Updated: Feb 8
Most people have it easy with hometowns. Whatever dump they were born in would automatically become their hometown, their crux of longing, a porch-tinted part of their identity. I subscribe to the more unfortunate circumstances. I had to discover my own hometown when I was already way past college, way past any excuse for a childhood. I found it by the help of a whore in Geylang and some silly things they call providence.
My hometown is up North, shaded in the misty mountains of Doi Inthanon. There is a little university in my hometown, where the girls wear white shirts and black skirts and look fresh out of my fever dreams. Expatriates flock to my hometown because they find it cheap and cozy and perhaps they think of marrying one of those university girls as well. I don't mind these expats, since their prominence helps businesses thrive and keeps the standards maintained. They keep the hostels open and the festivals going along with the tourists. They keep spending marked-up money in local merchants, including those who come upon their bedrooms. Whatever is good for my hometown is good for me.
I haven't been to my hometown for the better part of a year. I had concocted up plans for a permanent stay--with the help of a simple Visa run scheme--yet a calamity struck upon the whole world, and it struck me bad. Still, things will not stay like this forever. I have made up plans. To see the mystical waterfalls once more. To see the bald monks playing Mobile Legends while waiting for the monastery pickup. To pierce through the mists and ride like hell along the meandering mountain roads. To see the university girls... Hell, I would even take up an expat on a Singha drinking challenge. Whatever can a man do to resist the charms of his hometown?