It has been a long time since I had the Chinese New Year reunion dinner back at home, it has been an affair at the restaurant for a while now. But my aunt and my sis decided to cook and hence, we had our last reunion dinner back at home.
Speaking of home, it has also been a while since I went back. I mean when I am back, it's usually for a brief stay as most of the time, I will take my Dad out for lunch or dinner. So with the reunion dinner happening back home, for the first time since I moved out... I spent some time back at my home.
I arrived early, helped out a bit, had a proper dinner and stayed back to chill for a while. It gave me an opportunity to actually spend some time looking around the house.... more specifically, the neighbourhood.
It's not the best neighbourhood but it was nice, or how it used to me. Nice food store everywhere and most people are familiar faces. Now though, it's like foreign land. Most of the people of my generation have moved out while those of my parents' generation tend to stick around. Well, either they stick around or they leave for the eternal resting place.
When I looked around after parking my car when I was back for reunion, I realised that the neighbourhood is now infested with .... honestly, I don't even know the origin of these people. One thing for sure, they are not Malaysians - wait, maybe they do carry MyKad, you'll never know.
From the mid section of my house, I could look across to the mid section of other units within the block (yeah, it's one of those very old design of low-cost flats). My neighbours used to familiar faces of aunties and uncles who either man the nearby fruit store or hawkers. Now though when I looked across, I actually saw all the rooms are now rented out to (again) people whom I can't accurately tell where their origin is. And there were a lot of them.
And they didn't give me a friendly look either.
The coffee-shops and convenient stores within the area have all been changed to either "mamak" store or middle-eastern eateries.
I feel like an outsider now, I feel like I don't know this place anymore.
One would hope that such drastic changes would be a result of progress... or development. But no... I can't even find a word to describe the transformation that has taken place here.
And something tells me that this change that I am witnessing - will only gather momentum.
Just to digress a little... a country usually deports illegal immigrants. But in Malaysia, I was told that all the illegal immigrants can just go to the embassy and get themselves registered and voila... they become legal. I understand millions, who we have no idea why they are in Malaysia and what economic contribution they can bring into Malaysia can now call Malaysia their home.
After my reunion dinner, I thought to myself... Home, what happened to you?
I guess in the not so distant future, I will have to ask the same thing about my country.
Or maybe, I should asking already.