31 March 2011
One of the little paradises in Sabah
Well I can't claim to have been all over Sabah. After all, it's quite a journey to go round Sabah. For one thing, the roads are not good in all parts of the state. Besides, the demands of work and every day life do not really help in pursuing the plan even if one is up to it (excuses, excuses!). But this place I call 'home' (second home), Bundu Tuhan, is a paradise and I'm not exaggerating.
My grandparents and parents were born in this village. In fact, they spent a good number of years living there. For some reasons (one of the most commonly cited reasons is weather-it's too cold, you can never grow rice there), they moved out. The connection with the village has never been broken though. I remember 'going back home' to spend Christmas every year with my uncle's family when I was young. Grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins- that's what I remember most. And as Chrismastime means rainy season, the ground was always wet and muddy, which was a child's perfect idea of fun. Dipping in the cold river, pretending to help the adults with the washings was another fun thing my many cousins and I used to do as kids.
You have most wonders of nature there- greens, mountains, rivers, caves (except that I've never found out their locations). On top of that, people always tell you that you are related to them in some ways. It's awesome to have that many relatives!
The 'going back home' practice stopped gradually, but we still visit at least when there are weddings of relatives, even if they are many-times-removed-relatives. The people still refer to Bundu Tuhan as dati (ours) when they talk to us, so we feel 'included' all the time. Deep down, I always feel that I'm part of them, even though I have never been a 'real' resident of this special place.