out with. I was always running to and fro on the broad, uneven road right in front of our attap house, with the puppies. I cannot recall exactly, but I think the puppies were in shades of browns and blacks. And there was a mother dog, too.

There are lots of things about my years living in the kampong which I cannot recall, and I seriously wish that I could. As I grow older, I realise that, though I am not a nature lover and I dread the sun as much as I love my bed, I am not much of a city person. True enough, when I was in my late teens till late twenties, I was having that much fun in exploring life in the city and making friends everywhere I went. I had thought that life would be as exciting all the way, even after I have my own family and children. Boy, how wrong I was.

Especially in recent years, I have been cooping at home, other than spending hours at work. I have no desire to go out. The crowds and noises out there terrify me. I have been asking my mom if we could grow our own veggies and herbs at home. Though we do not have a balcony, and it is not safe to keep them along the common corridor, I believe we can have the pots along the windows in the kitchen. Although we cannot farm a lot, at least we can eat whatever we grow. I have been telling my mom that if I can stay in a landed property, I would want to have my own mini farm, where I grow veggies and herbs for my own consumption. Without the chemicals, it is definitely healthier and cleaner.

Back to the show of Granada, the cave homes simply caught my eyes, and my heart. They do not look like a huge place each, but essential for a small family. Of course, there ought to be bigger houses for bigger and richer families. I did not know about the weather, but the residents said that temperatures are constant in the cave houses throughout the seasons. When it is cold outside, you would feel warm in the cave houses. When it is hot out there, being in the cave houses keep you cool. In comparison with modernised apartments, living in a cave house help to save a lot of energy and money. I got so keen that I went online to look for more information on Granada.

I slightly glanced through the blogs, and it looks like Granada experiences four seasons. That is a challenge to me, as even though I dread the sun, I dread the cold even more. Safety-wise and other information, somehow I have my reserves on what those several bloggers said. Because if they feel that Malaysia is one of the best places to retire in, I seriously have my doubt in their opinions. Even expenditure-wise, there are different scales. Well, as I scrolled down the list of best places to retire in, I saw Chiang Mai, Thailand. I like Thailand, for the cost of living is low. The air and water may be badly polluted, the road traffic may be much worse than what we are experiencing here in Singapore, the hygiene standard may not be fair, and crime rates is probably higher than Singapore. But I have not been to Chiang Mai. I just read up on it, and realised that it can be cold at night there, too. A killer factor for me.

I have been born and bred here, in this merlion city. And I am keeping in mind that our late PM Mr. Lee Kuan Yew would love our citizens to return to the nest he had built for us, no matter how far out we venture. Hence, will I eventually migrate to another place to spend my retirement years?

 

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