It used to be that we couldn't wait to get out of Palembang, but starting sometime in the middle of last year, it really started to feel like home. I don't think Richard feels this way about the place but Aaron and I certainly do. In fact, its probably Aaron's only home because that is where he does most of his growing up.
The strange thing is that its all the little things that we miss. Things like...
...Our daily routine of waking up at 5am. We get so much done before 8am over there. I feel efficient!
...Watering my garden. Its in no way a special or even a flourishing garden but I enjoy taking care of it. Richard told me that the Okra I planted before leaving Palembang are now producing fruit....I wish I was there.
...Tempeh. Simple, pan-fried tempeh.
...My routine with Aaron - Breakfast, gardening, drawing, legos, writing, reading, napping etc. We also have many more play stations within the house there. More toys of course, but also more books.
Over the past 10 years, I have moved from Brisbane, to Penang, to Klang and finally to Palembang. They all have the population of cities (with Palembang being the most populous) but you may notice that each subsequent place is seemingly less developed.
Just take the shower situation for example. Brisbane has the usual "Western" shower in shower stall setup. Penang was a notch down from that with no real shower stall but still a shower curtain. Klang was a shower in a cramped bathroom with no partition for showering area so everything got wet. Now in Palembang, I just throw a bucket of water over myself. Thankfully, its still within the confines of a bathroom and not out by the river!
Anyway, my point here is that I find that I have more of an affinity to each place I move to than the last place. Even I find this a little odd because each place has less to offer than the last in terms of weekend activities, entertainment and even everyday conveniences.
Palembang is (by far) the most simple of all the places. I'm ashamed to admit that during my first year there, I would have called it the most boring place on Earth. I told everyone not to visit me because there was nothing there. Perhaps it was because I disliked the place so much and stripped my expectations of the place down to zero that I ended up enjoying its simplicity.
Its funny how a place can secretly grow on you.