The last time I feeling home sick was back when I first entered the university. As a freshie, we were required to lodge in the hostel for at least two semesters. Today, the scenario changes a tad slightly. Taking the chance to learn about nursery basics at a village some 400KM away from home, the familiar feeling loomed inside me once again. It became the most palpable when I travelled alone back to my guest home after work. Cruising slowly on a 4WD along the winding road with trailing rubber woods, my heart inevitably sank deeper as I edged closer to my guest home provided by relatives. I felt such a reluctance to go back. I gradually decreased the speed of my vehicle, while feeling inside hoping not to reach home that soon. But for some reasons, the gloomy feeling did not last long. Perhaps a stop to purchase some groceries altered the feeling. Perhaps a decision I had already made, that is to come here to pick up whatever I could grasp hold of, faded the feeling. Perhaps, with a little dream I have inside of me cut out the feeling for me. It became easier. I went back in the end. Though I knew the battle with this feeling will not be over for at least some period of time. Never mind for this time, I won the battle. First victory is crucial. If I gave up instead, I would never win this game.
My first (and half) day here brought them the long-awaited downpour. Due to the torrential rain, my activity could only be restricted to the offices of the nursery. My helpful nursery overseer introduced me to the various personnel working here, all of whom are acquainted with my mother. The sales office is well organized with the sales and stock department combined into one office, while the administration office is a stand-alone entity. Rather unsurprisingly, workers here are mostly Siamese. My limited command of the Thai language prevents me from communicating with them. My first assignment came, when my overseer ferries one of the Burmese workers to fix a pump pipe at a nearby source bush nursery. After that, we went hopping one place after another, started off with seeing the project of him planting a source bush nursery, then we visited the hostels specially built to house the workers, and finally to be blocked at the entrance of seeing source bush growing under a replanting scheme by the government agency.
The thing about how the nursery businesses are run here is that, it is rather crowded with big and small operators, thus the competition is somewhat saturating; and finding a land here can be quite labourious as one may need to venture deep into the woods in order to acquire empty lands. To my surprise was the discovery of ‘another-world-feeling’ after venturing off-road into the woods – enormous paddy fields with mountainous backdrop to be behold – what a sight for a city boy like me. Along the way, we exchanged quite a bit of conversations on the agricultural issues in Malaysia and also Thailand, and I certainly gained much through it.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; The second best time is now.”
This is a Chinese proverb I found on the net, and I find it very meaningful and encouraging. In fact, it is this quote that inspires me to take up the courage and chance to come here and experience something new. Although the transition could still be a fear, I believe with my ambition to be successful in the things that I am bound to be involved in, things would eventually just get better.