I took the bus from Terminal One back to Rasah Jaya today, for fun actually. Even though I could’ve taken a cab, I still opted for the long route around Seremban town centre.
As the bus rumbled on…
I passed the dentist’s clinic where I had my first cavity (correction, my sister thinks my first cavity is when I refused to brush my teeth when I was a toddler).
I passed the Store, which in a time long before Terminal One and Jusco, the place to be. It was also the place where I used to pester my dad to buy me ice-creams when I was a wee bit younger.
I passed the place where they had the best chicken chop in town when I was still a young boy, and my family used to have breakfast there every morning.
I passed Chin’s, where I used to get my uniforms in primary school. Looking back, I hated uniforms.
I passed by the MPS hall where I gave my first speech when I was six years old. I must find that tape again; I was wearing lipstick for the first time (I was young and stupid then)! The hall was also the place where I was introduced to my biggest crush; less said the better. The Seremban Half Marathons are also held there annually, and I learned my biggest lesson about relationships there as well.
I passed by Parkson where my friends and I used to hang out and bowl for kicks.
I passed by A&W where they used to have this big playground. It is gone now.
As the bus rumbled on…
I passed by my biggest crush’s house as well, but her car was not around, so I guess she was still in school.
I passed by the field where I played soccer in high school when Khai Yuan still lived around my place. I remembered all those fun-filled moments and goal celebrations, thinking that I was the next big time in world soccer. I clearly was not.
I passed by the Friday pasar malam spot where I used to go fleetingly after football at Khai Yuan’s. Come to think of it, I have never been there more than 5 times.
I passed by the Tuesday pasar malam spot where I have not been there in ages.
I passed by the saloon where the barbers will always ask me how my dad allowed me to dye my hair. I had my first hair cut there as well, not a good experience.
I passed the roads where Sam, Jia Jie, Jeremy, and I used to cycle to last year. Those were the days when using my mum’s bic was still not that embarrassing.
I passed by Rahul, my tadika best friend’s old house where we used to play power rangers and Batman toys with Pradeep.
I passed by the playground where Yishan and I used to play in the mornings on weekends during our Sin Hua days.
As the bus came to a stop…
I walked down the familiar road toward my house with the Click Five’s “Headlight Disco” booming in my ears from my Nano.
I passed by Mei Yen’s house. It is pretty empty now. Her family has been in New Zealand for years now. It was the place I hung out in when I locked myself out of the house for the first time.
When I took off my shoes and turned the TV on to watch the US Open, I felt…the past year in KL has been phenomenal; I met the most interesting and the worst of people there, but when push comes to shove, Seremban is, and will always be, my home. No matter where life takes me, no matter how they try to force fly-overs and unbearable traffic upon us Seremban folks, I am Seremban born and bred.
Seremban – where (almost) everybody knows my name, but I am the one who is glad I came.
*for those who are TV-illiterate, that line above is changed from Cheers’ theme song.