Back for 3 days already and of course ada sudah komen2 pasal ‘inda balik/kraja di brunei kah’. My first instinct is to be annoyed and roll my eyes (behind their back). And then I feel sad. Because I do wanna go back. Each time someone asks me berapa lama lagi… each time I answer… I feel sad. And then I smile and say ‘inda lama lagi … inda terasa tu. Lama sudah jua di UK kan, 3 tahun lagi macam nada tu.’
I wish I can go back now. But that means going back without being a specialist, because Brunei does not offer SMO/registrar training. Kalau balik pun, we have to go somewhere else (singapore etc) to finish training. My mum keeps saying ‘abis kan saja tia… inda lama lagi tu’.
I’m working full time (unlike many medic mums with 2 kids working part time) so I can finish my training as soon as I can. ‘It’s for the long term gain’ I say as I leave my kids (and husband) for oncalls. In my last rota, half of my month is working 12 hour shifts.
Sometimes I think – baik pulang inda belajar tinggi2. Kalau belajar tinggi2, seksa jua. Banyak sacrifices. What’s the point?
What people don’t know is how sad it is to feel so displaced. In a constant ‘hanging’ place. For a moment, I would feel at home in my home. Surrounded by my husband and kids. But the house is not my house. We’ve been renting all this time because as my husband keeps saying, we’re gonna go to Brunei anyway. Why bother buying a house?
UK is not my country though. And English is not my mother language. Come midnight, inda tantu arah lagi english ku. Even my husband notices it. Sometimes sanak jua cakap english saja tapi cana jua … all my bruneian/msian friends have gone back and those that are there are too far away from me.
And even though I’ve lived there for 14 years, I have not fully felt at home. I have no community there. My inlaws are too far away to visit all the time. I miss having impromptu house visits and lepak time. I miss just hanging out in a family’s house. I want my kids to have that memory too – of hanging out with their cousins and having sleepovers.
And yet when I come back, I dont fully feel settled because we live from a suitcase and this room is not ‘our’ room. And we’re like tourists when we go back. Not really having that routine family life.
Floating like a cloud.
Never really feeling at home.