Late Night Thoughts: Kampung Spirit

The more I hang out with my friends in this small town of Brunei, the more ‘Kampung Spirit’ I have and the more I realize how important it is to me.

When you go and start living in a busy area such as Melbourne CBD or rural areas such as Ferntree Gully, Glen Waverley etc., you have limited places to chill and hang out. Sure, you could go to a cafe to hang out but honestly, the food and drinks are expensive. And the vibes are never the same. Maybe you have the option of going to a friend’s house and just chill. But how often do you get the chance to do that if everybody lives far away from each other, ranging from 10km to 100km.

Here in Kuala Belait, everything is within reach from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Food and drinks are cheap. Going to a friend’s house doesn’t feel awkward and weird. Everything just feels nice. Wanna go out and have some noodles and tea? Only costs at max $5. Don’t feel like spending money? Come over to a friend’s house and just chill over some card games, board games or even just plain talking.

A few days ago, me and my friends went to a home-based cafe that has a live band on the weekends. For me, that was one of the most amazing nights I have felt. It felt better than watching fireworks at Docklands in Melbourne or even going to a festival. Just the atmosphere itself beats any other events. You can even go up and sing with the band, provided they know the chords to the song. Like, what kind of miracle do you have to get to experience that elsewhere? And did I mention it’s free? With drinks at $1 to $3 and food at $2 to $5.

In a way, this trip back home kind of further cemented the feeling of ‘chill’ that I want to live with. I just love this kind of lifestyle too much to give it all up. Who knows maybe I’ll find this kind of feeling in Melbourne and end up migrating there? But for now, I have no intention of leaving what has stuck with me throughout my life. The ‘Kampung Spirit’


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