What would you do if a genie gave you three wishes?

Transforming into a bird would be my answer. A bird is always my spirit animal because I could fly anywhere without a passport and poop slowly from the sky until it neatly dropped onto the head of someone I hate. Interestingly enough, some people still interpret it as a good luck. Just what I always told myself when I got one.

My second wish would be… Wooffffff Woofffffff Wooooooo (sorry to make you sound like one). Oh morning! My gigil alarm clock with ocean-moon eyes waving his tail and ruining my dream again. Back to reality, I need to wake up and walk my hairy babe with four legs to his favorite morning spot. (He needs to lose 5 kg because he is too fat.)

So what I can do but yell at sky, scream at the world, ask why the moon has already gone away? I still haven’t finished my dreaming.

Today is Lunar New Year, when everyone seems to get possessed by Chinese vibes whether or not they actually have Chinese blood in their vessels. Even in my house, my family prepared a feast and prayed for our Cambodian ancestors. Judging by our appearance, I’m sure we are pure 100 percent Cambodian. But I think we usually celebrate this festival because we love to have family gatherings and take a day off from work to enjoy the time with family and friends (even if we have many national holidays already).

Honestly speaking, I really love the idea of taking a break and staying with my family, even though I have itchy feet and we might end up fighting every time we meet. This fallacy came to me when I was away from home last year for my volunteering abroad. The story began when my sisters called me during my work hours, tortured me by sending pictures of my favorite foods, impressed me with how much fun they were having without me and sent me a video of our babe sleeping next to the roast pig attempting to take a bite and run away from home, like he always did. I almost cried myself to sleep because I missed all those foods, and thinking that it should be me having fun since I was able to get away from household chores to enjoy my life in another country. But the reality hit me hard, like the hammer that we see in Tom and Jerry, helping me to clearly see the value of family gatherings, and how food can impact our mental well-being.

Plot twist. I’m now in my home country feeling nostalgic about the time when I was a volunteer. It is maybe reverse culture shock, I guess. But within this minute and second, I am totally missing my time there because right here I’m stuck in a nightmare-dressed-like-a-daydream situation; a pile of work laying beautifully by my side and I know I will be bombarded with questions from my relatives when we meet again. I don’t know what is going to happen, but for better or for worse, I wish I could achieve my first wish from the genie.