We joined my parents for a weekend at their kampung house recently.
When we arrived, my daughters zoomed straight to the living room, got the TV remote and started flipping the channels on the ancient non-plasma mounts-television. Only to soon announce that there was no ASTRO (satellite channels).
Or as I quoted their very loud complaint, “WHAT! There is no (Channel) 613?!”
How different it was for me as a child, coming here to visit my then living grandparents. For many years, they were not connected to electricity. We had a love-hate relationship with the firewood hearth as the smoke made food smell heavenly but made us smell horrible. Bath-time meant an uphill trek to a well for water that came straight from a mountain range – read, COLD.
Even when they finally had power and the only entertainment came from the radio, we don’t missed the TV back home.
For me, it was because I enjoyed a lot of reading here. It was here, in the midst of simple and poor villagers, that I found old classics such as the “I capture the castle“, the first novel of the author who would eventually wrote the “One hundred and one Dalmations”, from my father’s collection of school books from the days when lessons were taught by Western missionaries.
As for my kids, despite the initial issue with the TV, they decided that kampung life was interesting and did protest a little when we told them that it’s time to leave.
*Picture : Patau village, Tambunan